Science at St John's
In God’s Love We Shine Together
“…..We aim to nurture life-long learners, able to pose questions, seek answers, think creatively and rise to a challenge. Through excellent and creative teaching that raises the esteem and ambition of all our pupils, we aim to foster a love of learning and enjoyment and enthusiasm for life…..
Each will be encouraged, challenged and inspired to fulfil his or her potential and play his or her own unique part in God’s plan…”
This is particularly apt as science is all about making sense of the world around is and how things function and inter-relate. To fully explore the nature of the world requires us to use key learning skills such as problem solving, enquiry, reasoning, creativity information processing, evaluation and communication. When planning for science activities teachers should bear these skills in mind and plan activities that nurture such skills. Learning does not take place in isolation and the social and emotional aspects of learning should also be developed through science. These attributes or aspects include self-awareness, managing feelings, motivation, empathy and social skills.
“Science stimulates and excites pupils' curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies this curiosity with knowledge. Because science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage learners at many levels. Scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling. This is a spur to critical and creative thought. Through science, pupils understand how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change - impacting on industry, business and medicine and improving quality of life. Pupils recognise the cultural significance of science and trace its worldwide development. They learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.”
Learning outside the classroom
Providing opportunities for outdoor learning is at the heart of our curriculum and we are the second school in the country to be awarded the LoTC gold mark.
Our school is fortunate to have extensive grounds and access to a local forest where expert conservationists, including members of the British Trust for Ornithology, provide a number of enriching experiences for the children, in addition to the usual activities in Forest School. These include:
- Bird ringing
- Small mammal surveys
- Planting wildflowers
- Building willow structures
- Calculating tree height
- Planting fungal spores
- Surveying and weighing earthworms and other small invertebrates
Not only do these equip the children with an excellent breadth of knowledge and enable them to work scientifically, but develop important skills, such as:
Maths: measuring, weighing, recording, Constructing and analysing data
PSHE: teamwork, perseverance, resilience, risk management, language and communication.
Teachers routinely identify opportunities to take the curriculum outdoors and these are highlighted in medium term plans. The classes plan trips and visits to support the science curriculum. Some examples include taking part in building the world’s largest bug hotel in partnership with Martin Mere, Spaceport in Liverpool, the museum of science and industry in Manchester and Chester Zoo to support the Darwin topic.
We have also had visits form parents that work in the field including a developer of 3D printing technology, CAVE (Computer augmented virtual environment) and nursing.