A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- 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 knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding
The programmes of study describe a sequence of knowledge and concepts. While it is important that pupils make progress, it is also vitally important that they develop secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts in order to progress to the next stage. Insecure, superficial understanding will not allow genuine progression: pupils may struggle at key points of transition (such as between primary and secondary school), build up serious misconceptions, and/or have significant difficulties in understanding higher-order content.
Pupils should be able to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language, but they should also be familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely. They should build up an extended specialist vocabulary. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data. The social and economic implications of science are important but, generally, they are taught most appropriately within the wider
The national curriculum for science reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their scientific vocabulary and articulating scientific concepts clearly and precisely. They must be assisted in making their thinking clear, both to themselves and others, and teachers should ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.
We have been planning this week for some time - a chance to really enthuse and excite the children in Science for a whole week! We have given over five afternoons to Science this week which has enabled the children to work in mixed-age groupings in a range of exciting activities. Miss Phillips our Science Coordinator has worked with closely with Mrs Bowden - Head of Chemistry at the Duchess's Community High School. She has given over time to bring some very enthusiastic Sixth Form student to come to St Michael’s to lead activities and really enthuse the children about Science.
Each of the children was given a lab coast for the week, and they have been encouraged to make notes and draw diagrams about what they have learned. The learning activities have included: chromatography, acids and alkalis, planets, nutrition, healthy living and hydraulics to name but a few. The children have kept a passport of their learning over the week and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Many of the children are already talking about jobs in Science they might like to peruse or interests to follow.
A very worthwhile experience for all.