Science is about curiosity: asking questions and finding things out.
Science at Beehive Lane is a subject which is intended to provoke children’s curiosity of the world around them. This goes hand in hand with our whole school approach of encouraging children to question things for themselves. From the very beginning, our youngest children are encouraged to ask ‘What if…’, ‘How …’ and ‘Why…’ in response to their understanding of scientific phenomena. As children progress through the school, we use their questions and curiosity to help develop their skills in terms of predicting, investigating, recording findings and evaluating, in addition to furthering their scientific knowledge of the units of study. As children become more confident and proficient in these skills, we encourage them to apply these skills more confidently and independently. Emphasis is placed on the understanding and correct use of scientific terminology throughout the school, so children can express themselves and their ideas clearly and accurately.
Our curriculum covers but goes beyond the National Curriculum, through more in-depth work in each unit of study, as well as additional units designed to supplement learning in other subjects. All units are fully inclusive so that our highest achieving scientists are challenged, whilst our SEN children can access learning in an appropriate manner, suited to their needs.
Units of study build progressively on prior knowledge, with each having specific skills which are well suited to that unit, for example observation, fair/comparative testing, controlling variables and reaching conclusions. These skills also develop progressively as children move through different phases of the school.
Subject knowledge is taught through short practical tasks, each designed to achieve a specific objective. To further the development of this knowledge, investigations are planned with reference to children’s questions related to that unit of study. These investigations will be conducted in groups which aid the children’s learning most effectively, from small group to whole class. Subsequent follow-up questions give children the opportunity to then explore their own ideas and develop their scientific skills more independently in further lessons.
Children are assessed against a number of statements in terms of skills and knowledge, from which an overall judgement can be made. These judgements are reported to parents at the end of each term. An overall end of year judgement is also recorded internally and end of key stage levels of attainment are reported to the Local Authority.
At the end of July 2019, 82% of children from Years 1-6 were assessed as working at or above an age-appropriate level in Science. Looking broadly, there is little gender difference across the school as a whole (84% girls, 81% boys) and little difference between the key stages (83% KS1, 82% KS2). However, within the key stages, there are some gender differences which are masked by the whole school figures (77% girls in KS1, 92% boys; 87% girls in KS2, 76% boys). In EYFS, 84% of children were assessed as ‘Expected’ or ‘Exceeding’ in the areas of ‘The World’ and 90% in ‘Technology’, which is where scientific statements can be found. Again there is little gender difference here: (The World: 85% girls, 83% boys; Technology: 92% girls, 89% boys). These figures suggest Science teaching across the school is effective. However, there are further developments to be continued in children’s independent investigation skills and in their precise use of language. Plans are in development for how to achieve this.