At Bywell, we believe that a high-quality science education provides the fundamental foundations for understanding the world. Our children will learn as scientists, where they will question and investigate. We strive to excite and engage children through our hands-on science curriculum, and extend their knowledge through application and reasoning, promoting endurance and collaboration throughout lessons. It is our intention to develop in all young people a lifelong curiosity and interest in the sciences and for children to learn and grow together throughout their time at Bywell Junior School. When planning for the science curriculum, we intend for children to have the opportunity, wherever possible, to learn through varied systematic investigations, leading to them being equipped for life to ask and answer scientific questions about the world around them. All children have the right to learn regardless of their background or ability in a safe, friendly and happy environment, this is something that in science all children are able to do. As children progress through the year groups, they build on their skills in working scientifically, as well as on their scientific knowledge. They develop greater independence in planning and carrying out fair and comparative tests to answer a range of scientific questions, allowing them the opportunities to demonstrate Bywell core values of Peace, Endurance, Compassion, Justice and Friendship. The Science scheme of work ensures that children have a varied, progressive and well-mapped-out science curriculum that provides the opportunity for progression across the full breadth of the science national curriculum for KS2. Topics and progression are informed by the National Curriculum, with scientific skills taught alongside the knowledge.
- The science leader is confident that all the National Curriculum objectives are being taught and there is clear progression throughout each year group.
- Science is taught weekly throughout the year by the class teacher, allowing children the opportunities for gaining knowledge and practical experiences of using scientific methods, processes and skills.
- Children will revisit what they have learned throughout lessons and during different parts of the academic years, through the use of science memory quizzes.
- Medium term plans have been rewritten and quality assured by the science lead.
- Science is displayed in classrooms through the use of working walls and are referred to during lessons to ensure they are purposeful to the children. Photographs of working walls are kept as evidence.
- The wider leadership team, including the science lead will implement book looks throughout the year to ensure consistency and progression.
- Science taster sessions were held at one of the infant feeder schools to year 2 children (before they joined Bywell). They were led by Stem leaders at the end of the Summer term.
- Memeory quizzes have been used throughout the year groups. The leadership team completed a book scrutiny of these books in January and identified that progress had been made.
- Working walls have been used more effectively within classrooms, as they support children’s learning. Photographs of these are saved on the shared drive where the subject leader can access them. Below is an example of a year 4 science working wall. Vocabulary is displayed, prompts to help children and reference to language used on the memory quiz.
- Book looks were carried out in February 2023, generally this was positive. Feedback was given to teachers at a staff meeting on 15.02.23, with regards to explicitly displaying working scientifically in books and excessive the use of worksheets.
- Pupil voice questionnaires were conducted with selected children (pupil premium), below is an example of the questions that were asked. The data was shared with teachers on 15.02.23. One of the key findings was that pupils wanted to take part in more practical work through experiments. To address this, after school clubs were run by teachers during Summer 2.
July 2023 Update
- Memory quizzes need to be used next year to fully embed this across school as this has had a huge impact on children’s retention this academic year. These worked really well across all year groups, children completed these and the scored were recorded on a tracker. Findings from pupils voice questionnaires show that children enjoyed using memory quizzes.
- Working walls have been used throughout that year and there is evidence of this saved on the shared drive. When carrying out lesson observations during Summer 1 term working walls were a focus and all staff were using them within classrooms and so were the children. There needs to be a continued focus on this in the next academic year.
- Promote staff feedback after they have taught a Science unit to see if anything needs adding or changing – Staff have spoken to me about Science lessons in their year groups and acted on any advice that I have given them. A staff meeting was carried out in the Spring 2 term where staff had an open forum to speak about the units that they had taught and if they needed any other support. In the next academic year the electricity units in Year 4 and Year 6 needs looking at as there is some crossover.
- Continue to ask for pupil voice to get an overall view of what children think of science – This was carried out in the Summer 1 half term and was very positive. Practical science was an area that needed more focus. During the Summer 2 half term all teachers ran a Science club that focused on the practical element of Science. I had the opportunity to go and see these clubs and children were all engaged and that ‘love’ of Science was back!
- STEM Leaders were appointed and have completed a number of science related tasks, such as, attending the local infant school to deliver science lessons, helped with the equipment that needed sorting out and supported with the after school clubs during the Summer 2 half term. These children will still be STEM Leaders for the next academic year but the new Year 5 children need appointing after Christmas.
- Science taster lessons were arranged for feeder school, before Year 2 children joied our school in the next academic year – This was a huge success and something that needs to happen again next year. I took the STEM Leaders to deliver practical sessions to the Year 2 children who are joining Bywell in September.
Next Steps for 2023/24
- Ensure that practical lessons are planned for and delivered throughout all year groups.
- Memory quizzes to be reviewed and updated if necessary.
- Ensure that coverage is not duplicated throughout the Science topics (especially the topics that are retaught throughout the years – year 4 and 6 Electricity).
- Engage and excite children with science lessons – look at particular science days and weeks (10-19 March 2024), visitors to school and science visits outside of school.
- Arrange after school science clubs.
- Use of floobooks to further support children’s memory and to enable te subject leader to see progression of science.
- Provide opportunities for teachers to share their views on their confidence of delivering high quality science lessons, through the use of questionnaires to allow the science lead to develop CPD.
- Subject lead to observe science lessons and use the opportunity to converse with pupils, complete book looks to ensure that working scientifically is included in all lessons.
- Work and develop STEM Leaders throughout the academic year.
- Emails will be sent to the Infant School’s offering taster lessons for their Year 2 children in preparation for their start in September 2023.
October 2023 Review
- There has been a change in subject leadership for Science. This new lead will need to become familiar with science curriculum, resources, teaching and learning across the school.
- A handover meeting was conducted with previous science lead.
- Science is now taught weekly as opposed to the block approach that was taken last academic year.
- An initial audit of science resources was carried out on 28.09.23.