At Bretherton Endowed C of E Primary School, we provide children with access to a high-quality STEM education that is linked directly to real-world career progression pathways, specific to the location and the industrial demographics of that area; local careers for local students that deliver rewarding outcomes, delivering the Gatsby Benchmarks.
We aim to ensure that all of the students that study through our programme, Developing Experts, become exceptional critical thinkers and problem solvers; the essential skills that are needed in the world of work. They are never too young to start with STEM. We have addressed this by implementing schemes of learning that offer breadth and depth, respect the National Curriculum and build progressively across the Key Stages; lesson-by-lesson, unit-by-unit.
We want children to:
- Be curious and explore their world building a wealth of scientific knowledge and skills
- Become effective problem solvers using science to answer the challenges that the world is facing
- Develop excellent skills in maths to enable data handling and analysis
- Emerge as effective exponents of STEM through the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- Challenge themselves to address every question with investigation, prediction, observation, data collection, synthesis, analysis, and a thorough evaluation of their findings
- Communicate their understanding and ideas with a wide technical vocabulary.
Children in EYFS are encouraged to explore the world around them, making observations of living things, such as plants and animals. They will be able to discuss similarities and differences about the natural world around them and contrasting environments. Children will also understand the important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and states of matters.
Please see the curriculum overview to understand how Science is being taught in Class 1.
Key Stage 1
At Key Stage 1, pupils are exploring and making sense of the world around them; naming things and understanding how they fit in their environment. Developing Experts apply the National Curriculum programmes of study by helping children to identify what makes, animals and humans, materials and their uses, plants and seasonal change. There is a clear progression pathway from Year 1 to Year 2 and children are encouraged to work scientifically, investigating, observing, recording and sharing, using simple equipment increasing their curiosity for their surroundings. We believe that the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes builds strong foundations. Our emphasis on keywords reinforces their learning and understanding. In each lesson experts explain things and relate them to the world outside home and education, enabling children at a young age to begin to form the relationships of the working world within their own conceptual understanding.
Key Stage 2 - Lower
Having established the foundational scientific concepts, we now add depth to their understanding of the areas from KS1 and broaden the range of topics and concepts studied; rocks, human impact on living things - conservation and pollution, and eventually, states of matter, sound, and electricity. Children are immersed and progressively build on their foundational scientific knowledge and vocabulary. Our indicative assessment provides clear guidance as to where each pupil is in their individual learning journey, enabling teachers to adjust the style of delivery or repeat a resource if required. Children become more conversant with the world of work through our expert dialogue that applies STEM knowledge to the professional context. We continue to encourage children to be inquisitive pond dipping or investigating dead trees for life, or testing material resistance to glass paper, or impact testing to list characteristics; then to chart and classify their data and form narratives from their findings developing their skills to work scientifically.
Key Stage 2 – Upper
By Year 5 and Year 6, pupils are becoming confident and independent young scientists. Through their explorations, they raise questions, make simple hypotheses that they test, collect data for, then subject to analysis and report from. The breadth of study now includes the solar system, forces, light and evolution. They have developed their language and communication through their study of our key words and the dialogue of our experts in the field.
The 2014 National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all children:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
- are equipped with the scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
- We understand that it is important for lessons to have a skills-based focus, built on a foundation of supporting knowledge.
By using Developing experts, we encourage children to be inquisitive throughout their time at school and beyond. The Science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. Throughout the programmes of study, the children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group, as well as the application of scientific skills. We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout children’s time at the school so that they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
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. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following;
- Science will be taught in planned and arranged topic blocks by the class teacher, to have a project-based approach. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge.
- Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom. Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children keep up.
- We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years, as planned within our 2-year cycle. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
- Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is developed through the years, in-keeping with the topics.
- Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings.
- Children are offered a extra-curricular activities, visits, trips and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class.
The successful approach from using Developing Experts results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first-hand experiences of the world around them. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts, children have the understanding 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 expert films and curriculum links to industry, ensuring that children have access to positive role models within the field of science from a range of science disciplines and Stem related industries. From this exposure to a range of different scientists from various backgrounds, all children feel they are scientists and capable of achieving. We aim to ensure every child enjoys science which results in motivated learners with sound scientific understanding.
Action Plan 2023
- Continue to develop enquiry skills across the school
- Identify how our mixed-aged planning supports enquiry and assessment
- Lead a science cluster group to provide CPD and support for schools