Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

Talking with a number of people over the week and looking at our recent ICAS (a voluntary external

exam) results the word of the week is science.

Science in a primary school is often integrated into other curriculum areas, for example if we are studying household chemicals we might also get the students to design a package for a new chemical (art) to write an advertisement for the product (English) and research what the need was for the new product (maths). In the one series of lessons, four curriculum areas are being taught because they are all closely linked. When studying the science area of astronomy (beyond planet earth) reading Greeks Myths and Legends about the Zodiac and the uses that the ancients had for the stars is important. It is important because it explains the uses that mankind can put the study of stars to. This is applying the science hence the

differential between the applied and pure sciences.

An applied science uses existing knowledge to create practical application to solve problems, pure science is a science that yields theories and predictions. At the primary level all learning needs to be put into

context by using the children's prior knowledge and extending this. So science like all subjects relies on prior knowledge as a foundation for future learning. Prior knowledge can be gained in biology by simple observations of animals (why are ducks the colour they are, camouflage).

The use of science labs and chemical experiments still have their place, but often using technology offers a huge range of alternative ways of learning new knowledge.

So remember when your child asks you what is the first star in the sky that you see a night, the fact that the evening star is actually the planet Venus is all excellent scientific learning.

Have a great week,

Mike Brosnahan

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