Science

At Brunton First School we are very proud of our science curriculum which is based upon all children leaving us with a secure foundation of scientific knowledge and practical skills. This understanding will help to ensure all children have the ability to be successful in any potential future learning and employment in the ever-changing scientific field.

As a school, the staff work hard to provide the children with a variety of activities that involve lots of scientific experiences. The children are encouraged to think and investigate in a number of ways both with the support of the adults and independently to develop their knowledge.

In 2017, as a school, we achieved a PSQM Silver Award which reflected the staff’s ability to use children’s questions as a framework for learning. It also highlighted the excellent opportunities pupils are given to explore scientific concepts and ideas. The award has helped give our school a platform to further develop our curriculum for our pupils. It also helped to formulate the principles for science teaching here at Brunton First School.

These principles are:

  1. Children should have hands on learning opportunities in lessons.
  2. Lessons to engage all pupils, so they are enthusiastic about their learning.
  3. Children encouraged to ask and answer their own questions about their topic.
  4. Lessons give scope to continue to develop new skills and understanding about the world around them

Through these principles pupils will continue to deepen their respect, care and appreciation for the natural world and all of its phenomena.

The main areas of investigation in KS1 are:

  • Living things and their habitats
  • Animals, including humans
  • Plants
  • Materials
  • Seasonal changes

The main areas of investigation in KS2 are:

  • Animals, including humans
  • Living things and their habitats
  • Plants
  • Rocks
  • Light
  • Forces and magnets
  • States of matter
  • Sound
  • Electricity

KS1 Science – BBC Bitesize
KS2 Science – BBC Bitesize

Our Aim

The intent of the science curriculum at Brunton first school is to provide a high-quality education that inspires and challenges all pupils, developing their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. The curriculum is designed to foster curiosity, promote scientific thinking, and develop essential skills such as observation, investigation, and problem-solving. Our aim is for our Brunton children to develop a strong foundation in science, nurturing their enthusiasm and preparing them for further study in the subject. We believe that oracy, metacognition, and community are key drivers in achieving this aim.

Oracy:

Our science curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to communicate their thinking and findings. Pupils are encouraged to articulate their ideas through the science skills of asking and answering questions, gathering, recording and presenting data and reporting on their findings both in written and spoken forms. In this way pupils will develop their scientific vocabulary, their understanding of scientific concepts as well as listening and learning from their peers. We encourage teamwork and collaboration in scientific exploration.

Successful Lifelong Learners (Metacognition):

Our science curriculum encourages children to think about scientific concepts and how these can be investigated. Children will be taught to ask questions and use their metacognitive skills which will enable them to become independent, self-directed learners.

Community:

Through these curriculum drivers, our science curriculum aims to have hands on experiences which links to the local community encouraging pupils to take part in planting trees, cleaning up the local parks, monitoring congestion on local roads and observing local wildlife. This gives the children a sense of responsibility about the wider world having an awareness of air quality, recycling and suitability. By incorporating these, children can develop a deeper understanding of their connection to the natural world and their responsibility as a member of the local community and being a global citizen.

At Brunton first school there is a well-structured science curriculum that is carefully sequenced to build upon prior knowledge and progressively develop scientific concepts and skills. The curriculum covers the National Curriculum content while allowing for flexibility to incorporate relevant and engaging local and global issues. The curriculum is designed to provide a balance between theoretical knowledge and practical experience, including hands-on experiments, fieldwork, and using technology effectively for scientific investigation.

Our Brunton children will succeed in their next education journey at middle school because they will have experience of a solid foundation of scientific knowledge, skills, and understanding that enables them to make a smooth transition to secondary education. They will leave our school equipped with scientific oracy and literacy, critical thinking abilities, and a positive attitude towards further scientific exploration and study. Our science curriculum extends beyond primary education with fun and memorable experiences, both in school and in the wider community. Pupils at Brunton are able to engage with scientists and people who have science as part of their job across the school. Their love of science is encouraged through celebrating success in the subject during assemblies, having extra -curricular clubs with science links and theme weeks which address those science areas on the RSHE curriculum. Our SLL skills are fully embedded into science with the use of curiosity, concentration, having self- awareness and reflectivity in all science lessons. We have a group of pupils from across the school on an ECO Warrior team who look after the outdoor learning environment and discuss relevant climate issues which affect them in school and locally which helps pupils to view themselves as scientists.  All of these aspects combined means at Brunton First we are preparing pupils for future study and potential careers in the sciences.

