Clocha Rince NS
Whole School Plan
© Clocha Rince 2013
Planning Template: Science
Title: Whole School Plan for SESE Science – a work in progress
Introductory Statement and Rationale
(a) Introductory Statement
This plan was formulated by the teaching staff in the school during 2012/2013 year. It
has arisen after a process of staff consultation and curriculum research. It was ratified
by the Board of Management at a meeting on Thursday 20th June 2013.
We focussed on this area of planning to ensure that the revised guidelines for science
are being implemented in our school in an organised, coherent and accountable
manner. This plan will benefit the teacher by informing class planning and teaching
and will provide the pupils with adequate opportunities to develop skills and
understanding of concepts as envisaged by the science curriculum.
Vision and Aims
Through our school’s science programme, we aim to help pupils to come to an
understanding of and take an interest in the physical and biological world and
environments around them. We believe that science should be a practical subject with
opportunities to engage in hands-on investigative work. To this end, we will consciously
develop children’s scientific skills as well as their scientific knowledge.
Environmental activities will foster a positive attitude and a sense of responsibility
among our pupils for the natural and human environments.
The aims of social, environmental and scientific education are:
• to enable the child to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes so as to
develop an informed and critical understanding of social,
environmental and scientific issues
• to reinforce and stimulate curiosity and imagination about local and
• to enable the child to play a responsible role as an individual, as a
family member and as a member of local, regional, national, European
and global communities
• to foster an understanding of, and concern for, the total
interdependence of all humans, all living things and the Earth on
which they live
• to foster a sense of responsibility for the long-term care of the
environment and a commitment to promote the sustainable use of the
Earth’s resources through personal life-style and participation in
collective environmental decision-making
• to cultivate humane and responsible attitudes and an appreciation of the world in accordance
with beliefs and values.
(b) In addition we aim to:
Work towards achieving the green flag
Participate in Discover Primary Science
Develop and Maintain Science resources
1. Strands and Strand Units:
We have prepared a two-year plan for each class level.
We have included work from each strand for each year and will cover all strand units
over a 2 year period.
In the plan we have included a range of habitat studies based on our immediate
environment for each class grouping. We will use a balanced mix of theme-based
approach to SESE, cross-curricular work and subject-centre focus.
– Page 24
Body – changes as we
Caring for my
Observe and appreciate
attributes of our locality
Develop a sense of
responsibility for its care
improvement and care
and Purposeful play with Page
magnets to observe effect
Use of electricity at
Dangers of electricity
Investigate the effects of
pushing and pulling of
Properties and Investigate and compare Page 27
a variety of materials,
e.g. water, metal…….
Identify uses for these
materials according to
Observe floating and
sinking of objects
Plants and Investigate living things in Page 24
various habitats, e.g. trees,
Investigate parts of living
things, e.g. flower, stem,
change of living things
Explore conditions of
change – need for growth
Explore seasonal change
Identify and name items in Page
relation to colour
Explore various colours
Pages 26, 62,
64, 66, 68,
70, 78, 82,
colour in our natural
Explore making sound percussion
hot/cold Page 25
Explore how to maintain
Observe the effects of
water on objects/materials Page 27
Observe the effects of
identify Page 41
Locate sense and link
to body parts
changes and identify
Identify and discuss
the basic elements –
air, soil, water etc
Caring for my
co- Page 48
dependence, e.g. food
Pollution – causes and
and Purposeful play with Page
magnets – observe
Observe attraction to
materials, water, card
and pulling of various
Pushing power of
air/water – current,
objects in various
Friction of surfaces –
Properties and Investigate materials Page 46
characteristics of and their uses in our
criteria – include
Investigate the uses of
these materials in
Plants and Investigate living things in Page 42
Page 48, 62,
64, 68, 70,
73, 78, 80,
Investigate parts of living
Grouping living things by
Explore the conditions
needed for growth and
change, e.g. heat, light..
