Science Intent Statement:
The 2014 National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all children:
- Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
- 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.
- Are equipped with the scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future. We understand that it is important for lessons to have a skills -based focus, and that the knowledge can be taught through this.
At Birches First School, we encourage children to be inquisitive throughout their time at the school and beyond. The Science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe, and our own planet, and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe Science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. Throughout the programmes of study, the children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group, as well as the application of scientific skills. We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built -on and developed throughout children’s time at the school so that they can apply their knowledge of Science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings. At Birches we strive to ensure that children will leave Birches with a curious mind, an eagerness to continue to explore and an understanding of the world of STEM learning.
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. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of Science involves the following:
- Science will be planned and taught weekly or in arranged ‘blocks’ by the class teacher, using a wide range of investigations to help children gain a deeper understanding of the Science that they are learning.
- Lessons are developed with the use of the Government approved ‘PLAN’ documents that provide activity examples. These provide the school with a progression of vocabulary for each year group, which ensures children are exposed to the correct language throughout their time at Birches First School. These documents also provide us with a development in knowledge matrix, which ensures children build upon their prior knowledge from previous years.
- Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and are given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom. 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. Children are encouraged to assess their own learning alongside the teacher.
- At Birches, we build upon the learning and skill development from the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient in selecting equipment, using the scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they will become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
- Within EYFS at Birches First School, children attain Science knowledge, skills, and vocabulary through the area of learning ‘The Natural World’. EYFS builds the foundations of Science teaching before moving on to the learning directed by the National Curriculum in Year 1. This is delivered primarily through continuous provision, with specific enhancement set up to help develop skills and knowledge at a greater level. Children in EYFS are encouraged to explore and observe the outside world, noting seasonal change (plants and living things and their habitats), investigating natural and man-made materials and learning how things work all these planned activities provide a secure starting point as they move from EYFS to Key Stage 1.
- Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is developed through the years, in-keeping with the units of learning.
- Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and appropriate workshops with experts.
- Children are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities, visit and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum. For example, Pendeford Nature Reserve, Jackfield Tile Museum and the ThinkTank. These are purposeful educational visits and link with the knowledge taught in class.
- Regular events, such as Science or STEM day, allow all pupils to come off -timetable, to provide the children with a broader provision and the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. These events often involve families and the wider community. These days also allow the children to look at the application of Science in the real world and look at how Science can be linked to jobs in the future.
The successful approach at Birches First results in a fun, engaging, high-quality Science education, which provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them. Opportunities for progressive learning outside the classroom are encouraged throughout the Science curriculum allowing the children to learn in, as well as about the world around them. Children learn about the possibilities for careers in Science and we seek opportunities for community links; enabling children to learn from and work with professionals, ensuring that children have access to positive role models within the field of Science from the immediate and wider local community. Children are encouraged to see themselves as scientists, capable of achieving. Children at Birches First School have shown overwhelming enjoyment in regards to Science and this results in motivated learners with sound scientific understanding.
Children in Key Stage One SATs 2022 attained 85% working at Expected Standard compared to 77% Nationally.
Children in EYFS achieved 93% at Expected for The Natural World within EYFS Profile