Science at Beech Hill School is taught purposefully in all year groups to allow children to have a strong understanding of the world, whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them think scientifically. Science is taught through stimulating and engaging lessons, given children opportunities to often practise their working scientifically skills in the application of their knowledge in different areas. Where possible, classes go on trips or have visitors in school to bring their scientific studies to life.
Some aspects of Science are taught in multiple year groups and key stages, in line with the National Curriculum, to build on children’s prior understanding and knowledge, encourage retention of key information and increase their enthusiasm for Science topics. Scientific investigations and enquiries are embedded throughout units and year groups to allow children to discover more about the knowledge they have acquired and the potential to observe it first-hand.
Using our bespoke progression of working scientifically skills, we ensure children are building on and embedding skills useful for different types of scientific enquiries (observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying & grouping; comparative & fair testing, and use of secondary sources) and asking a wider range of appropriate and effective scientific questions. We also place vocabulary at the forefront, ensuring that children are exposed to new, relevant and specialist vocabulary with each unit of study.
Our Science teaching, vocabulary, skills and wider experiences allow our children to understand the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future.
How our Science curriculum is constructed
Our Science curriculum for years 1 – 6 is based on the National Curriculum as defined by the Department of Education. We teach the specific units of study half termly. We discuss the vocabulary of whether a unit is Chemistry, Physics or Biology and what this area of Science entails from year 1.
Units are taught in the year group as specified in the National Curriculum, with some exceptions for 2020-21 to allow for the catch up of missed learning last year. (See the Long Term Overview for details)
Where possible, we link the Science unit being taught with the Curriculum Topic of the half term. For example Year 4 States of Matter science is in the same half term at their Topic of Antarctica; for Year 5s the Science unit of Earth and Space is within the wider curriculum Topic to Infinity and Beyond (Space). This allows for relevant and purposeful links to be made, and a deeper understanding of the different curriculum areas.
For Working Scientifically coverage, we thread this throughout the Science units that year groups teach. We offer a variety of working scientifically opportunities, ensuring that we cover a broad selection of enquiry types (observing over time, comparison & fair testing, identifying, classifying & grouping, pattern seeking and secondary source research). These enquiry types fit naturally with different units of Science work. We strive to ensure a fair coverage of all, however make sure that they are a valuable learning opportunity best suited to the specific area chosen.
Why? The sequencing and ordering of these units have been established to ensure that knowledge and understanding is relevant and can support children in building upon prior learning. The unit is planned in a way so that key skills are recapped and revisited to encourage retention. Vocabulary and working scientifically skills are carefully considered using the in house progression documents to ensure appropriate skills and chosen and developed, and that they are building on prior learning. We regularly have opportunities to link our English and Maths to our Science work – for example measurement skills, wider understanding of a historical context through science & reading opportunities, or with opportunities to reinforce basic English and Maths skills. Teaching Science in this way supports the learning in other subjects to give a contextual understanding as well as supporting retention.
In early years, Science is taught under the area of Understanding the World.
‘Science’ opportunities within the EYFS curriculum have been considered and identified. An example of this document is:
Science Must Knows
Below are a selection of the Must Knows that we provide for each year group, for each specific unit of Science (half termly). These Must Knows are designed to be used at home by parents as part of homework and revision, in school to supplement work in lessons and to recap previous learning. These are carefully structured so that knowledge and vocabulary are sequenced and built upon over time. We are confident that these Must Knows will help our children to develop and retain key knowledge on a wide range of topics and will significantly improve their vocabulary.
Cultural Capital in Science
‘It is the essential knowledge that pupils need to be educated citizens, introducing them to the best that has been thought and said and helping to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.’
Ofsted School Inspection Handbook 2019
Cultural Capital at Beech Hill is something we are passionate about throughout all subjects. Science is a subject that lends itself extremely well to developing cultural capital. We are excited about delivering knowledge and making educated citizens who learn from the events, people, ideas we study.
We aim for year groups to have at least one high quality geographical trip or visitor per year in order for pupils to gain a wider context to their unit of study. Children are then able to apply their knowledge to a more ‘concrete’ experience and bring their learning to life.
Some examples of this during the last few years are:
- Year 1 – trip to Manor Heath Park to observe autumnal and seasonal changes. Also trip to Eureka museum, with focus on human bodies,
- Year 2 – Residential to Nell Bank with pond dipping, mini beast hunt and habitat trail (similar experiences recreated for those children at school). Living Eggs experience to see life cycle of chicks first hand.
- Year 3 – Dinostar visitor to explore fossils and replica dinosaur fossils
- Year 4 – Bradford Media Museum and Sound workshop.
- Year 5 – Yorkshire Water education centre trip and Planetarium wonderdome.
- Year 6 – virtual reality t-shirts to explore inside the human body.
We have created a bespoke LT Overview document which links the half-termly units that year groups look at with relevant and diverse influential individuals and wider reading opportunities. These may be studied specifically, discussed during a lesson or have a linked session such as reading comprehension focusing on them.
An example of the document:
Within their study of Evolution, Year 6 looked at the Scientist Charles Darwin and completed a piece of writing about him (fact file or biography)
Showcase your Science (Beech Hill Science in action):
All children in Years 1 – 6 have a Science book where their work is recorded. Work is also evidenced on our online learning platform (Seesaw).
Here are some highlights from this year so far: