Title: Wexford Educate Together National School .
Introductory Statement and Rationale
(a) Introductory Statement:
We aim through this plan, drawn up in accordance with the Science curriculum, to set out our approach to the teaching and learning of Science. This plan will form the basis for teachers long and short term planning. It will also inform new and temporary teachers of the approaches and methodologies used in our school.
Vision and Aims
Refer to Curriculum Guidelines. Wexford Educate Together upolds the Primary School Curriculum 1999 Aims and Objectives. Please see pg. 4 and 5 Science Curriculum 1999
(a) Vision: (b) Aims:
Content of Plan Curriculum:
1 Science Programme:
Our school will follow the strands and strand units as sst out in the Science Curriculum pp20-92
1.2 Children’s Ideas:
WE try to use children’s ideas as much as possible when introducing a topic. The following methodologies are employed:
1.3 Practical Investigations:
Practical Inverstigation are used regularly in the teaching of Science. The school has built up a range of resources for each strand unit. Each resource box contains the relevant resources to facilitate practical investigation in the classroom, thus ensuring that children can apply scientific concepts to everyday situations. Teachers vary their approach to investigation with a combination of open and closed activities ( See TG p.54). The teacher will use questions during and after investigations to ensure children are considering fair testing in their investigations.
1.4 Classroom Management:
When demonstrating skills we take a teacher-directed approach however, the children are encouraged to work on their own problems as far as possible. Group work is varied within the classroom and we use the following groupings :
1.5 Key Methodologies:
A whole school planning approach is adopted by the school which ensures that all the key methodologis ( See Tg pp.52-145) are used in our teaching. These include:
• Learning through Language.
As part of our school policy on Special Needs and our commitment to the idea of Multiple
Intelligences, teachers differentiate and according to ability and learning styles.
1.6 Linkage and Integration:
Science lends itself well to linkage and integration.
We see the folllowing opportunities for linkage and integration: Living Things:
1.7 Using the Environment:
The features of the local environment which we draw upon as a resouce for Science lessons are:
The habitats/amenities can be used across the four levels in working towards the content
objecdtives in the following ways:
-develop an interst and curiosity about the world through the exploration and study of living and non-living things.
-develop a knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas through the study of living things and environments in which they live.
-observe, ask questions, discern pattens, hypothesise, plan, experiment, design, make, measure, discuss, analyse and evaluate results and so develop a scientific approach to problem solving.
-understand the intedependence of a wide variety of living things and their environments, recognise the importance of conserving habitats and environments and begin to understand that all life now and in the future depends on sustainable development of the planet.
At the moment, the school is in rented premises and we cannot make any changes to the immediate environment. We do have a school garden at the moment with a variety of herbs, flowers and vegetables.
Children are given the opportunity to engage with their immediate natural environment through nature walks, field trips and studies of various flora and fauna. This is carried out seasonally so that children can observe changes as they occur. Pupils can observe the wider global environemnt through studies undertaken on various habitats in other parts of the world. This is facilitated by use of the internet, resource books, presentations, school field trips and though teacher led discussion as well as independent research and projects in senior classes.
Utilising Local Expertise: The school has made links with local organisations which deal with science and nature studies. A list has been compiled of these amenities and contact details of experts in these areas are available on this list. Teachers can organise for visitors to come to the school following a consultation process with the visitor in order to determine the suitability and relevance of information/visit. Teachers must be aware of schoo policies that apply when visitors are on school premises. These include:
At beginning of the school year parents are requested to sign a form giving permision for the teacher to take children on spontaneous trips in close proximity to the school. Trips which are further away require permission slips to be distributed. The Principal is to be informed of any school trips and permission must be granted prior to permission slips being distributed. In the case where a parent has not given permission for their child to attend the trip, that child will be supervised in the school by another staff member.
Schemes to foster environmental awareness:
The school participates in the Green Schools Project and The Heritage Council Artists’ Initiative. Each classroom actively participates in recycling of materials and staff actively encourage children to recycle at home and inform parents of recycling activities.
1.8 Balance between Knowledge and Skills
(Teachers are referred to Curriculum pp.20-21)
• Guess and suggest what will happen next in structured situations. Investigating anf Experimenting:
• Carry out simple investigations set by the teacher, make observations and collect data.
Estimating and Measuring:
• Sort and group objects according to observable features
Recording and Communicating:
• Guess and suggest what will happen next in structured situations.
Investigating anf Experimenting:
• Begin to look for and recognise patterns and relationships in observations. Interpreting:
• Draw conclusions from simple investigations.
Recording and Communicating:
• Offer suggestions( hypotheses) based on observations about the likely results of the investigation.
Investigating anf Experimenting:
• Record and present findings and conclusions using a variety of methods.
FIFTH AND SIXTH
• Offer suggestions (hypothesis) based on a number of observations and data available about the likely results of the investigations.
