A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
Science is a collaborative and creative human endeavour arising from our desire to understand the world around us and the wider universe. Essentially, it is curiosity in thoughtful and deliberate action. Learning science through inquiry enables students to ask more questions, and to develop and evaluate explanations of events and phenomena they encounter.
Developing scientific literacy is important to social development. As part of this process children develop the competence and confidence needed to meet the opportunities and challenges of employment, further education and life. The wider benefits of scientific literacy are well established, including giving children the capacity to make contributions to political, social and cultural life as thoughtful and active citizens who appreciate the cultural and ethical values of science. This supports children to make informed decisions about many of the local, national and global challenges and opportunities they will be presented with as they live and work in a world increasingly shaped by scientists and their work.
Science is not just a tidy package of knowledge, nor is it a step-by-step approach to discovery. Nonetheless, science is able to promote the development of analytical thinking skills such as problem-solving, reasoning, and decision-making. Learning science can afford students opportunities to build on their learning of primary science and to activate intuitive knowledge to generate, explore and refine solutions for solving problems. As children develop their investigative skills, they will be encouraged to examine scientific evidence from their own experiments and draw justifiable conclusions based on the actual evidence. In reviewing and evaluating their own and others’ scientific evidence and data, they will learn to identify limitations and improvements in their investigations. This collaborative approach will increase children’ motivation, and provide opportunities for working in groups to develop the key skills of co-operation and respect.
In addition to its practical applications, learning science is a rewarding enterprise in its own right. children’s natural curiosity and wonder about the world around them can be nurtured and developed through experiencing the joy of scientific discovery.
At Dr South’s we teach science in many different ways. Much of the biology curriculum is taught through practical outdoor learning, as this is a brilliant way to engage children’s natural curiosity. The science of physics is mostly taught through experiments in the classroom, and the complexities of chemistry are mostly taught through special events with outside visitors.