Explore life cycles of
plants and animals
importance of light
Observe transparency of
materials to light
Importance of the sun for
Learn dangers of the sun,
eyes, skin etc
Investigate various sounds
and how to make these
Explore various sources of Page 44
heat: sun, fire, radiator
heating/cooling solids and
Explore how to maintain
Mixing materials and the
effects, eg paint
Body – name external Page 61
and internal organs
Examine the breathing
system, lungs, smoking
Examine the skeletal
system, muscles, bones,
Observe, discuss and
record elements of our
Identify issues and
Page 68, 70
Caring for the
and Push/pull effects- terms Page
Link magnets to the
Construction of simple
Movement of objects –
objects due to friction,
e.g. ball on carpet
Properties and Investigate properties Page 66
of various materials
Discuss solids, liquids,
Raw v. manufactured
Grouping of materials
under specific criteria,
Discuss uses of these
and Investigate living things Page 62
in various habitats
Explore conditions of
growth and how animals
adapt to environments
Uses of keys in the
identification of species
Explore food chains and
Explore technology in
the everyday context
of technology on our
Light as a form of Page 63
Identity the importance
/dangers of the sun
Sound as a form of
How sound travels Page
Use of thermometer
Explore heat transfer
Uses of heat in the
the sun’s heat
Materials and solids, liquids and gases Page 66
insulators of change
Mixing and separating
Testing of materials
under different criteria,
e.g. use of water, forces
Body Identify structure of internal Page 83
and external organs
Discuss need for a balanced diet –
The breathing system effects of
Immune system – protecting our
Observe, discuss and record
elements of our local environment
Conservation of our environment
and global responsibility
Caring for the
and Push/pull, attract/repel, lift/hold Page 86
effect of magnets
Investigate making magnets – the
Construct a variety of simple
Uses/dangers of electricity
Movement of objects – push, pull,
pulley, wind, water..
Effects of friction – slowing
objects and generating heat
Introduce gravity as a force
Use of levers to lift, turn
Properties and Solids, liquids, gases, their Page 88
Investigated and group different
materials, including oxygen
The decay of various materials
Composition of our air – its
environment and everyday uses
and Investigate living things in various Page 84
Explore conditions of growth and
how animals adapt to environments
Uses of keys in the identification of
Explore food chains and life cycles
Explore characteristics of specific
Page 62, 64,
66, 68, 70,
groups, e.g. mammals, birds, fish
Explore conditions of growth in
detail including reproduction
Explore technology in the everyday
Identify the positive/negative effects
of technology on our environment
Look at technology and important
scientists/inventions in our world
Characteristics of light – energy Page 85
form, spectrum, reflection, refraction
Uses of lens.
Importance of sight
Dangers of sunlight
Characteristics of sound – vibration,
energy, travel, travel through
through Page 85
Importance of hearing
terms Page 86
conduction, convection, radiation
Transfer of heat, sources, renewable,
Use of thermometer
Effects of heating/cooling on solids,
liquids and gases
Conductors and insulators of change
Mixing, separating and dissolving of
Testing of materials under different
criteria, e.g. use of water, force
Fire triangle – oxygen, fuel, heat.
Heat at home
2. Children’s Ideas:
We will use childrens’ ideas as a starting point for all scientific activity
Strategies we will use to elicit children’s ideas are
Talk and dicussion
Open and closed questioning
Free play with materials
3. Practical Investigations:
When planning practical investigations we will use
Open Investigations: Pupils are given or may suggest an open question for
which they have to design their own investigstion
Closed Investigations: Pupils will engage in activities where the end result
is obvious and there are not many variables.
Fair Testing: Pupils develop a sense of what should be kept the same and
what should be variable to ensure that an investigation is fair.
We will consult the Teacher Guidelines pg 54 in this regard.
4. Classroom Management:
A combined approach of whole class work, small group work and individual work on
chosen topics and projects will be used in each class.
Children will be given opportunities to work together collaboratively and share their
Each class will have a science display area.
Teachers will use their professional judgement to decide which methods and
approaches are best suited to the needs of their pupils.
We plan to use the key methodologies of the Primary Curriculum in the teaching of
Developing skills through content
Talk and discussion
Use of the environment.
We have also identified the following as methodologies particular to Science and will
employ them where possible as a central element of the key methodologies.
Free exploration of materials
Use of everyday objects and materials in the environment
Outdoor investigation and Fieldwork
Methodologies we have identified for development are:
Outdoor investigation and Fieldwork
6. Linkage and Integration:
We encourage the linkage of strands within the science curriculum and the integration
of science with other subject areas.
Human Life units on growth and reproduction will integrate with SPHE
Environmental awareness and care is closely integrated with the SPHE and
Design and Make activities will also form part of the Visual Arts content.
Links with the Maths curriculum are many e.g graphing results of
The strand unit on sound is an integral part of the Music curriculum e.g.
Sounds in the environment and the designing of musical instruments.
