Science is valued by staff, pupils and governors as a core curriculum subject. It is seen as an integral part of modern culture and essential for the future development of society. We recognise that science has the potential to stimulate and excite pupils’ curiosity as well as to stretch their imagination and creativity. Science can also satisfy curiosity with knowledge and the skills to collect evidence through first-hand observation and investigation.
At Barnes Primary, our aim is to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think and work scientifically. Our curriculum gives children an understanding of scientific processes and provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Children are taught to think about the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
We follow the objectives of the National Curriculum and have planned our units so that there is coherent progress across the year groups; knowledge is built upon throughout the school. Science is taught as a separate lesson on a weekly basis but cross-curricular links are made explicit to help children understand that science encompasses every aspect of our daily lives. For example, non-fiction science texts are used in guided reading and science units are linked to theme topics. Opportunities to enhance the teaching of mathematical skills are identified in each unit of learning. We also continually encourage children to read science texts for pleasure whether they are at home or school. Our curriculum is planned to be inclusive therefore lessons are planned to be accessible to all.
We ensure that the skills required to work and think scientifically are developed progressively throughout children’s time at the school; they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts. Key scientific terminology is explicitly taught and children are encouraged to use this vocabulary and explain their thoughts clearly both orally and in written work. We want children to continually ask questions and be curious about their surroundings. Visits by specialists such as The Royal Observatory and The Royal Institution alongside offsite school trips enhance the delivery of our science curriculum.
The teaching and learning of science at Barnes is underpinned by eleven key principles, established and agreed by all teaching staff.
Principles for the teaching and learning of science
- Practical and hands-on: Science teaching and learning uses practical hands-on resources.
- Range of enquiry: Children develop a full range of enquiry skills. Teachers are confident teaching enquiry and understand progression.
- Subject knowledge: Teachers show an interest in science. Concepts and knowledge are firmly secured for both children and teachers. Common pupil misconceptions are known.
- Exciting: Teachers are creative and imaginative in their approach to teaching science. Children are excited about their learning in science.
- Real life: Science provision relates to real life contexts and experiences. This includes working in an outdoor environment and trips.
- Questions: Children are encouraged to be curious and pose questions. They have the opportunity to answer their own questions through practical enquiry.
- Language: Children have a secure understanding of key vocabulary and use it with precision and confidence.
- Curriculum links: links are made across the curriculum to enhance and promote scientific understanding.
- Progress: All children make progress in their scientific knowledge and skills. Good use is made of assessment to inform further teaching.
- Famous Scientists: Children are aware of famous scientists, their fields of work and their impact on society.
- Future: Children see themselves as scientists; they are aware of the role of science in daily life and are aware that science offers opportunities for future jobs.
Investigating how to build a circuit to light a bulb in Year 2
The Barnes Primary School science subject map shows what is taught, and when. We follow the National Curriculum for science, which was revised in September 2014. Our aim is to ensure that all pupils:
- 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 knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
We will enable pupils to carry out scientific enquiries and work scientifically. They will be given regular opportunities to:
- observe over time
- look for patterns in their observations and results
- identify, classify and group
- carry out controlled investigations using comparisons and fair testing methodology
- research using secondary sources
- present their findings clearly, precisely and coherently, using scientific vocabulary.
Our overview curriculum map outlines the different topic areas pupils study at different points in their time at our school. Please note that some major topic areas, such as Animals, including Humans, are revisited due to extensive content and the intention to secure progression in pupils knowledge and understanding.
Key Stage 1
- Explore the world around them
- Carry out scientific enquiries
- Learn how to answer scientific questions
- Compare objects, materials and living things
- Sort and group objects, materials and living things
- Notice patterns and relationships by observing changes over time
- Use simple measurements and equipment to gather data
- Carry out simple tests and record simple data
Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4)
- Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiry to answer them
- Make systematic and careful observations, using a range of equipment
- Gather, record, classify and present data to help answer questions
- Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts and tables
- Report on findings from enquiries
- Use results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions
- Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes
use scientific evidence to answer questions.
Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6)
- Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, recognising and controlling variables where necessary
- Take measurements with a wide range of scientific equipment with increasing accuracy and precision
- Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs
- Use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests
- Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanation of an degree of trust in results
- Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.