Purpose and Aims
A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
- To work scientifically
- To understand plants
- To understand animals and humans
- To investigate living things
- To understand evolution and inheritance
- To investigate materials
- To understand movement, forces and magnets
- To understand light and seeing
- To investigate sound and hearing
- To understand electrical circuits
- To understand the Earth’s movement in space
Our curriculum is categorised in 2 ways
- Breadth - which gives pupils experiences of thinking independently, raising questions and working scientifically and the knowledge and skills that it brings across biology, chemistry and physics with a termly focus on planning skills, data analysis skills and evaluation skills (in line with the Empiribox scheme of work).
- Depth - which helps pupils to think and act like scientists
Whilst coverage is our goal for the “breadth” element, repetition and increasing the understanding via mastery learning is our goal for the “depth” element.
Our curriculum drivers shape our approach to teaching science so that every opportunity is taken to relate science to the needs of our pupils. Science is studied weekly in both Key Stages (one session per week in KS1 and two sessions per week in KS2) and cross curricular links and Learning Outside the Classroom are incorporated where possible and meaningful. The Empiribox scheme ensures that children experience hands on science every week, developing awe and wonder which engages and motivates all pupils.
Progression and Assessment
Our progression has eleven key objectives which mirror the eleven aims of the subject. We set out our expectations around the Empiribox approach. Children across each Key Stage study the same topic each term but at different levels to meet the needs of each child. We use the Chris Quigley three cognitive domains to ensure each child receives the right support and challenge: Basic (We call it Paddling), Advancing (we call it Snorkelling) and Deep (we call it Diving). It is expected that the vast majority of pupils will have an Advancing understanding by the end of the milestone (KS1, Lower KS2 and Upper KS2) and some will have a Deep understanding.
Assessment and reporting
We will assess the pupil’s depth of understanding each term using the Empiribox tracking system and will use this data to forecast whether pupils are on track to meet our curriculum expectations for the end of the Key Stage.
3D Solar Systems, Year 6, January 2019
This week the children have been creating their own 3D solar systems, learning about the relative temperatures and features of each planet. They have also been conducting their own independent research on aspects of the solar system that interest them.
Key Stage 2 Solar System, January 2019
This week children across KS2 have been exploring the solar system as part of our new science topic - Space, Light and Shadows. In particular our young scientists have been learning to describe the position and relationship between the planets. A range of exciting hands on activities have taken place throughout the Key Stage, including creating scale models of the solar system in the playground using string and chalk with a ratio of 1: 1 million. Even with this ratio, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune couldn't fit in our playground so the children estimated where in Harpenden town centre the planets might sit! Super scientific exploration Year Six!
Year 1 - Form to Fork, January 2019
Learning where our breakfast comes from and designing a healthy menu
Teacher Training, 4th December 2018
On Tuesday KS2 teachers spent a couple of hours after school training for next term’s science topic: light and space. We tried out many of the exciting experiments and stretched our brains thinking about orbits and rotations. We cannot wait to get started in January and have a super exciting while Key Stage 2 science trip planned for the middle of science week in March. Watch this SPACE!
Year 5, Dahl Class, Continents Separating, October 2018
“I’m really enjoying science because of all the experiments we are doing, particularly the bread and soup to show how continents separated.”
Natural History Museum
In April 2018 Year Six spent the day deepening their knowledge and understanding of evolution at the Natural History Museum. They explored what has evolved over the past few hundred million years, how it has evolved and why by participating in a range of fun activities and games. The children were so excited to see Mary Anning’s fossils up close, not to mention a series of skulls showing how humans evolved over the past five million years to carry larger brains! The Galapogas finches beak game was also lots of fun!
A group of our talented Year 6 mathematicians attend the Royal Institute Maths Masterclasses every term. One of these sessions was about the maths and science behind rainbows. The children were so fascinated and amazed by what they learnt that they led an assembly on the topic the very next day for the whole school and parents.
Year 6 Circulatory system drama in the playgound
Year six used the playground and play equipment to create a drama to show how the circulatory system works - showing the blood pumping through the lungs to be oxygenated then travelling via the heart to the rest of the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients through the semi permeable membranes of the capillaries! It was wonderful to see the imaginative ways the children chose to represent the process and the scientific language they used to narrate their drama. Not to mention the super humour used in one group which had us all in hysterics as the lungs sent the blood cells ‘off to work’ with their packed lunches!
Year Six Heart Dissection
Which material is Waterproof? Which material is absorbent?
Rothamsted Research 175th Anniversary Celebrations 2018
This year, Rothamsted Research, who at the heart of Harpenden and one of the largest science employers in Hertfordshire, is 175.
