Science is all around us and here at Otford Primary School, and we believe that the School’s core values of courage and curiosity wind their way throughout our Science curriculum! Through Science we are continually challenging what we know about the world as well as recognising how key Scientists, inventions and discoveries from the past have shaped our world today. Through Scientists studies and our Scientist of the Month, our children at Otford are exposed to Scientists from a wide range backgrounds, whether academically, socially or culturally.
Our intent for Science is for our children to develop, enhance and encourage questions, curiosity and understanding of the scientific world. We aim to foster and enable our budding Scientists of the future. The foundational understanding of key scientific knowledge is taught through inspiring, hands on lessons and the children are encourage to work collaboratively, using accurate scientific vocabulary. This knowledge will be embedded along side a host of skills that are developed through our ‘Working Scientifically’ strands. These strands are:
• Predicting and comparing
• Identifying and using evidence
At Otford, we follow the Kent Scheme of Work, written by Andrew Berry. Science lessons build on skills, vocabulary and knowledge from both the previous lessons and the previous year. (Please see the Progression Documents for further information). We aim to make science as practical and ‘hands-on’* as we can, where possible, and endeavour to link it to our learning journey as well as real- life and giving meaning to our learning. Lessons aren’t just limited to the classroom, we make use of our outdoor area in order to maximise the children’s learning experiences. Our pupils are involved in scientific enquiry at a variety of different levels, both linked to the curriculum and in extra-curricular projects such as Forest School and Gardening club as well as Science-based assemblies, workshops and competitions. This allows the children to develop the key skills of investigation, problem-solving and team work, empowering children to question the world around them and become scientific thinkers which gives them the understanding the concepts, skills and uses of Science for both today and in the future.
Teachers are regularly assessing the children’s retention and understanding of key concepts, knowledge and vocabulary. Elicitation activities help teachers to assess children’s knowledge and understanding before starting a new topic, which are then used to inform the planning and teaching of the topic. Assessment takes many forms including quizzes, concept maps, investigations and formal tests.
Science at Otford
Throughout Key Stage 2, each year group has 4 Science ambassadors within their year group. Their role, together with the Science lead, is to promote science across the school. They have been in charge of organising the Science equipment, reaching out to their peers for feedback regarding Science clubs, organising Science Week and planning a new Science Club for the rest of the school.
During Science Week this year, the school focused on the theme of Water. Children were encouraged to explore the world of water in the context of the Australian Bushfires. Children explored ways to provide clean water to hard to reach areas, filtering systems, building eco-friendly equipment and looking at the most efficient way to move water, with the goal of putting out the fires. It was wonderful to see the whole school engaged with our Science Week and the children all really enjoyed themselves!
For further details on our science curriculum, please see individual class pages on our website for each year group’s curriculum as well as class newsletters, which will outline the science topics taking place each term.
*Due to Covid-19, there are some restrictions in place regarding equipment. Risk assessments are adhered to regarding the use of equipment in the classroom.