Science at Westminster
Lead: Mrs Debbie Powell
“The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he’s one who asks the right questions.” ― Claude Levi-Strauss
At Westminster, we aim to provide a varied and interesting curriculum for our children. We work hard to ensure that we plan for cross-curricular links within our science lessons. These include ICT, DT, Maths, English and Drama.
We give children the opportunity to experiment, investigate and ask questions about science.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Westminster, your child will start to gain the science knowledge that they'll build on throughout their primary school years, such as developing their skills of observation, prediction, critical thinking and discussion. We do this through three main areas of the curriculum: ‘Understanding the World’, ‘Physical Development’ and ‘Communication and Language’. Children’s progress and achievements are assessed against the Early Learning Goals at the end of reception. The activities are planned in a cross curricular way through topic areas that are interesting and enjoyable.
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future
In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, Science is taught discretely and with cross curricular links when possible, linked to the children's current topic.
Lessons are planned to cover the relevant key science skills and knowledge for each year group. Enquiry is an important part of the science curriculum with a particular importance placed on children working practically so that they can make discoveries for themselves and ask ‘big’ questions.
At Westminster, children are given the skills to complete an investigation and by Upper Key Stage 2, children should have the ability to plan, carry out and write up full investigations.
Children are creative, open minded, investigators and here at Westminster, we provide the time and encouragement for children to develop their scientific enquiry from the Early Years up to Year 6.
At Westminster we are very proud to work with The Ogden Trust who provide support and resources. This year we applied and have successfully become the only school on the Fylde Coast to have our very own ‘Phiz Lab’ enabling all pupils to access quality resources in a designated science learning space. The funding from this has meant we have been able to update and expand the resources available for all year group topics and also update and expand our library of books dedicated to science.
The aim is that this facility will be available to share with other schools in the area in the latter part of this academic year.
Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM)
As well as acquiring the Phiz Lab we have also this year been awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark which is awarded by University of Hertfordshire to schools who have demonstrated their commitment to excellence in science teaching and learning.
The Primary School Quality Mark programme ensures effective leadership of science, enables schools to work together to share good practice and is supported by professional development led by local experts. It encourages teacher autonomy and innovation while at the same time offering a clear framework for development in science subject leadership, teaching and learning. Schools that achieve PSQM demonstrate commitment and expertise in science leadership, teaching and learning.
After a year like no other to achieve the award and receive the following feedback confirms the commitment of everyone at Westminster to make Science a priority for our pupils.
‘Congratulations Westminster Primary Academy. What you have achieved in such a difficult year is little short of miraculous! Good luck with the on-going development of science teaching and learning.
At Westminster we try to provide the children with experiences outside the daily curriculum lessons so over the last year we have had visits from ‘Fab Science’ and the Royal Institute of Science who demonstrated science in a fun more ‘explosive’ way. We took part in British Science Week and although it was not the intended event because of lockdown restrictions all classes were provided with bags of resources that their pupils could use to investigate a range of scientific principles. Through our links with the Ogden Trust we have acquired packs of resources aimed at Years 5&6 to engage their interest in engineering projects.
Science at Home
Science is a subject that relates to our understanding of the processes of the world around us. As such, it is one of the most relevant subjects that children can engage with at home. At Westminster, we actively encourage children to continue their investigations at home, and even try some new ones. Below are some websites you might find useful to help your child learn Science at home
Primary Science www.primaryscience.ie/activities_activity_movies.php
The Artful Parent artfulparent.com/childrens-artful-science-experiments
National Geographic Kids ngkids.co.uk/
Science Activities and Experiments www.education.com/activity/kindergarten/science/
The Science Museum www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/