Science is a truly wonderful, awe-inspiring, mind blowing subject and at St Joseph’s, we ensure that it is taught in that way. Instilling a sense of wonder and amazement in our pupils at the scientific marvels which surround us is at the heart of what we do.
As much as possible our pupils design and lead their own investigations and experiments. We believe passionately that our pupils learn the most about science when they are challenged to explore and discover things. Outdoor learning is a vital part of our pupil’s scientific experience and we make extensive use of our grounds and the surrounding area to teach the subject.
Coverage of the Curriculum.
At St Joseph’s we follow the national curriculum for primary science. Our pupils learn about many different aspects of science including the natural world, forces, electricity, changes of state and materials. Where possible, we teach the subject in ‘real world’ contexts which demonstrate how science affects and enhances our daily lives. We teach our pupils how to think scientifically about the world around them and to question what they see.
Children are helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using the following types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions:
- Making observations over time
- Pattern seeking
- Identifying, classifying and grouping
- Comparative and fair testing
- Researching using secondary sources
Science in the Early Years
The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (September 2021) separates learning and development into seven areas (three prime areas and four specific areas). The most relevant statements for science are taken from: Communication and Language (prime area); Personal, Social and Emotional Development (prime area) and Understanding the World (specific area of learning) and the targets that relate to the Science curriculum are as follows:
Communication and Language
• Learn new vocabulary.
• Ask questions to find out more and to check what has been said to them.
• Articulate their ideas and thoughts in well-formed sentences.
• Describe events in some detail.
• Use talk to help work out problems and organise thinking and activities, and to explain how things work and why they might happen.
• Use new vocabulary in different contexts.
• Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding (listening, attention and understanding ELG).
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
• Know and talk about the different factors that support their overall health and wellbeing: regular physical activity, healthy eating, toothbrushing, sensible amounts of ‘screen time’, having a good sleep routine and being a safepedestrian.
• Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices (managing self ELG).
Understanding the World
• Explore the natural world around them.
• Describe what they see, hear and feel while they are outside.
• Recognise some environments that are different to the one in which they live.
• Understand the effect of changing seasons on the natural world around them.
• Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants (the natural world ELG).
• Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments,drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class (the natural world ELG).
• Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter (the natural world ELG).
Science in the Early Years at St Joseph’s, Northfleet
At St Joseph’s we teach Science related skills and knowledge through a mixture of child-initiated learning in our rich indoor and outdoor environments and a adult led sessions. Our adult led sessions relate to the following areas of learning (all of which relate to the Development Matters targets mentioned earlier):
- Animals and Plants
- Objects and materials
- Light, Space, Electricity and Movement
- The Local Environment
These adult led sessions take place throughout the year at moments chosen by the EYFS lead. This allows elements such as: books being read within the class, show and tell, the weather and children’s individual interests to help pick the moment that will maximise the relevance of the lesson content to the children.