The teaching of Science incorporates the foundations for understanding the world around them. All children are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. At Birkbeck, we use Learning Challenge questions that emphasises the importance exploration, explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. Throughout the school, children are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave and analyse causes. Teachers will ensure that children build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.
The 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 science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
All children, even our very youngest, will have opportunities to engage in science through experiential learning to participate in observing changes, hands-on discovery and talk for learning. Different types of science enquiries helps children to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
All of our classrooms feature bright, stimulating and inviting science displays that are full of a rich and diverse range of facts, vocabulary, questions and texts, something to tempt all children.
When children question and explain their scientific knowledge, teachers will encourage them to use more technical scientific vocabulary, relevant to their key stage, as they progress throughout Birkbeck School. We believe children should be able to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language, but they should also be familiar with, and use, accurately and precisely technical scientific terminology.
‘Working scientifically’ specifies the understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science for each year group. At Birkbeck, a balance of scientific enquiry and knowledge will be taught through each area of study. These types of scientific enquiry should include:
- observing over time;
- pattern seeking;
- identifying, classifying and grouping;
- comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations);
- researching using secondary sources.
Science is taught mainly as a separate subject but every effort is made to link science with other areas of the curriculum. We try and identify the scientific possibilities across the curriculum at the planning stage. Teachers will use different contexts to maximise their pupils’ engagement with and motivation to study science. We also draw children’s attention to the links between science and other curricular work so children see that science is not an isolated subject.
Through using their skills of speaking and listening, reading, writing children will aim answer, explain their scientific knowledge. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data.