Cookham Dean Science
At Cookham Dean School, we want all pupils to develop an interest and enjoyment of science. We want them to have an appreciation of the influence science has on every aspect of daily life. Through the study of physical, chemical and biological aspects of both the living and non-living world, pupils will develop the knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future. These will include understanding how to develop a healthy lifestyle, and what our impact is on both our local and wider community. Pupils will continue to deepen their respect, care and appreciation for the natural world and all its phenomena. Pupils will develop the skills associated with exploration, enquiry and recording in a scientific manner, including the critical evaluation of evidence. Through first hand experiences and other sources of information, including ICT, all children will develop the ability to record results in an appropriate way, using scientific language and vocabulary.
At Cookham Dean we believe that in order for children to develop their knowledge of a scientific ideas, and to diffuse misconceptions, they need to be provided with rich experiences facilitated by the teacher. At Cookham Dean we understand the importance of developing scientific skills as well as content knowledge, and endeavour to teach and use scientific language throughout our science lessons.
Rich Experiences and Hooks
Each science topic at Cookham Dean starts with a ‘wow’ task, providing a hook for learning. These may include introducing ‘mystery objects’, looking at close up images, reading science-based stories, discussing current events in the news, or carrying out an experiment.
At the beginning of each topic, teachers give children the opportunity to share what they already know about the topic and have them think about their own questions they would like to answer. Throughout their science learning, children are able to refer to and build on their prior knowledge and link their new ideas together. This enables them to become enquiry-based learners and to be engaged in their learning.
Learning how to work scientifically is just as important as gaining scientific knowledge. Below is a list of the different forms of enquiry taught at Cookham Dean, and which are based on the National Curriculum objectives for science:
- Planning and performing tests or fair tests
- Using secondary sources
- Identifying and classifying
- Making models
- Observing and/or measuring over time
- Asking questions and finding mean to answer them
- Analysing, evaluating and problem solving
- Gathering, recording and presenting data
Whilst working scientifically, children are taught and are encouraged to use key scientific vocabulary for their topic. This vocabulary is displayed in each classroom when a specific topic is taught, and is referred to in each science lesson. Children are expected to use this language in their writing and speaking as they draw scientific conclusions and evaluate their learning.
Resources and Equipment
At Cookham Dean we are fortunate to have a large outdoor space for children to develop their curiosity and enthusiasm of nature. Our pond area and allotment are excellent facilities for children to investigate British wildlife and plants. We also aim to have at least one outside-of-school trip per class that is science based, as well as invite outside agencies and expert visitors to school.
In the Summer Term, Cookham Dean participates in the national Science Week. The whole school takes on the theme of Science Week of the year which engages the four areas of STEM; science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Additionally, during the week, classes carry out their own child-led enquiries and experiments.
We believe, that the impact of the above curriculum design will lead to children developing a sense of excitement and curiosity about the world around them and understand how science can explain many of the natural phenomena they encounter on a daily basis.
Through questioning and a range of written, drawn, photographed and recorded evidence, teachers are able to assess the children’s understanding and progression. Formative assessments allow teachers to address misconceptions at the point of learning and move the children’s learning on.
The learning knowledge along with the scientific skills taught, will empower our pupils in making changes in the world for the better, now and in the future. Through rich experiences, opportunities to work scientifically, the continual teaching and implementation of topic – specific vocabulary and the use of additional resources, children at Cookham Dean will be able to:
- Use different types of scientific enquiry to answer questions about the world around them
- Show conceptual understanding for their age -related curriculum expectations
- Use scientifically-rich language in their written and verbal work
- Make real-life applications to their learning
- Show curiosity and enthusiasm about the teaching and learning of science.
Science Week 2019 - The Journey of Paper
This year, science week focused on where the paper we use everyday comes from and the impact that deforestation is having on our world. Each year group researched the impact that deforestation has had on our climate, on the habitats of a number of different species and on the worlds water cycle.