Science

Science at Barnehurst

                           

Intent 

At Barnehurst, we want for our children to develop a greater awareness, interest, and knowledge of the universe as well as their place in it. We believe that a strong scientific education is fundamental to their understanding of how things work and how they are inter-connected. By teaching through the strands of biology, chemistry and physics, largely following the National Curriculum, we are providing children with a broad knowledge base on which to build future learning.  

Science has shaped our world and, by teaching them to think like scientists, we are equipping our children to shape the future. We want our children to be curious and ask questions. By explicitly teaching children the specific types of scientific enquiry, we are giving them the confidence to make informed decisions about the best way to attempt to find answers to those questions. We will also enable them to predict outcomes, explain phenomenon and become critical thinkers.  

Links to SMSC 

At Barnehurst we believe that spiritual, moral, social and cultural education runs through everything we do. Science is no exception. Giving children multiple opportunities to investigate, fosters a natural curiosity and a sense of awe and wonder. Investigation stimulates children to ask questions, not just specific to the topic they are covering, but relating to the bigger picture too, such as the meaning of life and how we came to be. Learning safety rules and working in groups, helps children develop responsibility and ownership of their decisions and actions and by learning making links between science and the environment, children are better placed to make informed decisions about how to protect our planet and their place within it. 

 

Implementation 

At Barnehurst, teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science regardless of gender, race or economic background. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following;  

Science is taught discretely.  In this way, we can ensure that there is a clear progression of both knowledge and skills from EYFS to Year 6. Many topics are repeated and built upon to help pupils retain key facts in their long-term memories and extend their understanding as they develop.  

Knowledge organisers for each topic are utilized to provide children with crucial information, so that a greater proportion of the time can be spent on practical investigations.  

From KS1 onwards, Science lessons are taught weekly with one extra day per half-term being a dedicated science day. We believe that this enables children to get fully immersed in their learning and gives opportunities for them to see an investigation through from question to conclusion, where appropriate.  

Just as children are taught the specific vocabulary of grammar terminology in English, we believe that the types of scientific enquiry that children undertake (observations over time, pattern seeking, research, identifying and classifying and comparative and fair testing) should be made explicit to them. In this way, they can build up an arsenal of techniques to choose from when trying to answer both their own questions and questions set by others. We have built a range of opportunities for each type of enquiry across each year group.  

Although science is taught as a discrete subject, where possible, links are drawn between other subjects and topic areas and opportunities are given for our children to develop their understanding further through visits, visitors, links with secondary schools and by making extensive use of Forest School to enrich our curriculum. Through lessons, assemblies, and Science Week, stereotypes of what a scientist looks like are challenged and children are introduced to scientists from different cultural backgrounds and genders. 

Through targeted questioning, use of the knowledge organizer and formative assessment, teachers ensure that gaps in children’s learning can be addressed.  

Teachers are expected to create simple assessment documents with objectives for each unit and children are assessed both on their acquisition of knowledge and their scientific enquiry skills at the end of each unit. These records are kept centrally and can be accessed by senior leaders, the science lead and by future teachers so that future planning and any strategy to take the both subject, and individuals’ learning, forward, is informed. 

Impact 

  • Children will achieve at least age related expectations in Science at the end of their cohort year.  

  • Children will retain knowledge that is pertinent to Science with a real- life context.  

  • Children will be able to question ideas and reflect on knowledge.  

  • Children will work collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment.  

  • Children will be able to explain the processes they have undertaken and be able to reason scientifically. 

  • Children will have the confidence to ask questions and have the skills to try to answer these using relevant strategies. 

  • Children will enjoy science and look forward to future scientific learning. 

  • Children will realise that real-life scientists don’t conform to traditional stereotypes and that a career in STEM subjects is totally within their grasp.