At County Bridge, our vision is to inspire our children to discover and explore the universe in which we live. Our science curriculum aims to deepen children’s understanding through practical, hands-on and memorable experiences that encourage questioning, nurtures their innate curiosity and enables them to apply their knowledge across other curriculum areas.
By developing scientific skills, scientific vocabulary and understanding across the three disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics, children will be equipped with the foundations required to make informed choices about the uses and implications of science, both today and in the future.
At County Bridge, our science curriculum is planned to build increasingly sophisticated knowledge of the products and practices of science. Our lessons are coherently planned and sequenced to cumulatively acquire substantive and disciplinary knowledge and skills from EYFS to the end of Y6.
At our school, disciplinary scientific knowledge is focussed upon the knowledge of concepts as well as procedures and builds towards the end points identified in the ‘working scientifically’ sections of the National Curriculum. These skills are taught explicitly and not just acquired as a by-product of taking part in practical activities.
We strongly believe that practical work is key to the commitment of scientific concepts to children’s long-term memory. These activities have a clear purpose, form part of the wider teaching sequence and take place only when children have enough prior knowledge to learn from the activity.
The science curriculum is ambitious for all children and, by including memorable experiences and links to the wider world, encourages engagement and achievement for all. We understand that a range of starting points, learning delays and the pandemic may have led to gaps in children’s knowledge and therefore ensure that prior knowledge is reflected upon when explaining scientific concepts and we provide visual prompts in classrooms and in children’ books.
We also appreciate the importance of frequent and regular reflection in allowing children to embed learning in their long-term memory before moving on to new content. We believe that making links to learning in other subjects (maths, English, history, geography, art, computing, PE, PSHE) is vital in appreciating the ‘bigger picture’ of science.
At County Bridge, we place a high priority upon language acquisition throughout the curriculum. Regular opportunities to learn and practise vocabulary associated with science are provided through story and non-fiction books as well as through rhymes, songs, oral rehearsal and reflection.
Our science curriculum ensures progression and development of disciplinary and substantive knowledge from Nursery to Year 6, allowing children to build upon prior learning and apply their skills in a variety of ways. Detailed lesson plans are created
for all classes in Key Stages 1 and 2 – which highlight to staff where links should be made to prior learning in both previous science units and also in other areas of the curriculum which, in turn, makes learning more meaningful and embeds knowledge into children’s long term memories.
Creation of long and short term planning also ensures in-depth coverage of the primary science curriculum and a cumulative gathering and application of scientific vocabulary. Our pupils tell us that the practical elements of their science lessons are what they enjoy most, so we strive to ensure that experiments and investigations are always conducted as a means of supporting the substantive knowledge that our children need in order to reach the end points set out by the National Curriculum. Our staff understand that our children need to understand and be able to articulate the scientific explanations behind every practical activity they carry out. Reflective practices are being developed in order to embed learning, address misconceptions and deepen understanding.
In Early Years, science is taught primarily through the Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Understanding the World areas of learning. Our Early Years curriculum lays the foundations for children to build upon in Key Stage 1 and, with our whole-school key driver of language development at the fore, equips children with initial observations and understanding of the world around them.
In Key Stage 1, the observations and experiences of the natural world around them begun in Early Years are further explored and developed, with children being encouraged to ask and answer questions about what they notice. Whilst learning about science is mainly practical, our children are taught substantive scientific knowledge through and in relation to these practical activities.
In years 3 and 4, we focus upon broadening the children’s scientific views of the world around them. This is achieved through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships, and interactions. The use of appropriate scientific vocabulary remains a key focus and children are encouraged to ask their own questions about scientific ideas and to listen to, consider and support or challenge one another’s views.
Our science curriculum for years 5 and 6 centres around the development of a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. Discussion forms a vital role of our lessons whereby children are encouraged to consider the explanations and suggestions of their peers and provide scientific evidence to support or challenge each other. Our older pupils will begin to encounter more abstract ideas, such as Earth and Space and evolution, and they will consider how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world around them operates. Having learnt a wide range of substantive and disciplinary knowledge and skills in previous year groups, children are given the autonomy to select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions and to use their scientific knowledge to explain their findings.
From Year 1 to Year 6, our science lessons are structured to facilitate maximum engagement, understanding and application from all pupils. Each lesson begins with an engaging activity to stimulate the children’s curiosity and the learning of substantive scientific concepts follows. Reflection of prior learning and links to other areas of the curriculum are deliberately made and practical tasks allowing the children to test,
explore and conclude the taught concepts encourage the commitment of concepts to long term memory. In order to further deepen understanding, children are challenged to answer a ‘Think It’ question, which seeks to apply the learning from the lesson in a variety of ways.
In addition to being provided with detailed lesson plans that outline links to prior learning, teachers are supported by the science subject lead to develop an excellent subject knowledge of the scientific concepts covered by their classes. Teaching slides are monitored by the subject lead to ensure that visual and auditory prompts are provided where necessary and include questions to promote a deeper level of understanding for all pupils. The learning environment in every classroom supports the delivery of high-quality science lessons as key vocabulary and visual reminders to ‘hook’ learning upon are clearly displayed along with pupils’ work and pupil voice.
Through regular reflection upon prior learning and links being made to current learning, teachers are able to assess the level of understanding of their pupils. These frequent informal assessments will allow teachers to identify any gaps in knowledge, which they will then address.
Children at County Bridge develop and build upon their scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding from Early Years to Year 6. They are able to articulate the relationships between key scientific concepts in biology, chemistry and physics and relate any practical activities to these substantive concepts. Children’s science books evidence the scientific knowledge that they have gained using appropriate scientific vocabulary and their responses to ‘Think It’ questions demonstrate a deeper understanding, facilitated by practical activities and reflective practices.
SCIENCE Long Term Planning
SCIENCE Long Term Planning – Summary of Year 1 Units
SCIENCE Long Term Planning – Summary of Year 2 Units
SCIENCE Long Term Planning – Summary of Year 3 Units
SCIENCE Long Term Planning – Summary of Year 4 Units
SCIENCE Long Term Planning – Summary of Year 5 Units
SCIENCE Long Term Planning – Summary of Year 6 Units