Our vision is to provide children with a curriculum which sparks wonder and curiosity. We want to inspire the scientists of the future!
At St. Joseph’s, our intent is to give every child a broad and balanced Science curriculum which enables them to confidently explore and discover what is around them so that they can develop a deeper understanding of the world we live in. We want to equip our children with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the Science National Curriculum but also prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. In order to achieve this, we incorporate a range of exciting, practical experiences and encourage scientific curiosity and questioning.
We have a coherently planned and sequenced curriculum which has been carefully designed and developed with the need of every child at the centre of what we do. Where possible, we strive to make meaningful links with topics taught in other subjects such as Geography and History. Our themed gardens and grounds provide a beautiful, stimulating outdoor learning environment where much of the curriculum can be enhanced through practical activities. Our specialist Environmental Tutor visits each Wednesday afternoon to provide an outdoor, nature-themed workshop to all classes on a rota basis every half term.
The Switched on Science scheme of work is used as a starting point for planning and teaching Science but we strogly endeavour to extend children’s learning by going beyond the scheme. It has investigative learning at its core and provides full coverage of the primary science programmes in a range of contexts, ensuring children have ample opportunity to develop their understanding of the topics whilst also deepening their enthusiasm for this wonderful and crucial subject.
Please click on the link below to see our Science curriculum in more detail
10th June 2022: The marvellous Dr Szydlo visits our school!
We were recently treated to a spectacular and explosive science show by the marvellous Dr Szydlo, a British chemist and chemistry teacher. In a truly unforgettable way, he taught us all about the science behind combustion, chemical changes and states of matter. It was a wonderful show and we all learned something new! Bravo!
6th June 2022: Nursery investigate exotic fruits using their senses
As Nursery started their new topic ‘A Taste of the World’ this week, they arrived to find some mysterious, exotic fruits in their classroom! They discovered that they belonged to Handa from key text Handa’s Surprise. The children investigated the fruits by using their senses and described the texture and smell of the fruit. Later in the week, they described the different tastes and voted for their favourite exotic fruit!
20th May 2022: Writing instructions and making fruit kebabs
During a busy SATs week which included lots of concentration and focus, the children in Year 2 still managed to take some time to relax and reap some yummy rewards! First, the children wrote instructions detailing how to make a fruit kebab and afterwards they got to make them. The strawberries, oranges, grapes and bananas were not only healthy but oh so delicious!
18th May 2022: Baking bread and planting sunflower seeds
With summer fast approaching, Reception thought it would be the perfect opportunity to plant some sunflower seeds in our beautiful outdoor area. The children prepared the flower beds by taking out any weeds and topping up the compost. Each child then planted their own seed. Fingers crossed we will see some growth soon!
After reading the story of The Little Red Hen this week, Reception had a go at baking some of their own bread just like the Little Red Hen. It was absolutely delicious and also a perfect afternoon snack!
4th May 2022: Young Scientists’ Conference 2022
This afternoon, some of our Year 5 pupils were lucky enough to attend the Young Scientists’ Conference which took place in the Institute of Physics! It was a fantastic, hands-on experience with lots of fun practical activities. Firstly, the children had to design an object that would ‘fall with style’ – a nod to Woody’s description of Buzz Lightyear’s efforts at flying in Toy Story. They used a range of materials including paper, sticky tape and string to support a 5 gram piece of Blu Tack as it was dropped from a height and fell to the ground. Impressively, they managed to keep it in the air for 3.5 seconds before it finally touched down.
Following this, the Year 5s delivered a presentation all about gravity and friction. They spoke clearly, confidently and articulated their scientific knowledge expertly! They also answered a range of questions from the audience with great confidence. At the end of the conference, the children received a well-deserved gift bag full of scientific goodies! Well done to all who participated!
31st March 2022: Space explorers
Year 6 had a fascinating visit from the mobile planetarium today. The children shot off from Earth in a Soyuz rocket and went on a tour of the solar system visiting planets, moons, dwarf planets as well as our very own star, the sun. We even had time to zoom past some red giants, a supernova explosion and a rather dangerous looking black hole, before making it back in plenty of time for lunch!
Reception also became space explorers as they took a trip in a space shuttle. The children had a closer look at all of the planets in the solar system before diving into one of the moon’s craters! They even met an astronaut on the International Space Station who told them about how he eats and sleeps in space. Did you know astronauts have special space pyjamas and sleeping bags?
25th March 2022: Fun in the sun at Kew Gardens
Year 2 had an amazing day out at Kew Gardens today! We travelled by bus and overground to get there and enjoyed the scenery along the way. When we got there, the children were absolutely amazed by the size of the gardens. There were so many beautiful plants, fragrant flowers and huge trees. We walked around in the glorious sunshine and had lunch then explored the greenhouses which contained tropical plants from all over the world! We really enjoyed looking at the plants as it brought our recent Science topic to life! Before travelling back to school, we relaxed by the pond and saw some geese and rather large fish!
11th March 2022: Blown away by Professor Bubbleworks!
The children (and teachers) were so amazed by the incredible science experiments Professor Bubbleworks conducted today! Following an incredibly exciting assembly, featuring fire and smoke, each class participated in a workshop for some really hands-on science fun!
