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Science at St. Dunstan’s

"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science."  
Edwin Powell Hubble

How we teach science at St Dunstan’s

scienceLouis PasteurAt St Dunstan’s we want science to be a learning adventure. Children are born explorers, creative thinkers and questioners – the perfect scientists.  Our aim is to allow children to build on these skills through an inspiring curriculum. Using a range of enquiries children are given the opportunity to explore, raise questions, look at key knowledge from a variety of angles, make predictions and share explanations about what they experience. They are taught how to gather their information using measurement and observations, how to record and present their findings in a range of different ways and how to analyse what they have discovered, all whilst having fun learning; “I love science because it’s a bit different and active and I get to do experiments and find out lots of things” year 6 pupil.

The National Curriculum at St Dunstan’s

Today’s world is one driven by science and technology; it has changed our lives and continues to do so. Therefore, we are required to provide children with the key concepts and knowledge on which to build. However, science learning is no longer fully focussed on just the key knowledge but also the skills of working scientifically which leads our engaging curriculum to rely heavily on scientific enquiry. The new 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.

Furthermore, by ensuring our curriculum is enquiry based this allows children to:

  • Make their own links and develop their own questions and answers.

  • Explore concepts collaboratively and practically.

Scientific Enquiry at St Dunstan’s

"Facts are not science as the dictionary is not literature." Martin H. Fisher
With enquiry, our key objective is for the children to become investigators. For the children, their key objective is to find out something they really want to know. That is why we try to ensure all of the scientific enquiries we do are child led and appeal to the children’s interests.

“I love experiments and I get to do lots in science which is good” said by both a year 2 and 5 pupil.

Examples of the types of investigations children at St. Dunstan’s get the opportunity to participate in:

  • What different food groups to animals belong to? Children have to help a zoo keeper with a big mistake!

  • What material would be best for the three little pigs to build their houses out of?

  • The older you are the faster you are- true or false?
Beginning in 2019 children in KS1 get the chance to experience a scientific enquiry day. Each class enters three different teachers ‘science labs’ to carry out a variety of investigations- all based around an engaging line of enquiry. Some examples include, ‘boys are faster than girls- true or false?’, ‘Why do we write on lined paper instead of tissue paper?’ and ‘What part of our body is the most important?’

  • What drinks are good and bad for our teeth? “I couldn’t believe orange juice was bad for my teeth. I never knew egg shells were like teeth” year 4 pupil.

  • How can we see something around a corner?

  • What makes a perfect parachute?

  • Where to woodlice like to hide?
In KS2 the older children then have the opportunity to carry out some independent science work in The Science Expo. This occurs in the summer term and they create a working model to illustrate a scientific concept or complete an investigation into a specific area of science to interest of them. They then present their work to the whole school and their parents.

The outdoor classroom

“We get to observe all of the flowers in our science garden and draw exactly what we see” year 1.

The school grounds at St. Dunstan’s are a wonderful natural resource which include a pond and a woodland habitat. This allows the children to really immerse themselves into the natural sciences from the younger children finding mini beasts to the older children exploring their shadows and why they move.Held each summer term the pupils of the Upper School create a working model to illustrate a scientific concept or complete an investigation into a specific area of science of interest to them. The whole school and parents of the Upper School pupils, visit the exhibition to ask questions, watch demonstrations and learn about a wide range of exciting science themes.

Learning outdoors:

The school grounds at St. Dunstan’s are a wonderful natural resource and the outdoor classroom with pond and woodland habitat provides a valuable learning resource for the natural sciences. “The most interesting thing I learnt was looking at the artefacts because it was fun thinking about what they could be.”

Additionally, we use our residential visits to deepen our science learning.

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St. Dunstan's Catholic Primary School, Onslow Crescent, Woking, Surrey. GU22 7AX  Tel: 01483 715190 
email: office@stdunstans.surrey.sch.uk