Various “line of Development” studies in History will lend themselves
meaningfully to scientific investigation, e. g Clothes over the years and
7. Using the Environment
We have a completed an environmental audit of the school grounds and the surrounding
Each class will engage in designated habitat studies: (Examples)
Also used for Geography: Natural Environment: the local natural environment
8. Balance between Knowledge and Skills:
Science is not only concerned with the acquisition of knowledge but the understanding of
concepts. We can nurture this understanding by developing skills of questioning,
observing, predicting, investigating, analysing and recording and therefore acquiring
knowledge. Children will explore, plan and analyse materials through design and make
activities. Pupils will be given an opportunity to engage in Design and Make activities
appropriate to their ability and area of study.
9. Assessment – Looking at Childrens’ Work:
In science we will assess
Ability to work collaboratively
Assessment will be in the form of
Teacher-designed tasks and tests
Portfolio and project work
Self- Assessment Learning Folders
There will be opportunities for the pupils to engage in self-assessment as they analyse
the success of design and make activities and get an opportunity to view their own
work portfolios. Information from assessment will be communicated to parents in the
school report at the end of the year and at the parent/teacher meetings.
10. Children with Special Educational Needs:
It is important that all children experience a rounded environmental education. Science plays
a pivotal role in this education and so we will do our best to ensure that every child will have
opportunities to engage in learning activities appropriate to their abilities.
Teachers will use a mixture of whole-class teaching and group work,
with different groups set tasks of various complexities.
Teachers will develop their questioning techniques spanning from
simple recall to more complex and analytical skills so that all pupils
will have opportunities for success.
Different ways of recording and communicating findings will be
encouraged: drawing, ICT, written records, oral reports and models.
All children benefit from active involvement in the environment so all
will be encouraged to participate in fieldwork.
The exceptional ability child will be encouraged to undertake
additional research and recording their scientific findings in a variety
SNA support, where applicable, for particular children or groups as
directed by class teacher.
All teachers will familiarise themselves with the Guidelines for Children with General
Learning Difficulties (NCCA )
11. Equality of Participation and Access:
Refer to school’s Equality Policy
*Boys and girls will be have equal opportunities to participate in science lessons and
*Equal opportunity will be given to boys and girls to experience all strands.
*Provision will be made for children experiencing any form of disadvantage or whose first
language is not English
Science will be for all children regardless of gender, age or ability
In keeping with the recommendations in the Primary School Curriculum Introduction (page
70) a minimum of two and quarter hours per week is devoted to SESE in infant classes and a
minimum of three hours per week for classes 1st to 6th.
45 minutes of this time will be spent on Science in infants
One hour of this time will be spent on Science in 1st and 2nd
*On occasion, time will be blocked as appropriate. This might occur when
working on a integrated project
exploring the local environment
Teachers will use discretionary curriculum time ( 2 hours per week) for SESE as appropriate.
13. Resources and Equipment:
We have attached a list of our current resources for science to this plan.
Equipment and resource materials will be held in the Resource Room ‘Science
The equipment will be checked and updated at the end of each year by postholder for resources.
Any equipment purchases will be organised by the post-holder in consultation
with the staff needs and requirements.
The school encourages the use of science websites providing this is within the
safe use of the internet guidelines- see attached list of websites
We have completed an environmental audit of the immediate locality and have
decided how to use it as a resource.
We will not use Textbooks as the primary resource. We aim to phase out the
listing of SESE textbooks on the ‘School Booklist’. A stock of appropriate
textbooks will be compiled and used as a resource when appropriate.
Environmentalists in the community will be asked to talk to the children and
share their knowledge with them. (Dick Warner, Ferga Kenny, Michael Jacob)
Extra resources will be acquired according as funding is made available.
14. Health and Safety
We have a Health and Safety policy in place in our school which covers safety concerning the
handling of equipment and out of school activities such as fieldwork (See Geography Teacher
Guidelines P 74 – 78 for guidance on such a policy)
Teachers will consult the Principal whenever it is proposed to engage in fieldwork.
During practical work teachers will be aware of the safety implications of any exploratory or
investigative work to be undertaken. Successful and enjoyable investigations require sensible
planning, good supervision and adherence to safety rules.
Outdoor work will be based in areas that are accessible for children, teachers and helpers and
that are safe. Preliminary visits by teachers to the site will be necessary to identify potential
hazards. If there are apparent dangers then a more suitable habitat will be selected for study.
Habitat studies involve children in working with plants and animals, and teachers will be
made aware that some children may be allergic to some animals and plants.
When designing investigative activities teachers will find useful safety advice in the Teacher
Guidelines for Science and in Safety in School Science ( An Roinn Oideachais 1996).
