Science at Barley Lane Primary is based on developing children’s ideas and breadth of knowledge with regards to Biology, Chemistry and Physics, enabling them to make sense of the world in which we live in. When children leave Barley Lane we aim for them to be equipped with the scientific knowledge they require to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. All children and staff are encouraged to be inquisitive throughout their time at Barley Lane and beyond. The science curriculum fosters a curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. Throughout the years, children will acquire and develop the key knowledge and vocabulary that has been identified in our carefully-planned science units. We aim to ensure the ‘scientific enquiry skills are built on, year on year, to ensure their ability to apply their knowledge when investigating, building arguments and explaining concepts with confidence, whilst also continuing to fuel their curiosity and question their local surroundings of London and Essex, and the universe we live in. Specialist vocabulary for science topics is taught and built up, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged.
Our Science curriculum fits in within our wider curriculum intent as through science we provide a range of learning experiences: experimentation, investigation, workshops, whole school assemblies and carefully chosen trips. Children develop the knowledge of how scientists in the past have shaped their lives around them today. This is all done to help develop our children’s understanding of the world around them and put their learning into context, in order for them become the well rounded students Barley Lane aims to achieve.
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. Lessons are planned weekly, taught every week for two hours and evidenced in books every fortnight.
Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following:
- Science is taught following a detailed sequence of lessons, incorporating other core and foundation subjects where the topic lends itself. This is a strategy in place to build the scientific skills and enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge. 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.
- Through our planning, we will involve aspects of real life, which should encourage pupils 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 and outside the classroom. We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. 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.
- Scientific enquiry skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the pupil’s school career, where new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced. This is developed through the years, in-keeping with the topics where it lends itself.
- Children to use and apply scientific enquiry skills whilst using scientific apparatus in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning at Barley Lane i.e. The Spinney, the garden, field and pond area. They also utilise our internal resources, including our food technology room.
- Children are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities, visits, trips, workshops and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum for the pupils. These are purposeful and link with the topics taught within class.
- Events such as Science Week and after-school parent workshops allow all pupils, to provide broader provision and the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. These events often involve families and the wider community.
The approach chosen for Barley Lane Primary School aims to result in a fun, engaging and high-quality Science education, which provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world around us. Our engagement with the local environment within and external to school, ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences. Frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom is embedded throughout the science curriculum. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts and local charities, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future. Children learn the possibilities for careers in science through the different topics. From this exposure to a range of different scientists from various backgrounds, all children feel they are scientists and capable of achieving. Children at Barley Lane should confidently leave with a broad skill set and knowledge of the science curriculum, whilst being able to apply these skills learnt to any future endeavours. We measure the impact of the science curriculum through standards of work in books, tracking of knowledge using our Scholarpack formative and summative assessment system and pupil discussions about their learning.