Science has changed the world that we live in and is also vital to our futures. At Bridgewater Primary School, we believe that effective science teaching and learning is vital to ensure our children become scientifically literate adults who are equipped to cope in a world increasingly shaped by science and technology. They should be knowledgeable about the world around them and our impact upon it and be able to make informed decisions about their health, their immediate environment and the wider world. We believe that effective primary science education encourages curiosity, allowing children the chance to ask questions and explore. It develops enquiring minds and thinking skills and offers children a chance to make choices, form opinions and work collaboratively.
Our aims at Bridgewater Primary ensure that all pupils:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics;
- develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of scientific enquiries that help them answer questions about the world around them;
- are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science today and for the future.
Bridgewater Primary School has its own Principles of Science drawn up by all school stakeholders:
- children are engaged by their learning. They work practically and are provided with awe and wonder moments;
- the learning in science is child-led, allowing children to ask questions and provokes their natural curiosity;
- children are challenged appropriately and are able to talk about their learning using scientific vocabulary;
- there are real life and cross-curricular links where children are able to apply their ideas in a purposeful way;
- children take part in a variety of enrichment activities.
A big emphasis within our lessons is that of 'Working Scientifically', which encompasses the understanding of nature, processes and methods used within science. These skills include: pattern seeking, identifying, classifying, grouping and comparative and fair testing, research, observing over time and problem solving. Pupils are encouraged to seek answers through collecting; analysing and presenting data, skills that will then be built upon and developed further in Key Stage 3 and beyond.
At Bridgewater Primary, we try and explore Science in a variety of ways: lessons, science day, themed weeks, visitors and trips and use of interactive resources. Our passion for science has led us to be awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM) GILT Award.
- Within Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, children have 2-hour weekly science lessons, allowing them the required time to develop their scientific skills and build upon their prior knowledge.
- Across Years 1-6, Science is taught in explicit units, in line with the National Curriculum. Where feasible, cross-curricular links are made and staff have created their own medium-term plans to match their children’s interests and abilities, as well as to incorporate a wide range of investigative activities.
- Every year group will build upon the learning from prior year groups therefore developing depth of understanding and progression of skills.
- Children explore, question, predict, plan, carry out investigations and observations as well as conclude their findings.
- Children present their findings and learning using science specific language, observations and diagrams.
- In order to support children in their ability to ‘know more and remember more’ there are regular opportunities to retrieve the learning that took place in previous topics as well as previous lessons.
- At the start of each unit children will carry out an AfL carousel activity to elicit their understanding and draw out any misconceptions. MTP are then adapted in light of this to ensure they are planning for the needs of the class.
- During each unit, scientists and careers are explored allowing opportunities for children to see themselves as scientists and encourage them into a future STEM career.
- Key vocabulary is identified for each unit of work and displayed on the science wall in each classroom. This vocabulary is regularly referred to during lessons to ensure the children have a clear understanding.
- Children have opportunities to practise their oracy in lessons and higher order thinking skills during bright ideas time where activities such as odd one out, PMI and Big questions are put to the children.
- Effective CPD and regular moderating (to ensure standardisation) are available to staff to ensure high levels of confidence and knowledge are maintained.
- Effective use of education visits and visitors are planned, to enrich and enhance the pupil’s learning experiences within the Science curriculum.
- Teachers use highly effective assessment for learning in each lesson to ensure misconceptions are highlighted and addressed.
- Effective modelling by teachers ensures that children are able to achieve their learning intention, with misconceptions addressed within it.
- Through using a range of assessment tools, differentiation is facilitated by teachers, to ensure that each pupil can access the Science curriculum.
- Children are given clear success criteria in order to achieve the learning intention with differing elements of independence.
- Pupils are regularly given the opportunity for self or peer assessment, which will then be used to inform planning, preparation, differentiation and address misconceptions within that lesson, or for the next lesson.
- Cross-curricular links are planned for, with other subjects such as Maths, English and Computing.
- Our Core Subject Assessment Tracker (Insight) allows us to use data to inform future practice.
This concept involves learning the methodologies of the discipline of science.
- Understand Plants
This concept involves becoming familiar with different types of plants, their structure and reproduction.
- Understand animals and humans
This concept involves becoming familiar with different types of animals, humans and the life processes they share.
