Science at Brookburn is a subject that stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about the world around them. Scientific investigation develops understanding through practical activity and encourages critical and creative thought. An important aspect of science at Brookburn is for the children to learn and use scientific vocabulary in the correct context, both while in discussion during practical investigation and also when writing up their findings. Children are exposed to different ways of investigating and get the chance to develop their skills at predicting likely outcomes. Making predictions is a key skill used across the curriculum as it teaches children that making a mistake, or not getting something quite right is a natural part of learning.
Pupils understand that there are many cross curricular links within science learning, ranging from creating tables, graphs and interpreting data, to discovering materials from different climates and countries. Pupils are encouraged to work in groups to carry out investigations, so they are constantly developing their co-operation and communication skills, which is key to working effectively as part of a team.
Science is a subject that ultimately is taught discreetly to ensure coverage of the objectives. It is an expectation that science is taught once a week, however depending on the unit or the cross curricular links, can be blocked together if this enhances the children’s learning.
The National Curriculum for Science outlines the different lines of enquiry, which we use as our threshold concepts, acting as the foundations for everything that we do. Within each of the threshold concepts are scientific skills and knowledge objectives which have been matched. Each lesson there is likely to be both knowledge and skills objectives covered. Therefore, when teachers plan their science units, they are able to share the threshold concept that is being experienced with the children and refer back to these posters which include simple images that make it clear what the concept involves:
- 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
At Brookburn teachers plan stimulating lessons that will challenge pupil’s ideas about science and the world around them, ensuring they are always trying to make tangible links with other areas of their learning.
There is a clear progression in each unit and this can clearly be seen throughout the school in each year group so that children are extending their knowledge from learning in previous year groups. Teachers plan for problem solving and real life opportunities that enable 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. Planning involves teachers creating practical, engaging lessons with opportunities for precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning.
Below is the overview of what is taught across the school.
Through our successful teaching of science at Brookburn, children enjoy and value their fun, engaging, high quality science education, which provides them with the foundations for understanding the world that they can take with them once they complete their primary education.
At Brookburn we use both formative and summative assessment against the scientific skills and knowledge objectives to make our overall judgements. Staff use their observational skills to continuously ensure that their teaching is meeting the needs of the learners. The assessment outcomes are all equally weighted and focus on the child’s holistic development in science and help plan for their next steps.