15. Individual Teachers’ Planning and Reporting:
Teachers will consult this Whole School Plan and the curriculum documents for Science when
they are drawing up their long and short term plans.
Teachers will include all the strands and strand units every year and will select objectives
within the strand units each year. Staff teaching the same class level will decide collaboratively
on objectives chosen and will inform subsequent teachers of content covered to ensure
continuity in our spiral curriculum.
Where it is meaningful and suitable Geography will be taught in a thematic way to integrate
with the other SESE subjects of History and Science.
Cúnais Míosúil will assist in recording work covered , in evaluating progress in Science and in
informing future teaching.
16. Staff Development:
Teachers will have access to reference books , resource materials and websites dealing
with Science .
Staff will be encouraged to research and try out new approaches and methodologies.
Post-holder with responsibility for resources will be responsible for keeping resource
material up to date and will arrange for opportunities for resources to be assessed for
Teachers will be encouraged to attend inservice workshops and courses on Science in
order to enhance their understanding and teaching of the subject. They will upskill
other staff in what they have learned by sharing the expertise acquired at these
courses during staff meetings.
The culture in our school is one that encourages the sharing of experience and good
17. Parental Involvement:
Parents are invited to celebrate and view results of projects, surveys, investigations in the
school or read about them in the school newsletter. A Science Day will be held at least every
second year. The Post-holder with responsibility for Science will organise this.
People in the local community who have an interest and knowledge in the environment
will be invited to speak to the children.
The Clocha Rince Community Library will be a source of knowledge for the children.
The work of some national agencies relates to aspects of the Science programme. As
well as accessing materials produced by these agencies specicically for schools , we will
welcome visits by speakers from these organisations.
Sustain Energy Ireland
Bird Watch Ireland
(a) Roles and Responsibilities:
The plan will be supported , developed and implemented by all staff members.
Post-holder with responsibility for Science will arrange for;
Scientific audit of school grounds and immediate locality.
Fieldwork trails and packs.
Purchase, maintenance and storage of resources.
Leading the development of new methodologies identified.
Liaising with community organisations and relevant agencies.
The development of ICT as a learning tool in Science and the vetting of
It will be necessary to review this plan on a regular basis to ensure optimum implementation of the
Science curriculum. This Plan will be reviewed during the 2013/2014 school year.
This policy was ratified by the Board of Management at a meeting on 20th June 2013.
Resources required for the Science Programme
Living Things : Myself/Human Life
Mirrors – plastic
Living Things : Animals and plants
Sheets of Perspex or plastic
Energy and Forces : Magnetism and Electricity
Magnets – including bar, button, horseshoe
Screw in light bulb holders
Bulbs and batteries
A range of magnetic materials
A selection of metals
Wire stripping pliers
Energy and Forces : Light
Curved mirrors and Plane mirrors
Glass blocks and triangular prism
Shiny objects that will act as mirrors; spoons, biscuit tin lid, sheet metal
Transparent, translucent and opaque materials
Old spectacle lenses
Energy and Forces : Heat
Energy and Forces : Sound
Rubber bands – different sizes and thickness
Energy and Forces : Forces
Oil, grease, polish, wax
Mechanisms: tongs, pliers, nutcrackers, toys, old clock etc
Construction sets such as Meccano, wheels, pulley, axle rod, gears
Stop clock and watches
Polystyrene sheets, blocks, balls and beads
Sieves, plastic, various meshes
samples of fabrics and fibres
Samples of soap and detergent
Materials from the kitchen or bathroom such as sugar, salt, soda, chalk, oil, soda water, lime water,
tea, coffee, bath salts, flour
Samples of different metals
Pebbles, stones, bricks and rocks
Samples of different woods and wood products
Samples of different papers, blotting paper, tissue paper, paper towels, waxed paper, greaseproof
Equipment and materials required for designing and making
Construction kits such as Lego Technic, K’Nex, Fischer Technik, Meccano, Master Builder
Mechanisms – egg beater, bicycle pump, jack, hinges, toys etc
Hammer and nails
Nuts and bolts
Hacksaw and spare blades
Screwdriver and screws
Ruler and Scissors
Plaster of Paris
A range of fabrics and fibres
Fasteners – bulldog clips, paper clips, hair clips, clothes pegs
Dowels of various lengths and thickness
String and threads
Domestic Reclaimable Waste
plastic bottles of various sizes
range of empty boxes, lids, containers and tubes
polystyrene block and beads
scrap cord and board
corks of varying sizes