Whole School Science Plan – Holy Family N.S.,
Statement and rationale
This plan was written by the Principal and staff of the above school following introductory science in-service days, in-school planning days and environmental audit.
line with the DES guidelines we focused on this area of planning to ensure that the revised guidelines were introduced in our school in an organised, coherent and accountable manner.is envisaged that this plan will benefit teaching and learning in our school in addition to providing a coherent approach to the teaching of science across the whole school. we have written this plan to ensure that the pupils are given adequate opportunities to develop skills and understanding of concepts as envisaged by the Primary School Curriculum.
Through our school’s science programme we aim to help pupils to come to an understanding of and take an interest in the world and environment around them….both physical and biological. We believe that science should be a practical subject with hands-on activities that’s gives an opportunity to develop scientific skills.seek to develop a broad range of skills of enquiry and cultivation of important attitudes with the acquisition of scientific knowledge and concepts about the biological and physical aspects of the world. An investigative approach towards science is encouraged within our school.
to enable the child acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes so as to develop an informed and critical understanding of social, environmental and scientific issuesreinforce and stimulate curiosity and imagination about the local and wider environmentsenable the child to play a responsible role as an individual, as a family member and as a member of local, regional, national, European and global communitiesfoster an understanding of, and concern for the total interdependence of all humans, all living things on the earth in which they livefoster a sense of responsibility for the long-term care of the environment and a commitment to promote the sustainable use of the earth’s resources through personal life-style and participation in collective environmental decision-makingcultivate humane and responsible attitudes and an appreciation of the world in accordance with beliefs and values
We have made the following decisions to promote and develop the teaching and learning of science in our school:
Continue with our participation in the Green Schools Programme with the hope of achieving our flag soonintend to increase our number of habitats around the school planting a garden on either side of the front door, maintaining the hardwood tree area newly planted in 2006 and increasing the number of bird feeders around the school grounds.
Programmeand Strand Units see 2 year plan appended
Living thingsand ForcesAwareness and Care
teachers in our school are familiar with the strands, strand units and content objectives for their individual classes. Teachers will ensure within their individual planning that there will be progress from class to class as regards content and skills development of the Science programme. We have included work from each strand each year and we are aware that the strand units and a full range of objectives are covered over two years.emphasis will be given to each strand and strand unit.
We will use children’s ideas as a starting point for all scientific activity we encourage a practical approach to Science.find out what the children already know from the following:
talk and discussionquestionslisteningsolving tasksdesigned tests and tasksmapping
will have opportunities to pose and test their own questions during scientific work in the classroom and during outdoor work. Pupils at times will be given problem-solving tasks to ascertain and develop from their own ideas.
Hands-on practical investigations are encouraged for all class levels.
investigations usually occur during the context of a Science class. We will use a combination of open and closed investigations. Practical investigations using the fair test principle are encouraged.children will then be encouraged to design and makeas a follow on from various Science activities.
A combined approach of teacher directed whole class work, small group work and individual work on chosen topics and projects will be used in each class. Children will be given opportunities to work together co-operatively and collaboratively within groups in addition to sharing their own ideas. All children have equal access to Science materials available within the school. Science work will be displayed in the classes.
We will ensure that active learning takes place by providing access to suitable materials for each topic. Pupils will be encouraged to explore these materials freely at every opportunity especially in the use of design and make. Teachers are aware that Science is of a spiral nature and will build on the children’s prior knowledge of a topic. Activities are adapted and modified to meet the needs of the children in the class. Pupils will be given ample opportunity to engage in talk and discussion and hands on activity developing on their own ideas. We encourage the use of scientific language and vocabulary.will be given opportunities to engage in outdoor habitat work in each class.
There are opportunities to link topics across the Science curriculum using strands and strand units and this will be reflected in the teacher’s own planning.naturally integrates with Geography and History. For example Seasons and festivals integrate well. Human life units on growth and reproduction will integrate with SPHE and RSE. Environmental awareness and care is closely integrated with Geography. Graphing, results of investigations, measuring, colour and shape are all linked to Maths.strand unit on sound is an integral part of the music curriculum for example the designing of musical instruments.
We have carried out an environmental audit and the possibilities of this will be explored by individual class teachers.
Local Habitats of our school are:
School gardensaround the schoolaround the schooland marshy area next to schoolstream (The Rock area)at the golf course
Each class teacher will select a habitat appropriate to each class level. New teachers will be made aware of the local environment and have access to the environmental audit. the event of a visitor visiting the school the teachers make the decision together and invite personnel from outside agencies. Before undertaking outdoor exploration work or trips teachers consult the considerations attached for undertaking fieldwork in the primary school.
between Knowledge and Skills:
Science is not only concerned with the acquisition of knowledge but also the understanding of concepts. Real understanding can only take place when pupils have been given the opportunity to experience hands on activities. Scientific skills which will develop through the content of the Science curriculum include:and Experimentingand Measuringand Communicating
children will be working in a scientific way, questioning, observing, predicting, investigating, analysing and recording during a Science class. They will be actively participating in Science discovery. Through design and make activities the children will employ the following skills:
Assessment in Science considers the following areas:
of KnowledgeSkillstowards Science and investigationto work collaboratively
will be in the form of:observationpresentationdesigned tests and taskssamples and displays of work
are given opportunities to assess their own work and each others work. They are encouraged to orally present work and accept feedback from their peers.
