The curriculum for Social, Environmental and Scientific Education incorporates a science programme for children in all classes in the primary school.
Science enables children to develop basic scientific ideas and understanding about the biological and physical aspects of the world. The Science Curriculum gives special attention to the process through which children develop this knowledge and understanding by helping them to develop scientific skills. The curriculum also helps children to develop positive attitudes to science. It encourages them to examine and to appreciate how science and technology impact on their lives and on the environment.
Science is for all children in the primary school from junior infants to sixth class. The curriculum is presented in two sections: a skills section and a content section.
The Science Curriculum supports children in working scientifically and in developing their designing and making skills.
- Working scientifically – Children learning by investigating is at the heart of the Science Curriculum. Children are encouraged to work as scientists as they investigate and explore their physical and natural surroundings. These first-hand experiences help them to find answers to problems themselves by exploring their own environment. The curriculum supports children in developing skills of enquiry during this investigative work: observing, asking questions, suggesting explanations, predicting outcomes, planning investigations or experiments to test ideas and drawing conclusions.
- Designing and making – Designing and making is the technological component of the Science Curriculum. This aspect of the curriculum provides children with opportunities to apply scientific ideas to everyday situations and problems. The children are challenged to explore, plan and make models and functional objects in order to solve practical problems. Designing and making simple magnetic games, wind/water mills, floating vessels, telescopes, containers for specific purposes, electrical circuits and so on develop children’s awareness of the value of technology in their lives.
The Science Curriculum includes four strands:
- Living things
- Energy and forces
- Environmental awareness and care.
Each strand is subdivided into strand units which focus on particular concepts.