The high-quality science education we provide at Birchwood lays the foundations for understanding the world and developing the skills that ensure success in future learning.
Our Curriculum covers all aspects of the National Curriculum, organised into the substantive knowledge, disciplinary knowledge and vocabulary. Our Curriculum ensures planned sequences of learning develop on prior knowledge and skills, building upon these to prepare pupils for the next stage in their learning journey.
Our overall aim is to promote and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena and teach children the skills of questioning, reasoning, prediction and analysis that will help them explain their understanding. We value the rich and varied language and vocabulary within our science curriculum and promote the understanding of this with pupils as it is a key factor in developing their understanding of scientific concepts and articulating themselves clearly and precisely.
We see Science as an interconnected subject that has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Where there are deep links with Mathematics, Design Technology, Computing and Literacy, we provide opportunities for creative and purposeful, investigating, communicating and designing.
Our curriculum ensures children develop scientific knowledge across the three disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science is taught in the topics suggested by the National Curriculum and supplemented with additional units that allow the pupils the opportunity to return to and consolidate previous learning. The curriculum components are positioned to make subsequent learning possible within lesson sequences, topics, years and phases. This makes sure pupils gain a deep knowledge of scientific concepts, engage in, and learn disciplinary practices.
Through an approach rooted in scientific enquiry, children increasingly begin to ask their own scientific questions. They also develop an understanding of the range of types of scientific enquiries and how to use these. Subject specific vocabulary is at the heart of our school curriculum and is introduced and revisited within each lesson to support conceptual understanding.
Where appropriate, lessons follow an engage, active and critical thinking approach to increase the level of enjoyment, engagement and ownership of the learning taking place. Engaging pupils through images, objects, visitors or other stimuli, activates pupil curiosity and provides opportunities for pupils to demonstrate what they already know and would like to know. The regular formative assessment by teachers at different points within a lesson and sequence of lessons, ensures that teaching is adapted to the needs of the pupils. Sufficient time is allocated to the teaching and learning of science to ensure pupils can confidently recall and build on their prior knowledge.
Regular CPD opportunities for staff ensure they have the knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver the science curriculum effectively and creatively.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods: pupil discussions and interviews about their learning; assessment of standards and evidence of pupils’ work.
By the time children leave Birchwood, they enjoy learning in science, exhibit confidence and are increasingly independent when demonstrating the skills of questioning, reasoning, prediction and analysis. They value the real-world applications of science and can identify the role it plays in their own lives. They use scientific vocabulary accurately to describe their observations and findings, as well as to demonstrate their understanding of key concepts. Our children are well prepared to access the challenges of the secondary school science curriculum.