The children got to experience the festival’s insect and grassland zones, and go on a trailer ride of the farm. There was a treasure trove of exhibits and activities that shared the stories of Rothamsted’s incredible heritage and its role in the landmark discoveries in science, from the evolution of fertilisers to the search for kinder pesticides. The children experienced some of the technological transformations underway, as farming meets sensors, meets robotics.
Affinity Water and Mad Science
We had a wonderful assembly this morning provided by Affinity Water and Mad Science. The children had great fun and learned easy and simple ways to save water around their homes. The presenters were energetic and brilliant with the children and the children enjoyed the interactive experiments explaining the water cycle and how we recycle water.
Year 5 Trip to the National History Museum
We went to learn about Earthquakes and Volcanoes, we explored the museum section about Earthquakes and Volcanoes. We watched an Earthquake and Volcanoes show. We used seismographs which show when an Earthquake is happening. We also helped to evacuate a town which was about to be destroyed by a volcanic eruption.We created lava and watched how slowly it can run and how quickly it sets. Finally we had some free time to enjoy other parts of the museum. We had a fab day!
Science Week - Reception Class
Reception have had a wonderful week exploring their senses. They have been looking at how we can change the state of foods. They have made jelly and discussed dissolving and setting it. Ladybird class have made butter out of double cream by shaking and whisking. They have explored different tastes such as jelly, salty popcorn, lemon and butter.
Elmer class were making predictions and testing what would happen to skittles once water was added. They were also looking at colour combinations.
Is it a solid or a liquid?
Elmer class mixed cornflour and water to make gloop! They had lots of fun exploring the gloop and discussed if it was a solid or a liquid?
Science Week - Year 1/2 Aslan Class
A tree hunt looking for deciduous and evergreen trees.
|We looked at the density of different liquids and made lava lamps.|
We designed and made models using marshmallows and spaghetti. We based our designs around buildings and looked at the structure needed to make it stable.
We set up an experiment to investigate how clean our hands really were! We observed over time what happened to our bread.
Science Week - Year 3/Year 5
Year 3 have been designing a system to transport tomatoes from the top of a mountain in Nepal to the market town at the base of the mountain. They used the following resources: spaghetti, cups, string, Lego, sellotape and glue.
Year 5 have had tremendous fun this week and applied their science knowledge to the following challenges:
- To build the tallest tower using only paper and glue. The tower needs to stand up with out any additional support
- To build the strongest bridge out of straw and sellotape. The bridge needs to support the weight of a car.
- Dissecting plants
Science Week - Year 6, Shakespeare Class
- Building towers with spaghetti and marshmallows using our understanding of gravity
- Darwin Galapagos Island finches experiment - we used different 'beaks' to find out which type was the most effective for collecting food. We discovered that the best beak depended on the type of food which is why finches adapted over time to have different beaks depending on their habitat and diet.
- Daily discussion of science in the news: from glow in the dark mice to how many jaffa cakes it would take to fuel a house!
- Ocean grabber - we invented ways to improve an ocean grabber which could be used to explore new ocean life (linked to our imagination value)
Melting Point of Ice
Looking at how salt lowers the melting point of ice.
Lydekker Park - Year 6 Shakespeare Class
Yesterday Year 6 spent the afternoon at Lydekker park investigating, observing, sketching and classifying leaves. It was wonderful to see our Shakespeare scientists observing carefully and asking thoughtful questions about the plants. Who knew there was such a variety of leaves in such a small space?
Year 6 Scientists
This week our Year 6 scientists have been developing their observation and classification skills by creating branching keys for a range of sweet treats. Inspired by Carl Linneas - who devised the first classification guide for living things - some children even created Latin-sounding names for the sweets. A super science session!
Investigating asteroid collisions with Earth - Year 6
This week in science Year 6 were recreating the asteroid explosion that caused the mass extinction of the dinosaurs. They came up with lots of independent variable and dependent variable then used them to create a scientific question.
Using various sizes marbles, ball bearings, rocks, flour, icing sugar, sand and foil, they created a whole range of explosions around the playground.
Here are some of our super scientific questions:
What effect does the size of the asteroid have on the diameter of the crater?
What effect does the air pressure have on the depth of the crater?
What effect does the height of the drop have on the distance the ground moves?
What effect does the angle of the drop have on the width of the shape of the tray?
We also discussed how we could have made our investigation more reliable and agreed that carrying it our more than once as well as using the same person to drop the asteroid each time would make it more reliable.
Maybe you could ask your child to try a different scientific question at home!