The children were amazed to see hairdryers causing balls to float in the air as well as gloves enabling people to bounce bubbles without them popping… but their favourite experiment was adding glycerine to fairy liquid and using a hula hoop to create the largest bubbles we have ever seen! In fact, they were so big that two children could fit INSIDE them!
To round off this fantastic day, Professor Bubbleworks encouraged the children to consider which jobs involve science…it turns out there are many such as an astronaut, biologist, vet, doctor and lots more! Thank you for a wonderful day that has left the children so inspired and excited by science but also passionate about their future prospects involving the subject!
4th March 2022: An eggcellent week!
This week, the Nursery children really enjoyed welcoming some new members into their class. They waited patiently and hatched out some little chicks which was a fantastic experience. They also learned about the life cycle of a chicken and thought about the ways in which we can care for animals. The children enjoyed lots of hands-on time with the chicks and came up with some brilliant names such as Eggy Weggy, Chicky Wicky and Rainbow! The children were also inspired to make their own chicks using playdough with a lot of feathers. To continue the theme of caring, children role-played as vets in the water area, giving medicine to poorly ducklings.
25th November 2021: A week full of scientific experiments
This week in their Science lessons, the Year 5 children have been learning about reversible and irreversible changes. We conducted an experiment to see whether mixing vinegar and bicarbonate of soda together would be a reversible or an irreversible change. The children mixed together vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, washing up liquid and red food colouring. This caused a chemical reaction and very quickly a foamy material was formed which started to flow out of the bottles… it looked like a volcano! The children established that this was an irreversible change as a new substance had formed. It was a fantastic, practical experiment and the children learnt a lot!
Also, last week, the children built bridges using a range of different materials and this week they had a chance to complete their bridges before testing to see whether they could hold the weight of a toy car or not. The results certainly were surprising to say the least!
22nd October 2021: Pizza professionals in Year 2
To celebrate the end of our current Science topic ‘Healthy Me’, we decided to make healthy pizzas! We chose a selection of healthy ingredients including peppers, sweetcorn, low-fat cheese and mushrooms to top our pizzas. Thank you to Mr. Baxter for cooking all the delicious pizzas in our outdoor hob oven. We really enjoyed this lesson and hope that we can cook again in the future!
15th October 2021: Oreo cookies and the phases of the moon?!?!
In a rather tasty Science lesson this week, the Year 5 children were learning about the different phases of the moon and used Oreo cookies to represent the eight different phases. They seemed to disappear very quickly afterwards and we’re not quite sure where they went…
Throughout the four seasons, classes come outside to interact with and learn about our natural environment through many hands-on, practical activities, including:
- Cultivating the soil and planting a variety of bulbs, perennials, shrubs and trees.
- Sowing and growing fresh, organic food – from ‘Seed to Plate’
- Annual Sunflower growing
- Annual RSPB’s Big Schools’ Birdwatch and making bird feeders
- Exploring our Wildlife pond to learn about aquatic life and their lifecycles
- Sowing and growing wildflowers and understanding their importance as nectar rich plants for our much-needed pollinators; the Bees and Butterflies
- Creating habitats for insects, arachnids, birds and more as well as exploring hibernation
- Learning about the origins of rocks and soils and how different soils develop over time and space.
- Using Keys to classify plants and wildlife
- Using Identification sheets to discover and become more familiar with the flora and fauna visiting and living in our school grounds
- Composting, reusing, recycling and upcycling in order to reduce waste.
- Reducing Energy use and being water wise
We are also able to enhance our Topic themes outside, including:
- Using the ‘Three Sisters’ method of planting corn, beans and gourds to support our Mexico studies.
- Engaging in the ancient building technique of Wattle and Daub during our Viking and Anglo- Saxon studies
- Making and then baking ‘Viking Bread’ in our Cob Oven.
Children in all year groups gain a wealth of knowledge and experience through their nature themed workshops, and most seasonal activities can be linked to curriculum and topic learning in a variety of practical ways.
Importantly, children are able to explore their senses, learn how to care for other life forms, see and understand where and how their food grows, work as a team, harvest, prepare and eat fresh, healthy, organic school-grown produce, understand lifecycles and seasons, familiarise themselves with a variety of plants and their names, learn how to use basic gardening tools safely for a variety of planting activities, develop their creativity through their design ideas, signage for the gardens, habitat creation and more..
Links to curriculum include:
- Knowledge and understanding of the world, exploring the natural environment; classification, lifecycles, plant parts
- Caring for the world.
- Observing changes in different seasons: light levels, flowers growing, fruit and veg available, leaves budding, opening, changing colour and then falling and wildlife seen.
- Looking at creatures in the soil, exploring rocks and soil.
- Learning about and building/planting habitats for wildlife.
- Maths activities including shape and space measuring.
- PSED Personal Social and Emotional Development. Explore, calmness, encourages conversations, team work etc.
- Outdoor writing and poetry opportunities.
- Expressive arts and design – creative opportunities using natural resources.
- Speaking and listening – children often talk and converse more in a relaxed environment.
- Physical development – health and self-care.
- Children learn about healthy foods as they are able to help sow, grow and nurture them – from seed to plate.
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