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1506 Science - 24 June 2015

9 June 2015

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: Culture and Identity

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 inline with our Reggio Inspired teaching and learning approach which says we should follow children's interests.

How confident are we in teaching Science?

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

How do we teach Science?

With the Reggio philosophies 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 able but not limited to drawing 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 children's interests change and their knowledge of the big ideas 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.

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, The Environment, Recycle, Reduce, Reuse,  Planet earth and beyond -outer space, planets, Matariki, Healthy food and choices. living world - what makes things grow/survive. An orchard project. weather and seasons.

Gardening and cooking seem to be a constant science focus within the school all year round.  Gardening club is an integrated science focus. A grant of $1700 from FNDC was approved for worm farm and fruit trees.

Health and Nutrition is also an integral topic taught through the year by Gina Harris from Sport Northland.

Staff have aimed to create an awareness of Matariki -The Maori new year. This year we are having a Matariki celebration involving the tikanga behind it. A Hangi will be prepared and whole school and interschool Kiorahi Sports Day planned. We hope this continues every year.

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. Hauora is our next topic in term 3 which can lead into many science ideas.

Junior and Senior Science Clubs are always offered in term 3.

Term 4 however is undecided at this due to our Reggio Inspired approach.

How good (or bad) are the school resources?

Some resources are available and teachers purchase resources that they need as needed. This year a computerised microscope was purchased for Room 3 as a trial. This class had a particular fascination and wondering of bugs and science. This is how we will continue to purchase science items, as is 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. 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.

Make the science learning cycle more explicit to students. Teaching focus is to be "hands on" learning as much as possible. An annual Science Fair to be integrated throughout the year.

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.’

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 $6000.

Report prepared by K Witana 09.06.2015