In science, our pupils are encouraged to be open- minded and to try and make sense of what they see and find out.
The main focus of our approach is through open-ended activities, giving our children opportunities to lead their own learning whilst encouraging them to recognize the need for fair testing. Specific skills of observing, predicting, hypothesising, recording and drawing conclusions are developed through Science.
We believe that the teaching of science develops an interest and curiosity in the world in which our children live, and fosters in them a respect for the environment. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes and that science promotes communication in a specific and precise language involving mathematical and logical thinking. It also allows children to develop ways of finding out for themselves and gives them practice in problem solving. Science fosters a healthy curiosity about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. It allows children to develop original ideas and a questioning attitude.
Science is delivered through a variety of approaches. In Foundation Stage, Science is taught through a highly interactive and play orientated approach. An Investigative Area, which changes regularly, allows children independently or in groups to access various activities and resources. Group and independent activities are developed as the children grow in maturity and independence. Moving into KS1, Science is still very practical and discussion based and resources such as Big Books and online investigations are used. This flexible approach continues through Key Stage 1 and 2. Children are initially supported in their investigational work and in particular their ability to record information in numerical and written forms. Data handling skills and other cross-curricular links occur in other subject areas and reinforce/consolidate specific Science learning.
Real life application such as watching seeds grow, and chicks and butterflies hatch add awe and wonder; it teaches children how to care for living things and gives children a context for their learning.
Design and technology prepares children to take part in the development of tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. Creative thinking encourages children to make positive changes to their quality of life. Through DT we encourage children to become autonomous and creative problem-solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team. This enables them to identify needs and opportunities and to respond by developing ideas, and eventually making products and systems.
Prior to design there is discussion of the problem, scope for research and identification of possible solutions. Testing, modification and evaluation of the solution is an important part of the learning process. Design and Technology projects include such tasks as designing and making clocks and treasure chests as part of our exciting Peter Pan topic, and a 2m high Jabberwocky as part of our wonderful Mad Hatters Tea Party project.
In the EYFS, Design and Technology is taught through a highly interactive and play orientated approach. Technology at this early stage is based on children experimenting with different materials and construction sets in order to learn how they function.
Throughout Key Stages 1 and 2, Design and Technology draws upon knowledge and skills from other curriculum areas, particularly Mathematics, Science and Art. It can contribute to problem solving, communication and ICT skills. We feel Technology is of most significance for children when it is taught in a familiar context. Many topics covering other subjects give ample opportunities for DT work, which cover the National Curriculum objectives, and are taught in a cross curricular and very creative way. For example, our Kite Making Day gave the opportunity to learn about shape, measure, symmetry, air resistance and gravity. It engaged parents and motivated children.
Staff have supported Phil McElwee in delivering Parental Engagement (AFA) training in DT at another LA school and our cross curricular DT work was an area of the Creative Partnerships Programme which successfully focussed on pupil engagement.
“We asked staff and children at Dormanstown Primary Academy to showcase their work at the Institute of Digital Innovation, Teesside University. Around 100 people attended the showcase, many of whom went on to be CP schools or creative practitioners…We owed a great deal of this success to the high quality partnerships and programmes developed with schools like Dormanstown Primary Academy.”
Sally Fixter, Creative Partnerships Leader