with Different Needs
Our aim is to provide for children with different needs throughout the school. They will be encouraged to participate in all scientific activities and will have the opportunity to work with their peers. Activities and content may have to be adapted and modified to ensure that all children can participate in Science.with exceptional ability will also be given opportunity and encouraged together with their peers to experiment with more advanced investigations and to carry out further research to stimulate and challenge their imagination. All children will be encouraged to use ICT in Science.
of Participation and Access
Science is for all children regardless of gender, age or ability. Girls and boys are given equal access to participate in all Science activities. The role of women in addition to that of men in Science is explored. Science can be used as a basis to broaden the pupils understanding of other cultures and environments e.g. peoples homes, clothes, weather, food and materials.
Timetableminimum of 3 hours will be allocated to SESE per week from 1 to 6 classes and 2 hours 15 mins with the infant classes.occasion, time will be blocked as appropriate. This might occur when:on a projecta local habitatand undertaking a local trailwill consider the use of discretionary curriculum time for SESE when appropriate.
See attached list for Science resources and equipment available in school.various kits are labelled and kept in the learning support teacher’s room.books held and used by each teacher.school encourages the use of internet to support Science. (Adhering to the Acceptable User Policy)
practical work teachers should be aware of the safety implications of any exploratory or investigative work to be undertaken. There are many safety issues to consider including;
Plants and Animals
Disposable gloves to be used when investigating hedgerows. Children should never handle unknown plants especially fungi.
Electricity should only use low-voltage battery devices. Mains electricity should never be used for magnetism and electricity experiments. If mains-powered equipment is used then it should be connected and operated by the teacher only. Children should be repeatedly warned about the danger of mains electricity.
The use of glass apparatus and sharp-edged tools should be avoided except under the direct supervision of the class teacher. Use plastic where possible. Thermometers should be handled carefully. If a thermometer breaks and mercury is spilt it should be carefully gathered up by the teacher and buried in a place where the ground will not be disturbed. Spirit thermometers should be used where possible.
Children should never use lenses, binoculars or other lenses devices to look directly at the sun or other intense sources of light. This includes dark glass and plastic.
Household chemicals should be purchased to meet the requirements of the experiment and surplus disposed of on completion of experiment. Try to avoid any chemical containing bleach. Use safety goggles where possible. These chemicals will not be stored in the science resource boxes.
Children should be warned of the dangers of using these bags as they may cause suffocation.
Under no circumstances should the children themselves handle matches or lighters. If using candles during the experiment please ensure that they are securely fastened. Lighted candles should never be moved. Care should be taken to avoid situations where children may be tempted to lean across a lighted candle. Long hair should be tied back and sleeves should be secured.heating can be done with hot water from a tap or from a kettle held by an adult. Flammable liquids should never be used. Small portable gas burners are relatively safe provided that they can be securely mounted to prevent them from toppling over. If they are used they should be sited clear of curtains, notice boards and busy areas.
Cleanliness and Hygiene
Random sniffing and tasting should be discouraged.. The teacher should explain that anything the children are asked to smell or taste has been carefully chosen for that activity. The sharing of spoons or other utensils should not be permitted. Hand washing should be encouraged before food activities.
Homework will keep in line with our school homework policy. The purpose of Science homework is to consolidate and compliment the work carried out in class. Science homework reflects the active learning approach employed in the classrooms e.g. children investigate and collect at home.
Teachers’ Planning and Reporting:
Report on work done-Cuntas Miosuil.School Plan and Yearly Plansuse the Science curriculum strands and strand units.keep yearly and weekly plans.
Teachers are made aware of opportunities to attend science courses and training. Where teachers have expertise in a particular area they are encouraged to share that with each other. We have been facilitated by our local SESE cuiditheoir.have access to reference books, resource materials. And science websites.
Parents are aware of and encouraged to support school’s science programme. When the need arises parents may be invited to accompany field outings. Some parents with a specific scientific expertise may be called upon to help out or add to the scientific learning in the school.
When the opportunity arises we hope to invite local and national experts and agencies to work with classes or address the pupils e.g. Green Schools, INTO Heritage Council and local archaeologists such as Joyce and Martin Enright.
We will measure the success of the plan by monitoring the following:using whole school plan to inform classroom planningof practical activity in the classroomsof scientific skills being employed throughout the school-i.e. a balance between skills and contentof environmental awareness among the pupilsof design and make activities throughout the schoolof classes engaging in outdoor habitat workfeedbackfeedback
Class teachers are responsible for the implementation of the science programme for their own classes. The plan will be monitored throughout the 2 year cycle and all teachers will be responsible for equipment.
School years 2006-2008
The policy will be reviewed at the end of the first two year cycle. If needs be changes will be made accordingly.
Policy was ratified by the BOM of Holy Family N.S.