Science at Blakehill
“I didn’t want to just know the names of things. I remember really wanting to know how it all worked.”
Elizabeth Blackburn, Winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine
"Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch that illuminates the world."
Louis Pasteur (1876) best known for inventing the process pasteurization.
At Blakehill we know that a characteristic of human beings is curiosity and asking why; scientific knowledge and skills provide us with the ability to discover the answer. Exploring science is the way we broaden our minds by discovering why the things we experience, happen the way they do. We are motivated by the desire for all children to leave Blakehill with the knowledge and skills to know they are able to pursue science as far they desire.
We believe that science should be at the core of the curriculum and the pupils' learning journey. When an understanding of how things work is at the centre of everything, it allows for deeper learning and more meaningful connections to be made across subjects. Our curriculum is embedded with scientific enquiry and rich with experiences so children leave Blakehill with the knowledge and skills of how to answer future questions they have about the world. They begin to appreciate the way in which science is used in the world and will affect the future on a personal, national and global level.
Some children may not be aware of how exposed they are to science taking place around them in their lives. That is why at Blakehill we place practical, hands on scientific enquiry at the heart of our curriculum. Regular practical science encourages our pupils to make explicit, personal connections and add their own context to the scientific concepts that they are discovering.
Our belief is that the best science curriculum is one that makes the statutory requirements most relevant to the specific children in each class. That is why at Blakehill we use a range of resources (inlcluding Science Bug and Plan from the ASE) to allow our teachers to build a curriculum most suiting the needs of our children. Rather than following one set way, our staff carefully select scientific experiences that best support the national curriculum objectives.
To enable subject leads to continually drive the subject forward, leaders frequently seek to widen their knowledge by exploring online forums and engaging in online courses. Here they seek best practise, new developments and ideas in the subject to allow science at Blakehill to keep improving.
Science is taught at Blakehill through discrete teaching to ensure children are fully aware of the subject they are learning and recognise the importance of it. Opportunities may be presented across the curriculum to revisit and apply key scientific concepts in other areas of the curriculum such as English, Computing and Geography.
Lessons are mostly taught weekly to allow for longer term observations to take place and the opportunity for children to have to recall previous learning over a longer period of time. Some classes may block their teaching of particular topics when they see necessary.
Through the natural curriculum progression, topics are built upon in science as pupils move through the year groups. Teachers consider knowledge as sticky and build upon and make links previous learning as they introduce new concepts. The working scientifically skills are used regularly and in a variety of contexts throughout the different key stages. This allows for pupils to develop their ability to work independently as scientists. Concepts are explored in lots of different ways and can be represented as models or diagrams to support understanding and differentiation may be observed through the use of word banks, sentences stems and other resources.
Staff have access to range of resources for planning including Science Bug and Association for Science Education. Subject leads share new ideas and best practise in staff meetings and curriculum twilights which allows for all staff to be aware of how science is progressing at Blakehill. Staff can access CPD such as reach out and STEM to develop their own understanding of the subject.
Regular pupil voice as well as the Science Council allow for subject leads to have a strong understanding about how pupils at Blakehill feel about science. Our Science Council are mini leaders who meet with subjects leads to share their opinions and receive training in areas of scientific enquiry. They then are able to share this knowledge with both pupils and staff to raise the profile of enquiry types and skills. Watch this space for more on our Science Council.
Whole school investigations are one-way science is enriched at Blakehill. All children take part in the same enquiry which allows a feeling of inclusivity and buzz of science as children of different ages can talk about the same thing. It also demonstrates a progression of skills throughout school. Our first whole school investigation was postponed due to school closure but we look forward to it going ahead in March 2021 as part of British Science week.
The curriculum carousel allows for a range of STEM subjects to be embraced in KS2. Scientific links are made in food technology as pupils consider nutritional values and how food is tasted and where it comes from.
Super science is recognised at Blakehill through the use of our social media channels, the school class pages and the use of celebration awards if teachers choose to. Our curriculum page on the website will also soon feature a ‘Super Scientist’ page to highlight pupils’ exceptional science from across school.
The intended impact is for our children to experience a rich, engaging science curriculum where lessons pass quickly as they are constantly thinking, asking their own question and acting upon them. Science will be a lesson a that all pupils look forward to as they get work collaboratively with their peers in a range of practical activities.
Our pupils’ will have the ability to share their learning and understanding as well as general passion for the subject. We judge the success of our science curriculum on this and their academic success.