Science at Ravenswood
Science is a key tenet of our curriculum and we are all scientists at Ravenswood! We bring science to life by ensuring it is rich with practical enquiry. We want all of our children to think like scientists and be inquisitive about the world around them and we do this by making science engaging and relatable. Within and beyond the classroom, we aim to provide children with rich scientific experiences in order to develop their scientific capital and develop a lifelong interest in and understanding of science.
Nursery and Reception design their curriculum around the expectations of the EYFS framework and Science fits into the Understanding the World strand of the latter. The children have access to a variety of opportunities to support their developing awareness of some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter. They are encouraged to make and record observations and draw pictures of animals and plants.
In Key Stages 1 and 2, science is delivered as a discrete subject. The National Curriculum is supported using topics from the QCA scheme which provide more opportunities for practical science.
The cyclical learning using the QCA scheme allows children to revisit learning and build upon key strands of knowledge as they progress through school. Where appropriate, lessons and content from other sources, e.g. the Hamilton Trust, are used to compliment planning.
Each science unit is taught across a half term. A range of practical scientific enquiries, linked to the key knowledge, are carefully planned to capture children’s excitement and curiosity as they move through the school.
Teachers emphasise the type of scientific enquiry that children are undertaking and why this is appropriate to the ‘question being investigated’. As children progress through school, they are supported to work collaboratively to design their own enquiries and plan investigations to answer scientific questions. They discuss changes to variables and why investigations are a fair test.
In KS1, children discuss and share predictions and results. These are occasionally recorded. By Year 2, the children record at least one aspect of an investigation e.g. the method or the results table. One full investigation report per half term is expected in KS2. Numeracy skills are incorporated into lessons wherever possible to analyse and present data collected.
To support all learners, some children are given opportunities for pre-learning of scientific concepts and vocabulary.
Children also learn about scientists who are working in the field that they are studying. This is done using the PSST ‘Scientist Like Me’ resource or by involving family members.
Ravenswood dedicates one week each year to Science Week, where there is a whole school theme e.g. Mission to Mars. This event celebrates and encourages children to think about elements of science that are extra to our curriculum e.g. Design a shelter to grow food on Mars.
Beyond the curriculum, Ravenswood offers children the chance to enrich their scientific ability and knowledge in various ways:
- Links with Newcastle University e.g. ‘Science is my Superpower’ to encourage girls’ participation in science.
- Links with Northumbria University Sports Science department – children participate in studies conducted by the university.
- ‘Bring It On’, The North East Exhibition for Future Engineers.
- Educational workshops and planetarium provided by Kielder Observatory.
- STEM ambassadors in assemblies.
- Assemblies that celebrate scientists’ achievements.
- Hatching duck/chick eggs in EYFS.
- Links between the school and scientists in our own school community where expertise and knowledge are shared in the classroom.
- Families working on scientific investigations with their children at home and sharing these back in school.
- Cross Curricular links e.g. tree planting, Geography (impact of Climate Change).