‘Science is the process that takes us from confusion to understanding’ Brian Greene
At Highgate, we want to equip children with the foundation for understanding the world through a scientific lens. We want to provide pupils with an excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena now and in the future. We want to prepare them for the future as science can change our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity.
The knowledge in our curriculum has been carefully selected as the sequencing of knowledge and concepts to ensure learning builds. As children work through our science curriculum they will know more about fascinating content such as the inner workings of the human body, animals and the environments they live in, plants and their features, forces in nature, what lies beyond the visible and what lies beyond the planet we live on. Pupils will encounter people who have made significant contributions to the field of science such as Helen Keller and Lewis Howard Latimer. A good scientific understanding relies on both foundations of knowledge and enquiry skills. The knowledge is broken into small manageable chunks which avoids overworking the working memory. This allows children to understand the key components. There are strong links with other subjects such as Earth Science and Seasons in Geography. The structure of the curriculum allows pupils to deepen their knowledge and be encouraged to develop curiosity by asking questions.
We teach our children the substantive knowledge, the core facts and concepts of the curriculum, alongside the disciplinary knowledge – working as scientifically. They are weaved together. We believe it is important to teach the knowledge first and then use that knowledge to work scientifically.
The disciplinary concepts or the big ideas of science are weaved throughout the lessons: observation, patter seeking, identifying, classifying and grouping, comparative and fair testing. They are taught and developed over time through investigations and making connections. Through this type of teaching children will become more skilled in answering question such as; Do all flowers have five petals? Which shoes have the best grip? When is the bulb the brightest? What is the chemical symbol for water? Why is a polar bear best suited to living in the Artic? Children will gain an understanding of what scientists do, how they investigate a theory or how they might set out an experiment.
Our science curriculum is inclusive and accessible for all children. We have the same level of ambition and expectations for all children. When necessary we adapt out teaching approaches to suit the different needs of the learners in our school. This could be how the children record their word, whether they need smaller chunks of information or how they access reading sources. We allow multiple opportunities to secure and build on all children knowledge and understanding as subject content is revisited. This allows teachers to identify the gaps and look back at previous content in order to close gaps and consolidate prior learning. This allows all children to develop a secure understanding of each key block of knowledge.
At Highgate, we will develop skilled scientists who have knowledge of the world and beyond, nature and animals as well as how things work. We want to prepare children for the future by having the knowledge and skills of science that they need to succeed in life and for future learning and employment. We have found that providing children with powerful about the world around them helps them to develop a love for science and also recognise the key role that science has in the sustainability of the Earth. We want them to go forth into their secondary education with curiosity, passion and a desire for discovery. Highgate wants to inspire them to become the next generation of doctors, forensic scientists and microbiologists but most of all to care about our world.