A vision for science teaching and learning
At Bewick Bridge, all children will have the opportunity to learn about the world around them so as to become scientifically literate citizens. All children will have the opportunity to observe, question, investigate and interpret the world around them using a variety of approaches and experiences. Through their learning, children will be able to build their knowledge, skills and understanding, equipping them with the diverse cultural capital required to be successful citizens in the modern world.
Five principles for science teaching and learning
Science learning, like a plant, grows over time.
Science learning is awe-inspiring, like seeing the first sprouts from a seed.
Science learning also requires focus, beyond the initial excitement, like nurturing a plant.
Science learning does not exist in isolation. It is linked to the world around us and our other areas of learning.
Science learning is dependent on being rooted in broad and deep knowledge and understanding.
Our journey to develop science at Bewick Bridge
Science subject statement
At Bewick Bridge, we believe that a high-quality education in Science is a vital part of children’s learning. The process of ‘working scientifically’ has the ability to develop and merge creative and critical thinking skills, through children’s engagement with a range of activities including: observation; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparing; designing and carrying out controlled investigations; creating and answering questions; collecting, presenting and interpreting information. Scientific learning provides children with the opportunity to recognise the value of rational explanations as well as the chance to investigate their curiosities about the natural world. Scientific learning allows children to develop an understanding of the world around them and their role within in through the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. They do this through a combination of acquiring essential scientific knowledge, practising key scientific skills and developing a deep conceptual understanding about the world around them.
Purpose of this policy
- To establish an entitlement for all pupils in the subject of Science;
- To establish expectations for adults and children;
- To promote clarity, coherence and consistency in the teaching of Science across the school;
- To promote a shared understanding of Science, within the school;
- To explain how Science is taught at Bewick Bridge Community Primary School;
- To give further guidance about teaching methods and the resources available
Aims and objectives of scientific learning
The overarching aim for Science in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of knowledge, skills and understanding relating to scientific processes and the treatment of natural phenomena.
At Bewick Bridge we aim:
- To teach the key scientific topics as outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework and the National Curriculum;
- To use rigorous whole-school, long term planning to ensure curriculum coverage;
- To use termly assessment to track attainment within and across year groups;
- To incorporate the principles of ‘working scientifically’ into all of our scientific learning;
- To encourage curiosity by providing opportunities for open ended investigations;
- To link scientific learning to our locality so as to make it relatable and relevant to children;
- To encourage children to ask and answer their own scientific questions;
- To promote rational thinking when explaining processes and justifying interpretations;
- To model and scaffold oracy skills through in-depth, rational scientific discussions;
- To develop an understanding of why and how things occur in the natural world;
- To offer enrichment opportunities that link scientific learning to other curriculum subjects;
- To provide equal opportunities for all children to achieve.
Science programmes of study
The Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework and the National Curriculum Science programme of study for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 form the basis of teaching and learning in Science. In the Early Years Foundation Stage, the prime area of ‘Understanding the World’ is explored through topic based learning and through the use of continuous, enriched and responsive provision, both in the indoor and outdoor learning environment. In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, the National Curriculum programme of study is addressed through the school’s own topic-based curriculum, which provides the children with opportunities to focus on one key subject area while also making links with other subjects within the curriculum.
Teaching and learning
Through the teaching of Science, children should develop scientific knowledge, such as the facts relating to animal life cycles, as well as scientific skills, such as the ability to construct a controlled investigation. By combining knowledge and skills, children will be able to develop rich understandings and address misconceptions related to scientific learning. Where possible, scientific learning should be linked to real life resources and experiences. Teaching and learning should build upon children’s speaking and listening skills by providing children with ample opportunities to express their knowledge and understanding. As children progress through the school, this expression should incorporate an increasing number of technical terms. This will demonstrate children’s increasing confidence in the subject as well as provide teachers with the opportunity to assess learning and address any misconceptions. Science is a high priority subject as it provides children with the opportunity to engage with curious and critical thinking, enabling them to understand the world around them and to situate themselves within it.
Learning and assessment
Evidence of children’s learning, achievement and progression should be visible, both to them and to adults. This can take the form of recorded learning in their topic books, when engaged in a topic that incorporates scientific learning. Additionally, learning can be evidenced as follows:
- By children contributing to their class working wall;
- By children’s work being neatly and proudly displayed on corridor displays;
- By children or teachers taking photographs or videos of investigations and discussions;
- By children or teachers scribing discussions;
- By examples of children’s learning being shared in the school newsletter or class blogs;
The subject lead for Science conducts termly learning environment walks, book scrutinies and data analysis to monitor progression in learning and security of judgements. Additionally, lesson observations are conducted in the Spring term to monitor the quality and consistency of teaching and learning, with examples of quality first teaching being shared with colleagues in professional development meetings.
Children are assessed against the learning objectives as outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework and the National Curriculum. This assessment is based on a range of learning evidence, as detailed above. Frequently, assessment will be formative in nature. Where possible, children should be aware of this assessment process, for example, by looking at previous observations on Tapestry in Reception or by talking with the teacher about their recorded learning during lessons in Key Stage 1 and 2. This will enable the teacher and the child to understand the depth of learning acquired and the next step in learning.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, assessment is based on observations using Tapestry. Each half term, teachers in the Early Years assess children’s attainment in the area of Understanding the World by referring to such Tapestry evidence and Development Matters statements. This is then used to make a judgement as to which age band children are currently learning within and whether they are seen to be below, working towards or secure in that age band.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, assessment is based on learning produced in topic books and whole class feedback sheets. At the end of each science topic, teachers create a Point in Time Assessment (PITA) as to whether children are working below expected, at expected or above expected levels for the content that has been covered. This judgment is then used to support termly summative assessments on Target Tracker.
The subject lead monitors teachers’ judgements at the end of each term by analysing the percentage of children at, above or below age related expectations, identifying trends in the assessment data, paying attention to the attainment of vulnerable groups and ensuring the quality of judgements by moderating them against work scrutiny evidence, also gathered on a termly basis. These summative assessments and the monitoring of them also perform a formative role as both the class teacher and subject lead can discuss current attainment levels for children and plan to support and stretch learning accordingly in subsequent units of learning.
Differentiation and support, including support for SEND
At Bewick Bridge we aim to ensure that all children have equal opportunities to participate in a broad and balanced Science curriculum regardless of age, race, gender, disability, religion, culture or attainment. Through a wide range of activities and resources all children are able to participate and their individual needs are met. This is made possible by the following steps:
- Tasks are set that are appropriately challenging, based on systematic, accurate assessment of children’s prior skills, knowledge and understanding.
- Regular support throughout lessons in the form of modelling and scaffolding
- Timely intervention that is systematic and effectively monitored over the course of a topic
- Regular and constructive verbal and written feedback that enables pupils to understand how to improve their work
- Appropriate time within early morning learning or at the start of a new topic lesson for children to respond to feedback
- Providing a variety of resources depending on abilities
- Clearly defined roles and activities for all adults and children in planning
When a child’s progression falls significantly below the age related expectations for the subject, it is possible that there may be an additional learning need. Class teachers should discuss learning concerns with the subject lead and the SEN Coordinator to investigate appropriate ways to support the child’s learning. SEN plans may be implemented for those children who need them and are reviewed termly.