Science at Bolton
Subject Lead: Heather Lowthian (Since September 2019)
Monitoring Governor: Bronwen Maxwell (Since September 2022)
The 2014 national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
• 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 scientific enquiries (refer to PLAN presentation) 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
Through science, pupils at Bolton Primary School will continue to deepen their respect, care and appreciation for the natural world and all its phenomena. 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 key stage, 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.
A specialist science teacher (and lead teacher for science) delivers our science curriculum throughout the school. This helps to ensure that children build on their knowledge and skills as they progress through the school. The science teacher also teaches Science at another primary school in the cluster which helps them compare a greater number of pupils when assessing. The science teacher creates a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforces an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following;
• Science is planned, taught and assessed in topic blocks. The National curriculum objectives are grouped into topics and adapted and extended for Bolton Primary School. The PLAN curriculum mapping is used to ensure progression. Each topic is taught in: Early Years, Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 at the same time to: ensure progression, ensure coverage, allow resources to be evaluated and to provide the opportunity for whole-school trips or topic days. Families with children in more than one class can also visit places out of school, get library books etc. that appropriately support the science topic for all of their children.
•Home-based activities are available for the topic being taught on the school website.
• Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to apply their knowledge, and find out answers for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be 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 pupils regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all pupils keep up.
• We build upon the knowledge and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient at: planning investigations (making predictions, selecting equipment, method-writing, controlling variables), recording results in tables and graphs, drawing conclusions, evaluating evidence, evaluating results, conducting research and understanding key concepts.
• Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career alongside the acquisition of new knowledge and vocabulary. This is developed through the years, in-keeping with the topics. Teachers model how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding.
• The key knowledge and vocabulary within each science topic and working scientifically skills are informed by the PLAN matrices. New vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is developed through the years, in-keeping with the topics. Teachers ask a range of questions, which enable all children to take part, listening carefully to answers and taking learning forward, using open and closed questions and allowing children time to think. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding by accessing outdoor learning.
• We adapt and extend the curriculum to match the unique circumstances of our school.
• The teacher has access to a central store of high-quality equipment shared with another school.
• Events, such as project days provide a broader provision encouraging the acquisition and application of vocabulary, knowledge and skills. These are purposeful, linking with the knowledge being taught in class and where appropriate involve the wider community.
The approach at Bolton Primary School results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education that 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. Through various workshops, trips and interactions, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future. Children learn the possibilities for careers in science, from a range of different scientists from various backgrounds, allowing all children to feel they are scientists and capable of achieving.
Please see our Science at Bolton document below for more information, including our policy, progression of skills, knowledge and vocabulary.