Science from 3 to 11
- We believe that scientific understanding develops gradually from a wide range of experience.
- It is reinforced by doing and discussing.
- Pupils need to experience each event, not just once, but often enough to be able to predict what will happen.
- They need to experiment until they are confident that they know how to make it happen.
- They need to understand the vocabulary that describes it and they need to use this in describing their experience in detail.
This rich experience, confidence, experimentation and vocabulary forms the core of the children’s learning up to the age of 11.
Science from 11 to 14
- Scientific understanding is not just a body of knowledge but a way of thinking about a problem.
- Understanding evolves by asking a clear question, predicting a possible outcome, planning a way of testing it fairly and logically analysing and evaluating the evidence.
- Things which are too small or fast to see, or too large to comprehend can often be compared with a simple model. Experimenting with a model may suggest more about the original and understanding grows.
Science in Years 7 and 8 revisits earlier topics but the emphasis is now on developing concepts which helps to explain why things happen. Pupils learn to read instruments with increasing accuracy; they improve graph skills and use these to draw conclusions. They begin to use their imaginations to explore possible explanations.