• Record and present finding and conclusions using a variety of methods.
• Review the methods used in investigations and assess their usefulness.
2. Assessment – Looking at Childrens’ Work:
The children are given the opportunity to record their work in a variety of ways. For example, oral presentaions, written reports, pictorially, concept maps, photographs.
The following assessment tools are used by the class teachers to assess knowledge, understanding and scientific skills:
• S.E.S.E. folders
We also give the children the opportunity to self assess and peer assess. This is carried out by using class discussion, scoring rubric, and other constructive methods such as three stars and a wish.
The children are assessed using a rating scale. This score is communicated to parents in our annual reports and in parent-teacher meetings. The rating scale is as follows:
1= Experiencing significant difficulties 2= Experiencing some difficulty 3=Managing comfortably
4=Capable adnn competent
5=Highly capable and competent
Assessment of science is ongoing throughout the year. Collaboration between staf members and subject meetings at the beginninng of the academic year allow teachers to gather and share information on assessment in the area of science.
3. Children with Different Needs:
Our whole school approach allows us to meet the needs of all pupils in our school community. We cater for the range of learning abilities using a varied approach to the mthodologies we employ. For children with specific and general learning disabilities team –teaching between class teachers and Resource/Learning Support teachers is often used.
Children of exceptional ability are encouraged to develop their learning further by completing additional research projects as well as extra problem solving activities in the classroom setting. Any children with exceptional ineterst/ability will be informed of any competitions, projects, events , programmes, organisations (Centre for Talented Youth) nationally.
4. Equality of Participation and Access:
Educate Together schools are commited to being Co-Educational. It is one of the four main aspects of our ethos. (Co-Educational, Multi-Denominational, Democratically Run, Child- Centred). We work to ensure all children are empowered to fulfil their potential irrespective of gender, culture, ablity, socio-economic background.
The school has made a conscious effort to ensure that the wider school environment is accessible to all our students.
Parents and teachers worked collaboratively on the development of our RSE programme in the school. Parents have the opprtunity to view the programme being taught in the school. If a parent wishes, they may withdraw their child from the RSE programme and alternative supervision arrangements will be made.
In accordance with the suggested time framework as Primary School Curriculum Introduction pg. 70 Science is to be taught separately for one hour per week and forty-five minutes per week in Infant Classes. It is at the descretion of the class
teacher how the lessons are to be divided. Occasionally lessons may be integrated with other areas of SESE as advised in the Curriculum. Cross-curricular links are to be mde explicit where possible and thematic planning is advised. From time to time individual classes may organise presentations/project show and tell either to their peers or to parents. Each teacher will receive a copy of the whole school timetable and lists of resources available prior to the commencement of the first term. It is the onus of the teacher to devise a class timetable which suits the needs of both teacher and children, using this framework and to submit such to the Principal. This will enable best practice in sharing of resources. Teachers will liaise closely with Resource Teachers and inform them of topics being covered in the area of Science in order to maximise learning opportunities.
number of adults to accompany each class. These adults should be aware of the hazards that may be enccountered and the procedures to be adopted in the event of emergencies.
Light: When planning a unit on light the teacher will ensure that the children are aware of and adhere to the following dafety procedures:
equipment. If a teacher needs to be supported in the area of science, arrangements can be made to offer a mentoring service whereby the teacher is advised as to best practice in planning, teaching methodologies and assessment.
At the moment there is no Special Duties post available with responsibiliy for science.Thus, it is the teachers responsibility to monitor developments and co- ordinate resources.
to the wider community.
• Liaising with local media to raise the profile of science as a living subject
Implementation of plan. Teachers yearly/monthly and weekly preparation – Cúntas Míosúil will indicate to what extent the plan has been followed. Informal assessment & teacher observation is on an ongoing basis. Indicator of achievement of aims – feedback from teachers & pupils & parents; whole school evaluations. Standardised testings indicate mastery of concepts.
The plan is supported, developed and implemented by class teacher(s), learning support teachers, resource teacher and ultimately by the Principal who co- ordinates, assesses and evaluates progress of plan and reports back to staff.
The plan is in operation now. Formal implementation took place in 2009/2010.
Involved in the review will be:
Every two years
Ratification and Communication
Ratified by the Board of Management. Staff Representative will present in accordance with the School Policy.
Multi-denominational – children of all denominations and none are equally welcome into our school. Co-educational – Educate Together schools are open to girls and boys and gender stereotyping is addressed and challenged. Child-centred – this applies not only to teaching and learning within the classroom but to all decisions at staff and management level, which must have the well-being of the children at their heart. Democratically-run – parents are viewed as a positive resource for the school. Parental involvement is welcomed and encouraged, where appropriate.
Please see Wexford Educate Together Privacy Notice as ratified by the BOM in June 2018.