Science

Science@Barnehurst

                  

Intent 

At Barnehurst, we want our children to be scientifically literate and understand the scientific methodology. Through this, our children will 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. In addition, our children will be inspired by the many achievements and discoveries of FAMOUS scientists both past and present from a range of diverse backgrounds. There will be multiple opportunities in assemblies to further build on raising awareness about famous scientists and important discoveries.

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 courageous, 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 resilient, 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, kind and sustainable decisions about how to protect our planet and their place in 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 (except in EYFS where it is interwoven into ‘Understanding the World’).  In this way, we can ensure that there is a clear progression of both knowledge and skills (our building blocks) from EYFS to Year 6. These building blocks are split into the three main areas of Science: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. In addition, we also a specific category for working scientifically as these skills apply across all areas of Science.

 

 

 

Topics are repeated and built upon to help pupils retain key facts in their long-term memories and extend their understanding as they develop. This helps children build detailed schemas of inter-connected learning from year to year and from topic to topic. Previous learning is recapped and revisited through quizzing and questioning to ensure a change in long term memory.

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. Here is an example of part of a knowledge organiser for Year 4:

                                                                                

 

 

The knowledge organisers provide excellent progression in substantive knowledge.

 

In addition to the knowledge organisers, teachers have been provided with a progression document for disciplinary knowledge to ensure children have a clear understanding of the  scientific methodology in carrying out practical procedures. This includes (but is not limited to) an understanding of fair testing, evaluation, collecting data accurately, etc.  

From KS1 onwards, Science lessons are taught weekly with one extra day per half-term being a dedicated science day (if appropriate). 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. Science reasoning prompts have also been designed to provide a visual aid to remind children of what specific enquiry they are undertaking. In many lessons, children are given an enquiry problem to solve. For example, how does the Sun make light? How does the voltage of the batteries in a circuit affect the brightness of the lamp? How does a tadpole change over time?

 

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.

 

Each Science lesson (where possible) has 6 separate phases to the lesson:

Each lesson will usually begin with a connect activity which will recap/revisit previous learning or connect learning with another subject. The vocabulary phase can be used at any point in the lesson to define and illustrate the meanings of new scientific terminology. This is usually Tier 3 language (subject-specific) such as opaque, translucent and transparent. In EYFS, this may be more geared towards Tier 2 language using words such as observe, identify, classify/group. The explain phase of a lesson is the teacher modelling a new skill or explaining new knowledge. The example phase is a shared example that the teacher models with the children or the children do in partners. Attempt phase is where the children have a practice at the task/skill/activity before moving onto the apply phase where they will complete their work. The challenge task is designed for the children to engage more deeply with their learning. This is often in the form of a reflection sticker.

Here are some examples below. The reflection questions are not always evidenced in books.

        

 

In EYFS, Science is taught lesson delivery, continuous provision and by provision enhancements. The EYFS curriculum is also broken down into Biology, Chemistry and Physics so that teachers have a clear understanding of how previous learning links to new learning all the way up to Year 6. Each EYFS has a dedicated area for Science where children can work independently/collaboratively to solve an enquiry problem.

Here are some examples:

 

 

EYFS staff also have lanyards with key knowledge for each subject area around their neck to guide the children in their interactions. This may include vocabulary, prompts and suggested questions. The EYFS curriculum is designed to ensure children have a solid scientific foundation on which schemas of learning can be built throughout their schooling.

 

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 record their summative assessments in a document called ‘Wider Curriculum Assessment’ with the relevant objectives for each unit. 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.

 

 

Furthermore, multiple lessons of each science topic are recorded on Showbie (an app) through photographs, videos, annotations and voice notes. This provides another useful bank of  evidence when aiding teachers in their judgements.

Finally, to support learning and aid long term retention, every class has a dedicated Science area or Science display. 

  

 

Our coverage is as follows: