At Whitmore Park, scientific enquiry is put at the heart of science learning such that scientific knowledge is frequently taught within the context of an investigation. This hands on approach to science education helps to engage the children and provide them with learning experiences that are more meaningful, making the understanding of scientific ideas easier to grasp.
The aim is to help children become curious about the world around them so that they never stop questioning why things happen, which is a fundamental skill required in the learning process. We also aim to develop analytical skills where children have to interpret and evaluate information. These are important transferable skills across the curriculum and will also enable our children to become scientifically literate individuals able to make educated choices in the future.
In KS1 children are given opportunities to investigate using simple equipment and tests and to use their observations to suggest answers to questions. As well as these core scientific enquiry skills children are taught to identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of animals and plants and what they require for survival. They also explore materials and their properties and start to make judgements upon suitable materials to use. When conditions allow field work is carried out exploring the habitats of living things and linking this to how living things rely upon one another.
Scientific enquiry skills are built upon by getting children to start to think about planning their investigations. A more systematic approach to collecting information is taught as well as a wider variety of ways of presenting information. The importance of using evidence to support findings is also emphasised. Work on the understanding of plant and animal structure continues in Biology, but to a greater level of detail. Physics areas are taught for the first time, focussing on the fundamentals of forces, light, electricity and sound. Chemistry is advanced by looking at the properties of rocks and soils and investigating how materials can change between states.
During Years 5 and 6 there is a much greater emphasis on children independently making decisions about scientific enquiry such that they should be able to plan comparative tests for themselves. Investigative work will become more accurate and involve a wider variety of scientific equipment. More complex ways of presenting information are taught and the use of scientific ideas to help in explaining evidence collected is instilled. The careful evaluation of both primary and secondary information is taught, such that children learn to make informed choices about the quality of evidence. Biological knowledge is furthered through looking at animal life cycles, the classicisation of living things, a detailed study of the circulatory system and an introduction to evolution and inheritance. Chemistry is progressed by looking at more complex properties of materials and exploring how changes can be reversible or irreversible. In Physics forces that speed and slow objects are covered with the understanding of gravity also having a central role in the Earth and Space topic. Both light and electricity are also explored in greater detail such that children will be able to explain how we see objects and construct series circuits.
“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.”
Edwin Powell Hubble
Science is going well when...
We are all actively engaged
We use our environment
We are asking and answering questions
We do experiments to find out things we did not know
We work together to share ideas
We are exploring
We have fun and interesting activities to help us discover
We are excited and inspired by our learning
Year 6 for part of the summer term were learning about evolution and inheritance as part of this learning we invited a zoologist (Jules Howard) into share fossils and tell us more about them. Children were very enthusiastic about the tasks given and used their previous learning to support their responses. Jules also commented on how fantastic the children’s questioning was.
The theme: exploration and discovery
Pupils took part in a STEM project and learned about Coventry’s heritage of design and engineering. The Lanchester archive brought 2 cars to our school for pupils to compare. They had a wonderful day, designing cars for the futures and learning about flight.
“Such a brilliant day at Whitmore Park with so many keen inventors and engineers making gliders, researching history and designing cars inspired by a unique 1920s Lanchester car and a modern electric vehicle - thanks for making us so welcome! #lovelanchester”