Every child at Badsey is encouraged to dream big and this aspiration sits at the heart of the science curriculum. Children will know that there are no limitations to pursuing a career in Science – it can be an ambition for any child at Badsey. This will be achieved by learning about inspirational scientists (past and present) and their influence in our world today.
The science curriculum is designed to build schema and cultural capital through providing enriching opportunities. We encourage teachers to take the children’s learning outdoors and explore connections within the local community. Through these experiences’ children will become curious learners and use scientific questions to drive different types of enquiry. Lessons will be practical, collaborative and teach children the scientific vocabulary needed to present and report their findings.
Science learning will pose questions to children and give them the opportunity to investigate the answer. It is our intent that all children can begin to use their knowledge to draw conclusions, using scientific vocabulary, to explain what they find out. Specialist vocabulary is central to learning in this subject, and we ensure our Science lessons expose children to this. Vocabulary is carefully sequenced throughout each learning journey and over the year groups to ensure children develop a thorough understanding of scientific ideas and concepts.
Science in the Early Years
In Reception, Science forms part of the Understanding the World strand of the EYFS Framework. Lots of the science your child learns during this foundation year will be through exploring the natural world and identifying changes through games and play. Through observing and asking questions, your child will be challenged to think like a scientist. For example, a Reception scientist will observe, predict and think critically about whether an object floats or sinks in water.
Science in Key Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2) and Key Stage 2 (Years 3, 4 & 5)
The programme of study for Science was set out in the 2014 National Curriculum for primary schools in England. In it, individual topic areas are carefully repeated to build a child’s depth of knowledge and understanding. Let’s take, for example, the topic area of Animals. In Year 1, Badsey children learn about animals, including humans, at a basic level – they gain knowledge on the parts of the human body and learn about the characteristics with which we can compare animals. By Year 5, children are able to describe different animal life cycles, understand the process of reproduction in some plants and animals and describe changes in humans such as old age.
The Science Curriculum overview shows how coverage from the National Curriculum is mapped out across our whole school.
Alongside the programme of study coverage, children at Badsey are taught about ‘working scientifically’ as is also laid out in the National Curriculum. In summary, this element focuses on the skills the children need to become accurate, careful and confident practical scientists. Children are expected to master certain skills in each year group and there is a very clear progression of these set out. For example:
In Year 1 a Badsey child may have to ask questions, carry out a simple test, record simple data and then try to answer questions.
By Year 5, a Badsey child should be able to plan and carry out a fair test by using equipment accurately and taking exact readings or measurements. They are also expected to be able to draw conclusions from their results and record them using a range of graphs and charts.
Parent Advisory Group quote 2022: Science is about developing the inquisitive mind and asking questions. Children should be able to understand how things work in the world and why do things happen. Practical, hands-on experiences of science are important to ensure our children develop a love of Science.
Supporting Your Child at Home
Find out their termly topics (most schools will provide this information each term, or you can always ask their teacher) and take an interest — find relevant books in the library or bookshop, do some research, brush up your own knowledge about the topic! Then you can have interesting conversations where you are both learning at the same time.
Take a trip
Why not take a trip to a science museum, a zoo or an aquarium? These don’t necessarily need to be completely related to what they are learning about at school. Any visit can help their curiosity and engagement with science generally.
Make it personal
Find out about famous scientists and research unique and exciting inventions up to and including the present day. Who knows, you may have the next Stephen Hawking or Marie Curie at home!
Look up fun, practical science experiments you can do at home with everyday objects.
- Ask ‘What happens when you mix food colouring in milk?’ Then add washing up liquid and watch what happens.
- Why not try making your own mini exploding volcano? Just add bicarbonate of soda, food colouring, washing up liquid and vinegar. Then stand back and watch the eruption!
- Cooking is also a great opportunity to mix ingredients, add heat and examine changing states.
- Try exploring changing states with ice and water to begin to see those changes that can be reversed and those that can’t.
- A real favourite would have to be ‘gloop’ — use water and cornflour (add food colouring too if needed) to explore solids and liquids. Just be prepared to get messy!
- Of course, there are also some wonderful science kits available to buy to push your scientists further – making crystals, rockets and even bouncy balls.
- Anything where they can be hands-on and see the science happen in front of their eyes is guaranteed to be get them interested.