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Understanding and Knowledge Of The World

Science

Science in the national curriculum has the following aims, for children to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics (though not necessarily understanding these specific terms initially)
  • 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 

The science curriculum is divided into these two key areas:

1. Scientific enquiry or working scientifically - understanding how to explore and investigate all aspects of science; understanding the nature, processes and methods of science (this strand of science runs across all other specific strands)

2. Scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding on a variety of scientific themes as follows:

  • Years 1/2: plants, animals (including humans), everyday materials and their uses, seasonal changes, living things and their habitats;
  • Years 3/4: plants, animals (including humans - nutrition, skeletons, muscles), rocks and soils, states of matter, light and sound, forces and magnets, electricity, living things and their habitats
  • Years 5/6: animals (including humans - ages and stages, and evolution and inheritance), properties and changes of materials, earth in space, forces, living things and their habitats, light, electricity.

 

Our youngest children learn about Science first hand; through play activities inside and outside the classroom, and also in their regular Forest School sessions. They learn to look out for similarities and differences and patterns and change in nature. They learn to appreciate the natural world and develop an understanding of life cycles.

This is then built on through the rest of the school, as we seek to keep children naturally inquisitive and excited about the world around them, as they try to make sense of things and understanding scientific processes and principles.

We try to make our science fun by including much experimentation and first hand practical work, where children can test out their own scientific ideas and experiments.

 

Design and Technology

Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject with the following aims - to ensure children: 

  • develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently, and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world;
  • build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
  • critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  • understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook 

This area of the curriculum involves children in looking at a variety of objects and themes, being creative in coming up with their own designs, making things based on their design and evaluating their success along the way. These projects can lead children in making all kinds of wonderful things! 

 

The core process is to design, make and evaluate while learning key skills and technical knowledge. 

Design Technology (DT) projects are often linked to class topics and learning is often ‘blocked’ so that a particular project may be developed over several consecutive days.

Younger children develop their DT skills through child-initiated activities of cutting, gluing, joining and creating. They are taught to review their own work and consider ways to overcome problems they have met along the way.

Older children will work in groups, or individually, on careful development of their design ideas. They seek to apply these in a range of challenging tasks using a range of materials and processes. A significant time is given to the evaluation of what they create so that the quality of their work can be improved each subsequent time.

Cooking and nutrition is a newer aspect of the curriculum, where children need to use basic principles of nutrition in a healthy and varied diet, and gain a deeper understanding of where food comes from, including an understanding of seasonality. This is promoted through the use of the Horticulture area, where children grow their own produce and then cook with it or sell the goods to parents. They also learn basic cooking skills, using a variety of techniques.

 

 

Computing

Computing has links with virtually all other areas of learning, but also has some defined strands in its own right too. It used to be called Information and Communications Technology (ICT) but is now called Computing, to reflect the emphasis on computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming - then how to use and apply the skills across all areas of learning.

 The key aims are to ensure that children:

  • can understand and apply fundamental principle sand concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
  • can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
  • are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technologies. 

 

The use of computers has been a key part of recent educational development, and remains at the heart of twenty-first century education, and we are eager to ensure that our use of computers in school puts our children in a strong position for their future in a rapidly changing technology world.

We have interactive whiteboards projectors in every classroom, and teachers regularly use these for many aspects of their teaching. They are also used by children as interactive tools for learning, as a range of good quality applications are available for class use using this technology.

Across the school there are laptops, PCs, iPad minis, iPad Airs and Kindle Fires. All these have access to our core server and full internet through our whole school wireless network, and therefore allow flexible working in classrooms and around the whole school building.

 

History

In history we aim to give children an awareness of the past and how it was different from the present, an understanding of the sequence of historical events and an ability to explore some of the ways in which historians find out about the past.

The key aims for history are to ensure children:

  • know and understand the history of the British Isles, in a coherent and chronological narrative, including how people's lives have shaped the nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world, including ancient civilisations, expansion and dissolution of empires, characteristic features of past non-European societies and achievements and follies of mankind
  • gain and use a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as 'empire', 'civilisation', 'parliament' and 'peasantry'
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity and difference, significance - use these to make connections, analyse trends, frame historical questions
  • understand methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence can be used to make historical claims and make contrasting arguments
  • gain historical perspectives by placing their historical knowledge into different contexts

Initially children learn about general historical themes including changes in living memory, everyday lives of people, famous men and women, change and developments over time, reasons for events, and different interpretations of history.

In Key Stage 2 we teach specific historical periods at times, including:

  • changes in Britain from Stone Age to Iron Age
  • the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain
  • Britain's settlement by others (including Vikings, Anglo-Saxons and Scots), Aspects of themes in British history since 1066 (such as features of Victorian Britain), Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt (or other early civilisation), and a non-European society that contrasts with British history
  • an aspect of our local history is also investigated.

Different aspects of history are taught in varying degrees of detail, and many are included within broader themes, not necessarily being taught as discrete history units.

 

Geography

In the Geography curriculum, children learn a wide range of geographical skills to help them with their studies of people and places, and geographical processes. They explore a variety of places in the UK, Europe and the wider world.

The key aims are to ensure children:

·         develop knowledge of the location of globally significant places, including their physical and human characteristics, and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes

·         understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time

·         are competent in geographical skills needed to:

·         collect and analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes

·         interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

·         communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.

The physical geography includes: basic features of places that make them distinct and known, climate zones, biomes and vegetation regions, rivers and mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle 

The human geography includes different types of location and their key features, different types of settlement and land use, economic activity and trade, and the distribution and use of our earth's natural resources globally

The children explore different environments, and also aspects of environmental change and sustainability.

We encourage children to investigate in geography, developing a range of skills including asking questions, making descriptions, using maps, pictures and other information sources, fieldwork and discussing issues.  The children investigate their own locality, another area in the United Kingdom, and another locality in a developing country. We also investigate rivers, weather and climate, mountain environments, and environmental changes and conservation.

 

Forest School

 

Forest school is a unique learning experience in the outdoors, in all weathers and with the use of natural materials as resources. Forest School is the name of a specific ethos – a way of working with children in an outdoor natural space. Qualified practitioners carefully facilitate programmes which are uniquely tailored to the needs of the individuals within the group and have the fundamental aim of building participants' self-esteem, confidence, independence and creativity. The name does not refer to an actual place; it refers to the philosophy. 

Forest School philosophy encourages child initiated learning opportunities, focusing on the process of interest not on what results are achieved.  Studies have proven that a holistic approach enables children to increase self-esteem, learn through senses; movement, social interaction, imagination and further develop language and communication skills. 

At Worstead Church of England Primary School, Forest School is planned carefully to link in with current learning in other curriculum areas as much as possible.


Every child has the opportunity to experience Forest School whether in Reception, Key stage 1 or Key stage 2.

 

 

 

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