At Bedford Primary School, we recognise that the curriculum we deliver is the toolkit we send our children out into the world with. It reflects our context, core values and the kind of citizens we want them to be. We have to be ambitious for them and prepare them for a rapidly changing digital world.
"The most important thing is never stop questioning."
The skills of a great science student - children can...
- discover for themselves through trial and error - taking risks, designing own investigations, answering questions/hypotheses and solving problems
- understand and use the correct scientific vocabulary
- communicate effectively to ask questions, explain and ask questions
- record their learning in a variety of different ways to demonstrate their understanding
- work together and support each other - showing effective collaboration.
Throughout the subject of science, our pupils will also demonstrate additional traits from our Bedford Learner Profile including
Our vision for science:
We know great science has taken place when...good science teaching happens when...
- Teachers are confident and enthused about what they are teaching
- Teachers make links and use analogies and models that children can relate to
- Learning is not limited to inside the classroom
- Children make links to their learning in science, right across the curriculum
- Children do not want the learning to stop!
Science throughout Bedford Primary School
About science at Bedford:
There are three main aims of our Science National curriculum
- All pupils develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- All pupils 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
- All pupils are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future
At Bedford teachers plan, teach and assess to meet the above aims through specific units of work written for each year group using The PLAN progression maps. The progression maps ensure that teachers are familiar with the children’s science experience in previous year groups ensuring that they are able to build on previous learning.
At Bedford Primary School Science lessons in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 are predominantly first-hand practical experiences with opportunities for children to discuss draw and write simple evaluations about what they have discovered. Our youngest Children are encouraged to use the correct terminology during lessons in order to enhance their vocabulary in an engaging and meaningful way. Young children have a natural curiosity for finding out about the world around them and we strive to develop this curiosity through stimulating science-based activities. We encourage our children to ask questions and support them in finding the answers to their questions. Stimulating displays, images, videos and visitors to school are also used to promote discussions. When the children’s reading skills improve as they progress through KS1 they are taught how to find key information in a non- fiction book.
As our children progress to KS2 they develop a greater level of independence. They are challenged to ask more thoughtful questions about what they observe, experience and investigate and are encouraged to develop their feedback and discussion skills when collaborating on investigation tasks with other pupils. Although practical activities continue to play a dominant role in science lessons our more able children now provide evidence of their thinking and learning in a variety of ways.
Progression in the use of scientific vocabulary is important across the school. Enhancing the children’s vocabulary is a key part of each and every science lesson at Bedford. The children are encouraged to ask questions at the beginning of every new science topic in class and these questions are displayed on our class ‘Question boards’. These boards also display the key vocabulary needed as children begin to answer their questions. This is done with support from the class teacher who ensures that the children are given lots of opportunities to practise this vocabulary and use the correct terminology during science investigations.
Teachers plan and support the children’s scientific vocabulary skills using the document below.
Pupils at Bedford are encouraged to develop their scientific skills through the five types of scientific enquiry which include
- Observation over time - The children are encouraged to observe how our Seasons change and affect the daily weather . How all living things grow and change throughout different stages of life including plants, animals and humans. How materials may change state over time when affected by cold, heat, or being mixed with a different material.
- Pattern seeking – Observing, measuring, collecting and interpreting data from a range of sources. The children are encouraged to collect the evidence they need and look for patterns to help investigate questions such as ‘Do taller people have longer arms?’ ‘Where do plants grow well?’ or ‘Does the size of a planet affect the length of its orbit?’
- Identifying Classifying and Grouping - Making sense of how the world is organised. All children across the school are given the opportunity to explore, identify and sort not just the youngest children as this is key to developing the key vocabulary for the relevant topic in each year group.
- Comparative and Fair testing - These are similar types of testing however ‘Fair Tests’ are more scientific and are carried out with our KS2 children. ‘Fair test’ investigations observe and measure the effect changing one variable has on another whilst keeping all other variables the same. During ‘Comparative testing’ the children have less control over the variables e.g. which tissue is best for soaking up water? We can control the amount of water and the size of the tissue but have no control over the thickness or design of the tissue paper.
- Research using secondary sources – This is when we encourage children to find information to answer questions that are difficult to answer through classroom investigation. This may include them using reference books, photographs, internet searches or interview visitors who have been asked to come into school who have some expertise in a specific subject.
Working scientifically helps our children practise and develop the skills needed to become a good scientist. We encourage the children to explore, question and problem solve in order to develop curiosity and carry out independent investigations to gain a deeper understanding of their world.
Teachers plan and assess the children’s progress in working scientifically using the document below.
Year 2 children evaluating the growth of their beans and peas.
Celebrating Science across our school
If you are visiting Bedford please take a little time to view our Science display in the main corridor which is updated each term to celebrate our current science topics across the school. There are regular tweets about science in each year group on our twitter page.
The Developing Experts website supports Science learning in the classroom and at home. Each child at Bedford Primary School has personal log in details to access this site a direct link is provided by clicking on the image below.
Click on the image to take you to the log in page where your child can use their personal log in details to access a range of great science lessons and activities.