- Investigate living things
This concept involves becoming familiar with a wider range of living things, including insects and understanding life processes.
- Understand evolution and inheritance
This concept involves understanding that organisms come into existence, adapt, change and evolve and become extinct.
- Investigate materials
This concept involves becoming familiar with a range of materials, their properties, uses and how they may be altered or changed.
- Understand movement, forces and magnets
This concept involves understanding what causes motion.
- Understand the Earth’s movement in space
This concept involves understanding what causes seasonal changes, day and night.
- Investigate light and seeing
This concept involves understanding how light and reflection affect sight.
- Investigate sound and hearing
This concept involves understanding how sound is produced, how it travels and how it is heard.
- Understand electrical circuits
This concept involves understanding circuits and their role in electrical applications.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of Science through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World.’ Children find out about objects, materials and living things using all of their senses looking at similarities, differences, patterns and change. Both the environment and skilled practitioners foster curiosity and encourage explorative play, children are motivated to ask questions about why things happen and how things work. Our children are encouraged to use their natural environment around them to explore. Children enjoy spending time outdoors exploring mini-beasts and their habitats, observing the changing seasons, plants and animals. Children regularly participate in cookery and baking sessions which allows them to experience changes in state as ingredients are mixed, heated and cooled.
The impact for the learners in Science at Bridgewater Primary will be that pupil voice evidences confident learners who are able to talk about what they have learnt in science using subject specific vocabulary. An engaging, high-quality curriculum will lead to outstanding progress over time, across key stages, relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. Children will therefore be expected to leave Bridgewater Primary reaching at least age-related expectations for Science. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts, our Science curriculum will lead pupils to be enthusiastic Science learners and understand that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Children learn the possibilities for careers in science as a result of our community links and connection with national agencies such as the STEM association.
Pupil voice is used to further develop the Science curriculum, through questioning of pupil’s views and attitudes to Science to support the children’s enjoyment of science and to motivate learners.
Assessment Methods to Reach Summative End-of-Year Judgement
To assess science, we:
Look for evidence in books.
Build in opportunities for retrieval practice to revisit, revise and secure understanding.
Film parts of lessons, to show children’s discussions and participation to assess the understanding of concepts taught.
Collect pupil voice.
Listen to discussions in class and record key points on post-it notes.
Upload evidence on Seesaw, as appropriate, in the form of photographs, voice recordings, observations.
Create an end of topic double page spread.
Use Chromebooks/iPads for research enquiry types – creating presentations and google slides.
Carry out TAPs focused assessment task during each unit to assess aspects of working scientifically.
Ensure there are opportunities for verbal reasoning for higher order thinking – use of Explorify, concept cartoons, PMI, ‘odd one out’, ‘Big Questions.’
Have opportunities for peer feedback.
Plan in moderation sessions, carried out in research team and in year groups, to support with making judgements.
Assess against the teacher’s standards exemplification documents in Year 2 and 6.
Refer to examples of moderated work in folder to help support teachers when making judgements in working scientifically (substantive knowledge).
Use ASE plan documents to support with making judgements related to disciplinary knowledge.
Track outcomes and monitor termly using Insight.
As an inclusive school, we believe that diversity needs to be embraced, celebrated and highlighted, both within the curriculum and through the culture of the school. As a result, children and stakeholders are represented fairly and accurately, with a focus on equity. Learners will have the opportunity have access to a deep, enriching curriculum, which supports community cohesion and enables all pupils to develop and understand themselves as interconnected, global citizens. All children, regardless of gender, culture or disability are given the opportunity to study the curriculum. We acknowledge and plan for the specific needs of all learners. In Science, this will be achieved by ensuring there are positive, diverse figures and STEM role models covered within the curriculum content.
A current focus in science is gender balance with a drive to reduce the disparity between males and females in science related careers. It is unfortunate that many young women still do not see STEM-related subjects as an option for their future career. Research suggests that a variety of factors are likely to be responsible, including feeling like they don’t belong in the subject or its community, a lack of sustained encouragement, and a lack of science role models when they are learning about the subject. We will strive to support this and encourage girls into Science and STEM.
Some children do not have literacy skills to match their science knowledge or skills and we ensure that this does not act as a barrier to their science learning. Scaffolding is used to ensure that all children are able to access the learning and the assessment of the children’s understanding is carried out in a variety of ways.