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1406 Science - 25 June 2014

Curriculum Report – Science

What is happening now?

This year, each term is to be guided by an overarching umbrella topic. See below.

Term 1: Culture and Identity

Term 2: Planet Earth and Beyond

Term 3: Change

Term 4: Innovation

The reason for this was to ensure curriculum coverage and flexibility inline with our Reggio Inspired teaching and learning approach. Although Term 2:Planet earth and Beyond obviously lends itself to a science curriculum focus, science can also be integrated within the other umbrella topics depending on what the children’s interests are.

How confident are we in teaching Science?

The majority of teachers’ confidence varies from some to a lot.

How do we teach Science?

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

What Science have we taught this year?

With the Reggio Approach in mind 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 then able to draw from the umbrella topic as a starting point for learning. The hope is that 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 childrens interests change and their knowledge of the big ideas deepen. The use of provocations (experiences that evoke curiosity) and hands on stations (self-directed activities) are also used to enrich learning and engage the learners.

The Environment, Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, Ngawha Springs, Nga Atua Maori and their role in the science world,  The solar system and Matariki have been prominent topics covered in classes. Gardening and cooking seem to be a constant science focus within the school all year round.

Some teachers use a Te Ao Maori lense approach so tamariki can make connections with the Maori World View of Science and how it is important to them.

Staff have aimed to create an awareness of Matariki-The Maori new year. Some classes will have small celebrations with activity stations and celebration kai. In the coming years the hope is to make this another Kaikohe East School annual event to celebrate our uniqueness.

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

The rest of the year is quite dependent on the interest of our tamariki. Change and Innovation are the umbrella topics for term 3 and 4.

This could see some science in Change and Matter, season changes or environmental sustainability being covered. The list is endless and again dependent on student interest within each class.

In term 3 a Physical Fitness and Nutrition program will be implemented as well as cross-country. This could lend itself to sports science and how our bodies work.

How good (or bad) are the school resources?

Some resources are available and teachers purchase resources that they need as needed.

What would we like to see happen?

Continue to make learning more child interest based with more successful provocations to inspire curiosity in science.

Make the science learning cycle more explicit to students.

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.

Continue to tap into resources, personnel and E.O.T.C. experiences that can enrich the programme and assist in developing confidence and skills in staff and students.    An interchange of teachers with scientific skills can be considered as well as the bringing in of ‘experts’ and E.T.O.C. experiences where we take the students to the ‘expert knowledge and their environment.’

Teaching focus is to be "hands on" learning as much as possible.

Continue our valuable home/school partnership by including home activities and informing the parents of the specific science focus.This is a powerful model of interactive education between home and school which leads to rich learning. This link can also be enhanced through parent support in accompanying us on our trips and then home learning research and discussions.

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 $3000

Report prepared by K Witana 23.06.2014