Our approach to teaching science in Paxton Academy is to develop the children’s curiosity in the world around them through observation of scientific phenomena and investigation.
Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. We believe it is very important that children develop scientific skills on which to base the foundations of their scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding. Our pupils are encouraged to ask questions, take risks, experiment, reflect, make and learn from their mistakes in a safe environment. This will ensure each pupil will acquire resilience and problem solving skills which will equip them for an ever-changing world.
At Paxton Academy we use the Kent Scheme for science as it has clearly indicated a progression in the key scientific knowledge and concepts, from Year 1 to Year 6. Where appropriate, the unit will indicate the ‘learning journey’; i.e. where the knowledge and concepts of that particular unit fit within the learning for that particular aspect of science as the child progresses through the primary phase. The children will experience a range of activities in science lessons which will develop both their scientific understanding and their mastery of the nature, processes and method of science.
The Kent scheme encourages ‘Working Scientifically’ through a constructivist approach to learning. Throughout each unit of study the emphasis is on the children learning by doing. In accordance with the constructivist theory of learning, the units encourage the teachers to provide activities that will enable the children to test their previously held ideas. In doing so, they will also be encouraged to develop a bank of skills and an understanding of the processes required to be able to do good science.
In every unit of work the most suitable aspects of the statutory requirements for Working Scientifically have been selected. Each of these requirements will be thoroughly covered throughout both of the Key Stages. In addition, each unit of study contains a section outlining the most appropriate scientific vocabulary to be used when studying that particular area of science. This will help children to become familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely.
For each of the units an assessment record sheet has been created. Each of these sheets will allow teachers to record children’s achievements during their studies for both the knowledge aspects within a particular unit, and some of the requirements from Working Scientifically.