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1707 Science - 3 August 2017

Curriculum Report – Science

What is happening now?

This year, each term is to be guided by an overarching umbrella topic to be decided as children's interests emerge. See below.

Term 1: Whakawhanaungatanga - ourselves, our community

Term 2: Kaitiakitanga

Term 3: Hauora

Term 4: (Yet to be decided.)

The reason for this was to align with Kaikohe East School graduate profile philosophies, allow for curriculum coverage and to ensure flexibility in line with our Reggio Inspired teaching and learning approach which encourages following children's interests and developing learning opportunities from these..We also have had programmes implemented in Syndicates depending on the needs, age and stage of our children which allows for science components to be planned for. These are named Discovery time and Xplore. Continuing on from this we also have our Garden to Table classroom in Room 12 which also explores the natural world alongside cooking which again engages children in aspects of science as they discover, create and experiment with an Inquiry based teaching approach.

How confident are we in teaching Science?

The majority of teachers’ confidence varies from some to a lot. However, With the introduction of our Garden to Table class, this has ensured all children have regular time with an experienced staff member.

How do we teach Science?

As with previous years, our the influence of  the Reggio philosophy in our school means the teachers have been more focussed on following the children’s interests in science.This has meant more engagement by tamariki.Teachers and students are able but not limited to drawing from the umbrella topic as a starting point for learning.

More emphasis is placed on child centred learning and not teacher driven learning. Each year the learning that takes place can look completely different as children's interests change and their knowledge of the big ideas continue to deepen.

Teachers teach this subject through provocations and/or stations and through a cross curricular format or integration. Such investigations are delivered during literacy/Maths/Inquiry times or Discovery and Xplore times.

The use of provocations (experiences that evoke curiosity) and hands on stations (self-directed activities) are  used to enrich learning and engage the learners.

What Science have we taught this year?

Topics:  Kaitiakitanga,   Planet earth and beyond - gardening, outer space, planets, Matariki, Healthy food, cooking  and choices. living world - what makes things grow/survive. Harakeke cutting, climate change and global warming, The Living world - gardening club, growing things

Gardening and cooking seem to be a constant science focus within the school all year round.  

Staff have aimed to create an awareness of Matariki -The Maori new year. As with last  year we are having a Matariki celebration involving the tikanga behind it. Classes have taken part in the celebrations and have come together, with whanau and community to learn.

Discovery time involves our new entrant - Year1/2 classes and has begun with increased teacher awareness and knowledge of the importance of ‘play’. This play allows for inquiry and is driven with aspects of the Reggio philosophy, The New Zealand Curriculum and the Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whaariki. Science is evident through the children’s experimenting and play with sand, water, dough, paints and investigations. They are predicting, analysing, reasoning, thinking, experimenting and exploring. They are gaining confidence in their own abilities and thinking. Te Whaariki is linked into our sciences with Exploration - Mana Aoturoa where “they develop working theories for making sense of the natural, social, physical and material worlds.

What have you got planned for the rest of the year?

The rest of the year will be guided by the interests and ideas of the Tamariki. Term 3’s focus is Hauora and how this lends to science will be determined in each Syndicates collaborative planning and woven through the core subjects of literacy and numeracy.

What would we like to see happen?

Each year we continue to build on our ideas and the following is a continuum that is ever evolving depending on the needs, interests and curiosities of our tamariki.

As previously stated we would like to ‘Continue to make learning more child interest based with more successful provocations to inspire curiosity in science. We need to ensure the concepts taught are relevant to the students in terms of who they are, their hapu and iwi affiliation as well as their wider community. e.g Te Ao Maori lense.” The teaching focus is to be ‘hand on’ as much as possible while also ensuring we provide authentic learning contexts.

Targeted purchases of equipment, resources, experiences and time need to be made in relation to specific teaching intentions.

This year’s Science budget is linked to the Inquiry programme budget of $5000.

Report prepared by Kaz Chamberlain