At Bridgelea we aim for our children to love and understand science, we are developing scientists at our school. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be astronauts, forensic scientists, toxicologists, or microbiologists. The science curriculum has been carefully designed so that our children develop their scientific capital. We want our children to remember their science lessons in our school, cherish these memories, and embrace the opportunities they are presented with.
The science curriculum promotes curiosity and a love for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient learners. We want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the science National Curriculum, but also to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences of later life.
We want our children to use the vibrancy of Manchester to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, cooperate with one another, and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing a strong SMSC curriculum, with British Values and our core values placed at the heart of everything we do. This often feeds into the science curriculum. For example, we will visit Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry workshops, giving children an understanding of how Manchester is a leading force in the industry.
At Bridgelea we want our children to know more, do more, and remember more. Thinking is the process that precipitates such a change, a process involving our working memory. Many of the children at Bridgelea present with working memory deficits, as part of their SEMH, and it is crucial that we understand how this impacts children’s learning and how our curriculum and its implementation can limit the impact of these difficulties. Many of our children also have attention and concentration difficulties which can be a further barrier to effective learning.
Fundamental foundations can’t be rushed, but in securing them, children will establish an excellent basis for progressing beyond basics toward greater depth. At Bridgelea children join at different points in their primary years, having experienced different curriculums in their previous schools. Ensuring that these foundations are secure can be a challenge.
When designing the school’s curriculum, we know that repetition of content is also important beyond fundamental foundations so that pupils:
- retain knowledge
- gain a gradual, growing understanding of key concepts over time, rather than in a fixed block of time
- re-visit the same knowledge, deepening understanding each time, through carefully planned activities that advance their understanding.
As a school we use Science Bug
The science long term plan runs on a 2 year cycle. Every class (and so every child in the school) visits the same science topic areas across the two year cycle.
Which science topic areas are covered in which cycles?
Keeping fit and healthy
Wonders on Earth and beyond
Comparing and using materials
Electricity (KS2 only)
To support our children to use and apply their understanding of science, we make connections between science and other subject areas, creating a connected learning experience.
Across the two year cycle we are focusing on the following key concepts.
As a school to support us to understand key concepts within the curriculum we have purchased some of the Chris Quigley resources. See above.
The assessment mileposts for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group. This means that skills in science are progressive and build year on year.
At Bridgelea we believe in the fundamental foundations of our science curriculum and understand that it is important not to rush through content and to ensure that children have a strong basic understanding of each key concept. This is even more important given our children's SEND needs. Children will meet each concept multiple times to secure fundamental foundations. As their understanding grows, they apply these foundations in order to reach the expected standard for that Key Stage.
Science and Metacognition
As a school, we are currently working towards a ‘Thinking School’ accreditation. We are working hard to embed a whole school approach, resulting in a common language and framework, which enables children to talk explicitly about thinking and to understand there are different kinds of thinking. In science, we use the Thinking frames’ to help children to organise their thinking. Teachers are trained to use the thinking frames to support children in creating increasingly sophisticated mental models to scaffold fundamental foundations. Thinking frames are also used to support children in applying their understanding of science as their learning becomes deeper.