At Whitehouse Common we love being scientists. We are extremely proud of our Phiz Lab science classroom, which is where we put on our lab coats and conduct most of our investigations. In addition to this, we also enjoy outdoor learning and using our computing skills in science.
Our Phiz Lab opened in January 2016 as part of our work with the Ogden Trust. We have formed a partnership alongside six local primary schools and one secondary school. This is the first Ogden Trust partnership of its kind. The science leaders from each of these schools regularly meet, to plan how to make science even better for the children.
We are delighted that our passion and enthusiasm for science has been recognised by the Primary Science Quality Mark. There are three levels to this award: bronze, silver and gold and we were honoured to have achieved gold in this twice and are currently renewing our award for the third time. We constantly strive to improve our science work and love to include writing and maths opportunities in our science lessons.
Our Year Five children take part in Space Camp; a space themed sleepover in tents in the school hall! During the evening, the children work in groups rotating around 5 activities, including looking through a telescope. We have been privileged to have astronomers from Warwick University join us for the evening to share their knowledge with the children too.
Our Science curriculum is designed to ensure that our children learn through practical, creative interaction and investigation of their immediate environment and beyond. In addition, our children develop a clear understanding of factors leading to a safe and healthy lifestyle for their future.
All children are given opportunities to develop thinking and questioning skills and gain knowledge through a strong emphasis on Scientific Enquiry, set in the context of key life skills. Children are motivated and have frequent opportunities to question, plan, predict, measure and record in a variety of contexts. Scientific understanding and application are reinforced across the curriculum.
There is an effective balance between acquiring skills and applying them. Through their experiences, children are confident in making judgements, identifying patterns and evaluating their learning. The Science curriculum at Whitehouse Common ensures that our children understand the worldwide significance of major scientific innovations, and the contribution Science makes through its impact on technology, business, medicine and our planet.
Our science lessons teach an understanding of natural phenomena. They aim to stimulate a child’s curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way they do. It teaches methods of enquiry and investigation to stimulate creative thought. Children learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way science will affect their future on a personal, national, and global level.
The acquisitions of Science skills are set within the context of key skills for learning which is included within planning. The Scientific skills taught are:
• Planning and questioning
• Observing and measuring
• Presenting evidence
• Considering evidence and evaluating
The development of these skills is promoted through opportunities to apply and develop communication skills, the application of mathematical skills, information technology skills, the ability to work with others; problem solving and improving own learning and performance.
Key Stage One
In Key Stage 1 children will observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and physical processes and occurrences. They will begin to work collaboratively to collect evidence, which will help them to answer questions. They will record work, including the use of simple charts and tables where appropriate, and make measurements. They will begin to make comparisons, evaluate outcomes and evidence, and judge whether tests are fair. They find out more about scientific ideas through the use of ICT and reference materials. Children share ideas and communicate using scientific language. By the end of Key Stage 1, children begin to think about the positive and negative effects of scientific development on the environment.
Key Stage Two
In Key Stage 2 children will learn about a wide range of living things, materials and processes. They will begin to link ideas based on evidence. They will apply knowledge and skills to answer questions linked to everyday things and personal well being. Children will carry out systematic investigations independently and collaboratively. They will use ICT and a range of reference sources to support their work. They will communicate ideas and conclusions using a variety of recording methods. Children will consider positive and negative impacts of scientific progress on the environment, and explore sustainable alternatives to present sources of energy.