At Bridgelea we want our children to love 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, to 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 to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. For example, Classes at Bridgelea participate in Farmer Time a programme where children can communicate with a farmer live on his farm, giving the children the opportunity to experience science in the real world.
We want our children to use the vibrancy of Manchester to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate 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 visit Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry workshops, giving children an understanding on how Manchester is a leading force in Industry.
We enrich their time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities which are normally out of reach – this piques their interests and passions. For example, children at Bridgelea benefit from experts in science and industry, delivering memorable experiences by STEM ambassador visiting and delivering exciting learning opportunities.
In October 2019, a complete audit of the science curriculum was conducted. On the back of the findings from this audit, the science curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group developed to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills.
Science subject specific abilities, which we expect the children to develop, have been reviewed and shared with all stakeholders. These abilities underpin all work in science and form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and pupils. These characteristics are:
- To raise curiosity within the children to encourage questions and challenge scientific thinking.
- A passion for science and its application in past, present and future technologies.
- The ability to undertake practical work in a variety of contexts, including opportunities to learn outside.
- To develop levels of originality, imagination or innovation in the application of skills.
- The ability to think independently and raise questions about working scientifically and the knowledge and skills that it brings.
We encourage staff to teach science lessons in 3 weekly blocks of units (approximatley 9 hours per topic). They will be taught where appropriate, but not exclusively, within the school vehicles. This was a notable change after the audit. This helps to ensure sufficient time is allocated to science and that the subject matter can be revisited frequently. We believe that by crafting our curriculum this way, we improve the potential for our children to retain what they have been taught and to alter their long-term memory.
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.
Our staff use science formative assessment grids to systematically assess what the children know as the topic progresses and inform their future planning. These formative assessment grids then inform summative assessment judgements for each topic.