Science at Grove Park Primary School
We are incredibly proud of our creative and contextualised approach to teaching at Grove Park. Rich curricula activities form part of our core curriculum whereby pupils contextualise their learning through educational visits, residential visits and many school visitors. To place learning in context enriches and enthuses children to understand why and what they are learning. This approach is central to our Science teaching too.
We believe, in line with the National Curriculum 2014, that a high quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world and that through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, children should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. Through our creative and exciting approach to teaching Science we want to tap into children’s natural and innate curiosity about the living world by simply allowing them to investigate and by encouraging them to ask questions about the real world.
Children in the Infants take part in Forest School, which we have recently developed and it is now called ‘Science in the Natural World’. This is led by one of our class teachers and is a unique part of our curriculum offer at Grove Park. Children in Year 1 and 2 take part in these exciting outdoor sessions on a fortnightly basis.
We always aim for learning to be contextualised and meaningful at Grove Park and therefore teachers plan a wealth of talks, visits and workshops to make science relevant, exciting and meaningful. We invite parents in to come and speak to the children about their jobs (e.g. opticians and audiologists). Students from local secondary schools come and work with our children on science experiments and our children make visits to Kew gardens, the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, Perivale Forest School, the urban farm and Chiswick House and Gardens.
Science is our natural world— sun, moon and stars…lands and oceans…weather, natural disasters, the diversity of nature, animals (large, small, microbial)…plants and food…the fuel that heats our homes and powers transportation…The list is almost endless. In today’s world, technology means computers and smartphones, but it goes back to television, radio, microscopes, telegraph, telescopes, the compass, and even the first wheel. Indeed, engineering designs buildings, roads, and bridges, but it also tackles today’s challenges of transportation, global warming and environment-friendly machines, appliances and systems. We only have to look around to see what improvements to our lives and our homes have been engineered in the last decade alone.
At Grove Park, we believe that in order for children to achieve well in science, they must not only acquire the necessary knowledge, but also understand its value, enjoy the experience of working scientifically, and sustain their interest in learning it. We hope that because of their experience of Science at primary school, our children are more likely to continue to study science and use that learning for work, for family, and to contribute as informed citizens.
In 2016 – 2017, we chose Science as an area for our School Development Plan (SDP) to show our commitment to the subject and its importance in the children’s lives as well as the curriculum. Our aims were for children to: explore the natural world, gain a greater understanding of famous scientists and their influence on the world; participate in, explore and design a range of experiments. Staff will also take part in training sessions throughout the year.
Alongside our teaching of the required National Curriculum topics throughout the year, we are also holding a Science Week in March 2017 to coincide with British Science Week. The theme of the week nationally is ‘Change’ and this links really well with our SDP theme of The Natural World. The theme of ‘Change’ is to encourage children to think about and investigate the changes happening in the world around us and it is also a chance for young people to consider the changes they can enact to have a positive impact on the future.
During the week the children are going to take part in workshops about bees, amphibians and ecosystems and they are also going to be learning about plant growth. Every child is going to be planting and nurturing a vegetable seed as part of the ‘You Grow They Grow’ scheme linked with Project Hope.
Teachers are aiming to make the theme of ‘Change’ cross-curricular too: for example Year 2 are going to be carrying our experiments linked with confectionery as they are studying ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ in English.
Please see below a gallery of photos showing our fantastic, interactive Science lessons: