Science Capital is at the core of Nansledan’s STEAM curriculum. We believe that Science teaching should spark wonderment and facilitate learning through active discovery, experiential learning and purposeful projects, at each age and stage, translating into children having high aspirations and positive attitudes towards their future.
Science is taught as part of the STEAM curriculum, often overlapping with Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths. STEAM learning is project-based, with skills and knowledge acquired eventually being applied to a final piece of work. Eg: a functioning lighthouse, designed and wired by pupils (electricity); a three-course meal planned and prepared by each pupil (the human body, changes of state).
The national curriculum for science requires that children:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- develop an 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.
understand how scientific ideas change over time,
recognise the opportunities they are afforded in Science careers and understand the impact of Scientists,
aim high, regardless of their background, religious beliefs, gender or geographical location.
National Curriculum objectives are further supplemented by a careers focus in most Science lessons, where teachers help pupils to contextualise their learning by sharing possible future paths and exploring the impact of current and historic significant individuals in careers that apply the Science delivered in their current topic. PSTT Standing on the Shoulders of Giants materials are used to support this, alongside work with local industry experts.
Children recognise that diversity is important in the scientific community and are introduced to a range of individuals excelling in their fields.
The 6 Skills of Working Scientifically
1. Explore & Ask
This is sparking the initial interest of the pupil, by looking at the world around them with new scientific eyes. This is the opportunity to combine play and enquiry at all ages. We will spark and facilitate wonderment in the children.
ICE: identify, clarify, extend
2. Plan & Set-up
High quality, child-led enquiry questions lead into the types of enquiry (IPROF) the children will conduct. It is important that pupils are thinking about equipment and resources to be used in the enquiry and that we encourage the use and interaction with the school learning environment. Children will recognise that there is a diverse range of scientific equipment that is relevant to the different enquiry types. They will use equipment appropriate to their age and ability.
Five types of enquiry: identifying and classifying, pattern seeking, research, comparative, observation over time and fair testing.
3. Conduct & Observe
This is the stage of watching science in action; our focus remains on awe and wonderment but over time we will establish a systematic and scientific approach to observation. Children will recognise the crucial nature of working scientifically and its impact on the wider world. They will be encouraged to discuss and debate what they are observing.
4. Measure & Record
Children will use measurement equipment of increasing complexity. They record the results of their observations in an age-appropriate way, making links, where possible, to maths.
5. Interpret & Report
Children will draw conclusions based on the data and discuss the impact this has on their understanding of the world around them. They will share their learning by reporting in the form of oral and written explanations, displays or presentations. Here they will focus on communicating effectively by applying skills from other creative curriculum areas, such as art, dance, music, writing or computing.
Children will discuss what went well, and why, and will begin to ask further questions. They will go on to evaluate scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.
Half-termly skill focus
Each half-term, there is a whole-school working scientifically skill focus. This is reflected in STEAM assemblies and linked to the school virtues where possible. The cycle repeats yearly.
The Working Scientifically Loop
In line with the year group expectations for Knowledge and Understanding, children will become familiar with the loop representation of the Working Scientifically skill symbols. Staff will use the infinity symbol design to demonstrate to children that working scientifically is an ongoing learning journey both for children and professionals working in STEAM careers.