At Brookburn, we teach a creative curriculum that makes meaningful links, therefore we try to ensure that Science is thought through our topics. However, ultimately science is taught discreetly to ensure coverage of the objectives. It is an expectation that science is taught once a week, however sometimes teachers like to block some areas of science if this enhances the children’s learning.
The National Curriculum for Science outlines the lines of enquiry, which we have chosen to use as our threshold concepts. These threshold concepts act as the foundations for everything that we do. These are:
- Pattern Seeking
- Observation over time
- Grouping and classifying
- Using equipment and fair testing
- Seeking answers to problems through questioning
- Seeking answers to questions through collecting and presenting data
Within each of the threshold concepts, we have matched the scientific skills as well as the knowledge objectives. Therefore, when people plan their science units, they are able to share the threshold concept that is being experienced with the children. Each lesson there is likely to be both knowledge and skills objectives covered. Each teacher has a set of threshold concept posters to display and refer to with the children, so that they become familiar with the concepts. Each poster has a simple image that makes it clear what the concept involves:
Each year, either as a school or as individual year teams, science enrichment is planned for. Over the years we have made links with many different companies which have delivered various activities. Last year Brookburn held a science morning, inviting all of the parents into school to carry out a science experiment with their child. This proved to be very successful. The PTA have funded a science week in the past, enabling us to invite science companies into school to offer practical science opportunities. From pupil voice, practical, engaging science is something that the children absolutely love and want to do more of, therefore we always try to make science fun and engaging with real life observations.
There is an overview of what is taught, however teachers have the freedom to change the order of each unit based on possible curriculum links that they would like to make:
|Autumn 1||Autumn 2||Spring 1||Spring 2||Summer 1||Summer 2|
|Year 1||Seasons||Seasons||Materials||Humans and Animals||Inventors||Plants|
|Year 2||Materials||Materials||Living Things and Habitats||Living Things and Habitats||Plants||Plants|
|Year 3||Human Body||Human Body||Plants||Rocks and Soils||Light||Magnets|
|Year 4||States of Matter||States of Matter||Sound||Living things and their habitats||Digestive system and teeth||Electricity|
|Year 5||Materials||Materials||Forces||Earth, Sun and Moon||Life Cycles||Plants|
Each term, teachers assess the children’s ability in science against the scientific skills and knowledge objectives. From September 2019, teachers will have an assessment grid that has both the knowledge objectives and skills objectives underneath the threshold concepts to ensure coverage. Teachers highlight the scientific objectives that groups of children have met so that they can plan for next steps. They also initial the names of children who are under performing, or exceeding, knowledge objectives. These assessment judgements inform the teacher assessment judgements that are made termly in target tracker. Parents are informed of their child’s attainment (emerging, meeting or exceeding) in science on their end of year report. The scientific skills are particularly harder for the children to demonstrate compared to knowledge objectives, therefore it is harder to achieve greater depth.