Our teachers are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about science education. They utilise a range of interactive and engaging teaching strategies, including practical investigations, discussions, and multimedia resources. Lessons are well-structured, with clear learning objectives and success criteria. We encourage active participation, problem-solving, and independent thinking, promoting both individual and collaborative learning experiences. Adaptations are employed to meet the diverse needs of all pupils, ensuring inclusive and accessible science education.

  • A starter activity to remind pupils of prior learning and encourage children to revisit key facts, use appropriate scientific language and develop their working memory as they acquire new subject knowledge and skills
  • A hook or engaging lesson opening which inspires the children and places the learning in a relatable context
  • Introduction of key science concepts, vocabulary or knowledge with opportunities to talk, explore and share ideas
  • Task – independent, pair or group supported by staff as appropriate
  • Plenary with opportunity to revisit and reflect on key vocabulary and learning

Through our science lessons we use a metacognitive approach to teaching and learning which includes

  • Explicitly teaching metacognitive strategies – activating prior knowledge, independent practice and structured reflection
  • Modelling by the staff, verbalising their thinking and scaffolding tasks in relation to science skills or scientific concepts
  • Setting an appropriate level of challenge delivering high quality teaching first whilst identifying or vulnerable groups who are supported through a well thought out progression of scientific skills and scientific knowledge.
  • Promoting and developing metacognitive talk in the classroom – language development and acquisition
  • Explicitly teaching children how to organise and effectively manage their learning

Assessment is an integral part of our science curriculum. Formative assessment strategies are used to provide feedback, identify misconceptions, and guide future teaching. Teachers use a variety of methods, including observations, questioning, and written tasks, to gauge pupils’ understanding and progress. The school marking policy is followed to ensure pupils are fully aware of their successes and the next steps in their learning. Assessment information is used to individualise learning pathways, ensure targeted support, and challenge more able pupils. We also celebrate pupils’ achievements, fostering a positive attitude towards science and building confidence during our Friday assemblies.

The Head teacher and science subject leader play a central role in the monitoring and evaluation of the quality of teaching and learning of science in the school.

The monitoring strategy:

  1. Children’s work and planning scrutinies are conducted.
  2. Pupil voice is conducted to ascertain how children feel about their learning.
  3. Lesson ‘drop ins’ and observations take place in all classes throughout the year.

The subject leader is responsible for monitoring attainment and progress, the outcomes of which are collated in the subject leadership folder and fed back to staff at an appropriate time.

With this approach, we aim to provide our students with a high-quality science education that equips them with the knowledge, skills, and values they need to become informed, responsible, and engaged citizens.

The impact of Brunton First school’s science curriculum is evident in pupil’s high level of engagement and progress. Pupils develop a secure understanding of scientific concepts, demonstrating the ability to apply and transfer their knowledge effectively. They achieve above-average standards, consistently progressing well in their scientific journey.

Pupils develop a genuine enthusiasm for science, driven by the engaging and practical learning experiences provided by the teaching and progressive curriculum. Their curiosity is nurtured, and they actively participate in scientific inquiries, investigations and discussions. Pupils take pride in their scientific achievements and are motivated to explore the subject further, both within and beyond the curriculum such as STEM club and wider local projects.

In conclusion, Brunton first school creates a science curriculum with clear intent, effective implementation strategies, and a positive impact on pupils’ attainment, enthusiasm, skills, and aspirations. The careful planning and delivery of the curriculum ensure that pupils develop a solid foundation in science, fostering a lifelong love for the subject and preparing them for future academic and career success.