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1606 Science - 29 June 2016

29 June 2016

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: Olympics

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 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?

As with last year, 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.

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 - gardening, outer space, planets, Matariki, Healthy food 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 teamed together 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 is quite dependent on the interest of our tamariki. The Olympics is our next topic in term 3 which can lead into many science ideas such as time, travel, length, prediction, sports science ( how our bodies work, nutrition and injury prevention) and analysis of results.

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

What would we like to see happen?

In 2016 we 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.”

Continue to Make the science learning cycle more explicit to students. Teaching focus is to be "hands on" learning as much as possible.

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 $4000.

Report prepared by Kaz Chamberlain