Science at Biggin HIll Primary School is taught using the Learning Challenge Curriculum. This covers all the skills and knowledge of the National Curriculum in a question-based approach to learning.
In EYFS, science is taught as part of the “Understanding the World” strand of learning, with a mixture of continuous provision activities and adult-led learning. This structure continues into Year 1 before moving on to a more formal approach from Year 2 onwards.
Each unit of work begins with a pre-learning challenge. This allows pupils to reflect on their previous learning and generate questions they would like to find out the answers to over the course of the unit. It also allows teachers an opportunity to address any misconceptions and follow the children’s particular interests.
The curriculum content is taught in a child-centred way and lessons are differentiated appropriately to provide access and challenge for all children. Children undertake a variety of different types of activities for each unit of work, including practical investigations and work designed to develop their scientific vocabulary. Children are taught about the important contributions of individual scientists, and each unit of work from Year 4 upwards has a “key scientist” the children learn about in depth. We are very lucky to have access to large grounds and our bio-dome, which are regularly used in science lessons.
In each unit of work, the children do a maths activity linked to their science learning and a piece of extended writing. This supports the children's scientific learning and embeds key skills from across the curriculum.
To encourage cross-curricular learning, children do an activity for each science unit which links with a foundation subject. For example, when Year 3 children learn about magnets in science they then design, make and evaluate a game using magnets as a DT project.
At Biggin Hill Primary School children are also encouraged to make links between their science learning in one unit and other previous learning. For example, during the Year 6 unit on Evolution and Inheritance when children learn about Charles Darwin and how controversial his theories were at the time, children make links with other scientific debates they have learned about, such as the historical debate about whether the Sun or the Earth is at the centre of the solar system (Year 5 Earth and Space unit).
Each unit’s learning is enriched by a “buzz day”. These are special days when the children have the opportunity to explore a topic in greater depth and undertake exciting activities linked to their science learning. For example, during the Year 5 unit on Earth and Space, children do an “Astronaut Training Day”.
At the end of each unit of work, teachers assess the pupils’ progress and children complete a “Time to Shine”. This is an opportunity for children to reflect on and celebrate their learning throughout the topic. There is time built into the year to allow teachers to review any content pupils were unsure of in the summer term before moving up to their next class or secondary school.
Classroom science lessons are supplemented by a variety of enrichment activities.
- An annual Science Week, when children focus on a particular science topic for a week then share their learning with their parents during a “Look At My Learning” afternoon
- Special events and themed learning for World Space Day every October
- Science assemblies and the opportunity to join Fizzpop Science Club
- “Aspire” talks from members of the school community every half-term when children learn about different careers which involve STEM
- Science masterclasses for a number of Year 5 children at Charles Darwin School, taught by secondary science teachers in their labs
- School trips and in-school workshops
- Homework tasks