At Orchard Park it is our intention to develop a lifelong curiosity and interest in the sciences for all of our pupils, fostering a passion for scientific enquiry. We believe that a high quality science education provides the foundations for scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics while also integrating STEM practical activities. It is this knowledge that will equip the children with the ability to understand the uses and implications of science, today and into the future. Being in such close proximity to the Cambridge Science Park allows the children at Orchard Park many opportunities to experience science in the wider world first-hand, opening their minds to future career opportunities and helping to prepare them for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world. Children also learn about key individual scientists and inventors from a range of ethnicities, backgrounds and genders throughout their time in the school to allow them opportunities to identify with the people they study.
Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and to develop a sense of excitement and inquisitiveness about natural phenomena. Children understand that everything around them, everything that they experience on a daily basis and the world that we live in can all be related to science. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave and analyse causes. Our intention is that children should have the opportunity, wherever possible, to learn through varied systematic investigations drawing upon skills from all areas of the curriculum, enabling them to explore asking and answering scientific questions about the world around them whilst building their skills when working scientifically.
Teachers at Orchard Park create a positive attitude to science learning and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science.
Planning for science is a process in which all teachers are involved to ensure that the school gives full coverage of ‘The National Curriculum programmes of study for Science 2014’ and ‘Understanding of the World’ in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Science is taught every week throughout all year groups with the aim of Key Stage 2 allowing for two hours of teaching time. In order for this to happen, science is cross-curricular and linked to class topics, where possible, while also being taught as discrete units and lessons where needed to ensure coverage. Science units are taught on a year rolling programme and this, along with ensuring high standards of teaching and learning ensures implementation of a progressive science curriculum. Science teaching at Orchard Park involves adapting and extending the curriculum to match all pupils’ needs. Teachers plan to suit their children’s interests, current events, their own teaching style, the use of any support staff or other adults and the resources available.
During science lessons, children are encouraged to reflect on previous learning and build on their prior knowledge. This allows them to link ideas together, while also enabling them to question and become inquisitive enquiry based learners. We aim to encourage open mindedness, self-assessment and perseverance, and develop the skills of investigation – including: observing, measuring, predicting, hypothesising, experimenting, communicating, interpreting, explaining and evaluating.
Children use a range of resources throughout lessons to aid both their subject understanding, and their understanding of working scientifically. They are immersed in scientific vocabulary, which aids children’s knowledge and understanding not only of the topic they are studying, but of the world around them.
The successful approach at Orchard Park results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. Children develop a rich vocabulary which enables them articulate their understanding of taught concepts, and have the ability to: question ideas and reflect on knowledge; work collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment; and are able to explain the process they have taken and can reason scientifically.
Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them. Frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom is embedded throughout the science curriculum. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts and local charities, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Children learn the possibilities for careers in science, as a result of our community links and connections with national agencies such as the STEM association, Cambridge Science Park, Cambridge Science Centre and Astra Zeneca, ensuring that children have access to positive role models within the field of science from the immediate and wider local community. From this exposure to a range of different scientists from various backgrounds, all children feel they are scientists and capable of achieving. Children at Orchard Park overwhelmingly enjoy science and this results in motivated learners with sound scientific understanding.