Science at Ark Blacklands provides children with a strong understanding of the world around them. Harnessing their natural curiosity, we ensure children learn to explore, discover and use Science to explain what is occurring around them; predict how things might behave and then analyse the cause.
Children’s discovery of the world around them begins in the Early Years where children are provided with opportunities to talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. Children are encouraged to make observations of animals and plants, explain why some things occur and talk about changes.
Our Science curriculum then goes on to ensure that the foundational building blocks in biology, chemistry and physics are further developed in Key Stages 1 and 2. Our Curriculum Map outlines a sequence of concepts and knowledge, and an order of how they are taught which is fully compliant with the National Curriculum 2014.
Some of the units follow directly on from others, building on pupils’ prior knowledge and understanding (such as the Chemistry strand, which starts with common materials in KS1 and builds up to changing states of matter in UKS2). Other units are not directly linked to previous learning, such as many of the units within the physics strand. These have been sequenced so that children’s breadth of knowledge is built upon year after year.
It is vitally important that all pupils develop a secure understanding of each block of knowledge in order to progress to the next stage. For example, if a child does not understand some of the basic properties of materials, they will be at a significant disadvantage when learning about changes in state to those materials. Likewise, the topic of Sound is taught only once, so if a child completes this unit without a secure understanding of the concepts, this will not be revisiting and expanding on these ideas until Secondary School.
At the end of scientific units, pupils will be able to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language, but they will also become familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely, building up an extended specialist vocabulary. Being immersed in scientific vocabulary aids children’s knowledge and understanding, not only of the topic they are studying, but of the world around them.
Developing Skills of ‘Working Scientifically’
Science in our school is about developing children’s ideas and ways of working which enable them to make sense of the world through investigation, as well as using and applying process skills. The staff at Ark Blacklands ensure that all children are exposed to high quality teaching and learning experiences, allowing children to explore their outdoor environment and their locality, thus maturing their scientific enquiry and investigative skills. These skills are embedded in each topic and the topics are revisited and expanded as the children journey through school.