"Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think".
Science teaching at Mattersey Primary School aims to give all our pupils a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically. We understand the need for all pupils to develop their Scientific ability as a subject in its own right, as well as Science being a key component of other subjects. A good understanding of Scientific knowledge and concepts helps to support our pupils in their work across the curriculum, as well as providing a range of opportunities for pupils to work scientifically. Our pupils will be enthused by the subject and inquisitive learners throughout their time at our school (and beyond). Our work with outside STEM providers for our annual Science Week enables children to see Science in real life contexts and to understand the uses of Science today and for the future.
The 2014 National Curriculum for science aims to ensure that all children:
- Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
- Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
- Are equipped with the scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. We understand that it is important for lessons to have a skills-based focus, and that the knowledge can be taught through this.
We believe that a high quality Science education provides the foundations for our pupils in their learning and understanding of the world through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Our pupil scientists at Mattersey will be taught essential aspects of the knowledge and concepts, but we will also encourage a sense of excitement and curiosity in their learning experiences. We will develop our pupil scientists by encouraging their scientific enquiry and investigation skills: to ask questions, to predict how things will behave, explain what is occurring and analyse causes.
We ensure that the working scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout children’s time at the school so that they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
In ensuring quality first teaching, we will implement a broad and balanced Science curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school and pupils will build up their knowledge from Foundation to Year 6.
All teaching staff are involved in the planning of the curriculum to ensure that the school gives full coverage of, ‘The National Curriculum’ Programmes of Study for Science 2014 and in the EYFS Development Matters statements and the Early Learning Goals relating to the area Understanding the World. Teachers also plan to suit the specific needs and interests of the pupils in their classes, current events, their own teaching style and use of any support staff, as well as the resources available.
The Science curriculum is delivered through weekly discrete Science lessons, as well as making links between Science and other subjects. In KS2, pupils will learn about Great Scientists through our Reading sessions and will focus on the skills for writing in a certain style in English lessons (e.g. A non-chronological report about teeth and nutrition, a written comparison of the geocentric and heliocentric models for the solar system). We also use literature to support our teaching of Science and link quality texts to topics to enhance the learning experience for the pupils. Across school, lessons have a ‘Big Question’ approach, which supports children’s understanding of the key learning within each lesson. Furthermore, the Success criteria, presented to children as Green statements help to ensure that they are very clear about how they can show their knowledge and achievements in this subject.
Our mixed age classes in school means that our delivery of the Science curriculum is carefully mapped out to ensure full (and age appropriate) curriculum coverage. In Foundation and Key Stage 1, a two year planning cycle is implemented and in Key Stage 2 a four year planning cycle. However, certain subject areas in Key Stage 2 Science are taught two yearly to ensure they are delivered to year 5/6 pupils only- such as topics on Evolution and Reproduction, as well as drugs awareness so that we ensure our curriculum is always age appropriate.
Our older pupil ‘scientists’ model and support younger pupils as a way of peer support but also to help older pupils retain knowledge of previous learning. We also split classes to ensure age-appropriate curriculum content where necessary, such as Year 3 pupils join Year 1 and 2 pupils as part of the topic on Plants. To ensure the subject areas enter the pupils long-term memory we have carefully mapped the programmes of study to build on prior learning and to allow for the recapping of content that is taught.
As a school, we celebrate the STEM subjects by providing enrichment opportunities to our curriculum. We host an annual event to mark British Science Week and work with outside providers to enable pupils a rich and diverse experience, as well as with our feeder secondary schools and local businesses and industry.
Our pupil scientists will acquire both the appropriate age-related knowledge linked to the Science curriculum, and a wider set of skills linked to enquiry and investigation. They will have a richer vocabulary enabling them to talk about their learning, as well as higher aspirations for their further study and life in the future. Our progression documents include the key disciplinary vocabulary and the impact of Science for each year group (end points) as they progress through our school.
British Science Week - March 2023
What an incredible week it has been to celebrate British Science Week. The pupils have taken part in a range of virtual and live sessions to learn all about the fascinating subject of science. The theme this year is Connections– nearly all innovations in science, technology, engineering and maths are built on connections between people; two (or more) heads are better than one, after all! This week we have looked at space, animals, materials and enjoyed lots of practical work along the way which even included making mayonnaise, volcanoes and slime!
Here’s a report of the week by Alexa in Year 6...
On Thursday we welcomed Premier Foods into school and worked with Belle Baldwin who is a sauce technologist. Hive Class pupils made mayonnaise mixing the ingredients of an egg, oil, salt and pepper, mustard and vinegar. The result was really tasty! Then the whole school took part in taste-testing to explore the connections with their senses trying out with flavoured and coloured water– the blue one deliberately tricked us as it was actually water-melon flavoured and we all thought it was blueberry based on its colour! We also tried out crisps and made guesses to the flavour– prawn cocktail, salt and vinegar and roast chicken– yummy! To end the week , we welcomed Little Laboratory into school. First, we made an erupting volcano in the land of the dinosaurs using baking soda, citrus acid plus playdough! We then took part in a slime workshop where we used PVA glue and glitter, food colouring and a slime-activator mixing it together to make transparent or unclear slime products. Best of all, we got to keep our slime creations!
British Science Week 2022
British Science Week 2022 : 11th -20th March Homepage - British Science Week
We thoroughly enjoyed Science week at Mattersey. Hive Class pupils visited QEHS in Gainsborough and enjoyed a range of activities at their STEM fair– the earthquake simulator, RAF robotics and squeaky pop test seemed to be the favourite ones. In school we did an investigation into biscuits and which ones make the best dunkers!- this really got the pupils thinking about fair testing! Then we welcomed Premier Foods into school on Thursday where pupils found out all about growth with food and did a bottle investigation with yeast, as well as making their own bread! We finished the week off by making posters for the official competition. Well done everyone!
We enjoy practical work and this whole school project on life cycles was one of our favourites: