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, outdoor learning, 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.
Further detail on our Science Intent can be found in the Science Policy, to the right of this page.
Science teaching focuses on enabling children to think as Scientists. See below for each Key Stage:
In EYFS, science is included within the Understanding the World area of learning. As with other learning in Reception and Nursery children will mainly learn about science through games and play – which objects float and sink during water play, for example. Activities such as these will help children to develop important skills such as observation, prediction and critical thinking.
In this phase, children are often introduced to individuals, concepts and ideas, building firm foundations for progressive learning in Key Stage 1.
Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)
The principal focus of science teaching in key stage 1 is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly-constructed world around them. They should be encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They should be helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They should begin to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways. Most of the learning about science should be done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there should also be some use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos.
‘Working scientifically’ is described separately in the programme of study but must always be taught through and clearly related to the teaching of substantive science content in the programme of study. Throughout the notes and guidance, examples show how scientific methods and skills might be linked to specific elements of the content.
Pupils should read and spell scientific vocabulary at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.
Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4)
The principal focus of science teaching in lower key stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They should do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. They should ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They should draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out.
‘Working scientifically’ is described separately at the beginning of the programme of study but must always be taught through and clearly related to substantive science content in the programme of study. Throughout the notes and guidance, examples show how scientific methods and skills might be linked to specific elements of the content.
Pupils should read and spell scientific vocabulary correctly and with confidence, using their growing word reading and spelling knowledge.
Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6)
The principal focus of science teaching in upper key stage 2 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They should do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. At upper key stage 2, they should encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They should also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They should select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. Pupils should draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.
‘Working and thinking scientifically’ is described separately at the beginning of the programme of study but must always be taught through and clearly related to substantive science content in the programme of study. Throughout the notes and guidance, examples show how scientific methods and skills might be linked to specific elements of the content.
Pupils should read, spell and pronounce scientific vocabulary correctly.
Children’s progress is continually monitored throughout their time at Barley Lane Primary School and is used to inform future teaching and learning. By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study as set out in the National Curriculum. These are set out as statutory requirements. We also draw on the non-statutory requirements to extend our children and provide an appropriate level of challenge.
Children receive effective feedback through teacher assessment, both orally and through written feedback in line with the success criteria. Children are guided towards achievement of the main objective through the use of process based ‘WILF’, provided by and explained by the teacher. Children will have these to refer to in the lesson, where they will be evident in their books and used to identify areas of difficulty by children and teachers when reviewing and assessing work.
Assessment for learning is continuous throughout the planning, teaching, and learning cycle. However, children are more formally assessed half termly in KS1 and KS2 using a variety of methods:
- Observing children at work, individually, in pairs, in a group, and in classes.
- Questioning, talking and listening to children
- Considering work/materials / investigations produced by children together with discussion about this with them.
- ScholarPack Formative assessments recorded through the half terms of topic covered and Summative assessments informed from this and completed each term.
In line with the KWL strategy, children identify what they know already about each topic, as well as what they would like to know. The programme of study takes is responsive to the children’s starting points, as well as their specific interests. It also ensures a focus on the key identified knowledge of each topic, which is mapped within and across year groups to ensure progression. At the end of each blocked science topic, this key knowledge is checked. Outcomes of work also evidence its acquisition.
In EYFS, we assess the children’s Understanding of the World according to the Development Matters statements and some aspects of Expressive Arts Design are also science based.