At Wootton Bassett Infants’ School we teach science through the aspect of Understanding the World in EYFS which lead to early learning goals at the end of the Year. For Year 1 and Year 2, we teach science through the National Curriculum Programme of Study for Key Stage 1.
Each topic begins with a Big Question to promote scientific thinking and enquiry. The Big Questions are displayed in the classrooms and the children work towards answering the question through structured first hand and practical activities and investigations. Science learning is supported by both fiction and non -fiction texts appropriate for each topic.
Scientific language is displayed alongside the children’s work and the children are encouraged to answer questions in stem sentences using the appropriate language. Recording their learning is often through photographs with some written evidence, especially in Year 2. EYFS record scientific experiences in a book of wonder.
The EYFS framework is structured very differently to the national curriculum as it is organised across seven areas of learning rather than subject areas. The most relevant statements for science are taken from the following areas of learning:
• Communication and Language.
• Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
• Understanding the World.
Children develop their skills of observation, prediction, investigation and discussion which come in useful not only in science but in subjects like history, geography and computing.
Children will experience using materials to build, explore plants and how they grow, look at how animals and humans look and change. They will engage in water and sand play to aid their understanding of scientific aspects. Teachers will also make sure scientific vocabulary is displayed when engaging in a science activity. When asked about their topics, reception children said they enjoyed learning about animals and going on hunts around the school for wildlife.
In Key Stage 1, children are taught the National Curriculum through specific science topics linked to the programmes of study but teachers endeavour to link Science learning within their topic for that term if possible. For example, in Year 1, the topic ‘Out of this World’ space topic links to Everyday Materials. The children can identify and name materials that could be used on a rocket or on an astronaut suit. In Year 2, the topic ‘Roald Dahl’ allows them to explore which materials would be the most appropriate for building a palace and why building a palace out of chocolate would be a bad idea.
Lessons are planned using a progression of activities developed from Collins Connect, Hamilton Trust and Twinkl science planning to create a bespoke science curriculum. This works within our school because it shows progression through Year 1 and 2 and allows ambitious and exploratory learning. To engage more scientific enquiry, teachers are able to plan investigations that challenge the children’s thinking and understanding.
Science Week is planned during the school year allowing children to use their enquiry skills to explore an area of science, that we link to other areas of the curriculum through a key text or idea.