Science is the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world, through observation and experimentation. It is an invaluable source of knowledge to enable us to understand the world around us and the teaching of science should foster a real sense of ‘wonder’.
This will be achieved through asking relevant questions; observing closely, including following a systematic approach; using a range of equipment, taking accurate measurements, gathering and recording information, classifying and presenting the data acquired; recording findings using scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts and tables; reporting on findings through oral and written explanations, including displays or presentations of results and conclusions; by making predictions for new results based on evidence already gathered or known; by identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes and by using scientific evidence to answer questions.
The science curriculum is covered in all year groups in KS1 and KS2 and through exploring the world in the Foundation Stage.
In the Foundation Stage and early stages of KS1, this is achieved greatly through play, exploring different materials, through construction; and the use of a wide range of hands on resources, which allow the pupils to explore the world around them. Within strand 1, this encompasses a high proportion of experimental play and making and doing; developing into an increasing role played by the adult through facilitation and interaction.
Pupils in KS1 should be encouraged to explore the world around them and raise their own questions. They experience different types of scientific enquiries, including practical activities and they should recognise ways in which they might answer scientific questions. This can be achieved through experimentation and observation and through the use of simple secondary resources. Measuring skills are developed, using simple apparatus, in order to gather data. With help, they record and communicate their findings in a variety of ways and begin to use simple scientific language.
Pupils in KS2, experience a wider range of scientific experiences than in the previous phases so that they can raise their own questions. They develop increasing independence when making decisions on the appropriate type of enquiry they might choose to answer questions. They develop skills of observation when looking at naturally occurring patterns and relationships in science. They decide on the types of observations and the length of time required. They experience new equipment to support observations and measurements. They increasingly, as they go through the key stage, draw simple conclusions and answer questions arising from the data. They develop the ability to ask new questions based on their findings. The use of secondary resources, to support answers gained through experimentation and observation, become more important toward the end of the key stage.