What is our intention?
At Applegarth Primary School, we aim to provide a high quality science education providing a foundation for understanding the world, through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Our curriculum has been designed to exploit the interconnectivity of science to subjects such as maths, computing and Design Technology and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena through the essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. We focus on these areas together not only because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success, but also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the real world and in how students learn most effectively. For us, science is given the profile it deserves as we recognise how science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Children are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. We ensure that our children develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding, develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science and understand the uses and implications of science.
Science and the local context
Providing our children with first-hand experiences, which are at their fingertips, is threaded throughout our science curriculum. The pupils at Applegarth Primary School are taught to appreciate local environments, heritage, ecosystems and landscapes, recognising what is important in North Yorkshire. At Key Stage 1, most of the learning is done through the use of first-hand practical experiences alongside some use of secondary sources. Visits to local woodland during Forest School sessions and Runswick Bay in ‘Coastlines’ ensure children have first-hand experiences of nature at their finger-tips. Northallerton is surrounded by agriculture and farmland and we celebrate this fact by inviting local farmers into the school to talk about their work and visiting the livestock market at the Auction Mart opposite the school. At Key Stage 2, the focus of science teaching is to enable pupils to broaden the view of the world around them through the exploration of and the development of ideas about everyday phenomena and the functions, relationships and interactions between living things and their familiar environments.
Science and becoming local, national and global citizens
Our science curriculum provides children with opportunities to develop an appreciation of habitats for British wildlife and the need to conserve woodland and natural environments; for example through Forest School sessions and during our Enchanted Woodland topic. At Key Stage 2, our curriculum inspires children to work in STEM related careers by offering a range of STEM initiatives. Scientific innovation is taught through Imaginative Learning Projects and educational visits to places such as the Yorkshire Dales, Cleveland Mining Museum, Carlton Lodge (Y5 residential) and RobinWood (Y6 residential) are additional opportunities for enrichment as are visits from inspirational STEM speakers. Examples include both male and female engineers, dentists, doctors, kidney specialists and paramedics. Celebrating the achievements of a diverse range of scientists ensures our children know that the stereotypical beliefs about scientists are a ‘thing of the past’.
Science and wellbeing & happy minds
Through a mindful approach to teaching science, we aim to ensure that our learners become resilient and recognise that ‘marvellous mistakes’ and trial and error approaches are part of the learning process. Our curriculum offers opportunities where children with specific interests in science can coach others and share their knowledge and skills, thus building confidence and self-esteem. In line with the national curriculum, we want our children to develop a secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts in order to progress to the next stage. Throughout their time at Applegarth School, we support out children by ensuring they build up an extensive specialist vocabulary in science and use different contexts to maximise their engagement with and motivation to study science. This minimises the struggle some children may have at times of transition; for example to secondary school. In keeping with our Applegarth values, we ensure that our science curriculum celebrates success while developing reflective learners.
Additional Home Learning Support
STEM Learning have produced Starters for Science which are suitable for home learning and can be used in addition to the work set on Developing Experts. Please click on your child’s year group below to be taken to the relevant resources.