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:
- discover for themselves through trial and error - taking risks, designing own investigations, answering questions/hypotheses and persevering to solve problems
- understand and use the correct scientific vocabulary
- communicate effectively to ask questions and formulate explanations
- 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 creativity, effective teamwork, an understanding of the importance of looking after their bodies and the environment and world around them.
Our vision for science:
We know good science teaching and learning happens when...
- Teachers are confident and enthused about what they are teaching
- Teachers make links and use of relevant analogies and models that children can relate to
- Learning takes place both inside and outside of the classroom
- Children make links to and apply 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:
The three main aims of the science National Curriculum are for all pupils to:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the three specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through participation in 5 different types of scientific enquiries, enquiries that help them to ask and answer questions relating to the world around them.
- be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the importance, use and implications of science, today and for the future.
To meet the three aims above and ensure effective planning and assessment of the science National Curriculum we use the PLAN primary science resources from the Association for Science Education (ASE). The PLAN progression maps highlight the links between the coverage and learning from previous year groups so that teachers are able to build upon prior learning and ensure the development of the skills needed to work scientifically.
At Bedford, science lessons in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Key Stage 1 are predominantly first-hand, practical experiences that promote curiosity, thinking and questioning and provide opportunities for children to discuss, draw and write simple evaluations about their discoveries. Our youngest children are taught and encourage to use the correct scientific terminology during lessons in order to develop their vocabulary in an engaging and meaningful way. When it comes to finding our about the world around them, young children are naturally inquisitive - we strive to develop this through engaging, hands-on, practical experiences. Stimulating displays, images, videos and visitors are also part of our science curriculum offer. We also ensure that high quality texts are used to enhance the teaching of science. As children progress through key stage 1, they are also taught to locate key information in non-fiction texts.
As our children progress to Key Stage 2, the learning journey continues and the lines of enquiry, knowledge and skills deepen. Pupils evidence their observations, experiences, investigations and further develop their ability to discuss, argue, feedback and collaborate with their peers. Although practical activities continue to play a dominant role, older pupils are able to present and provide evidence of their learning and scientific thinking in a variety and increasing number of ways - selecting the one most appropriate to the task in hand.
Celebrating science across school
If you are visiting Bedford please take a little time to view our Science display in the main corridor (shown above). The board 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.
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 PLAN document shown above.
Ensuring progression in the use of the correct terminology and scientific vocabulary is a key part of every science lesson. 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 ASE document below.
Supporting children with science at home:
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.
Click on the image to view the website where you will find lots of gardening activities for your family to enjoy together.
Please join the children and staff at Bedford who plan to take part in National Children's Gardening Week by collecting cuttings and plants to plant around our school grounds, We are hoping to create a colourful, scented environment for everyone to enjoy.
If you have any bedding plants to donate to school we will begin planting week beginning Mon 7th June following the half term holiday.