Science is central to our curriculum at Bevington. We have an strong and growing focus on the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), and our science curriculum has been devised with this in mind. We always ensure that children are given the opportunity to develop their own understanding of the world in which they live. Our pupils engage in practical, academic and rigourous science learning, and we teach investigative skills from a young age to enable them to take ownership over their learning. We recognise the imbalance that STEM careers have in the workplace, and we are fully committed to giving our pupils the option to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths from an early age.
Every lesson that we teach involves a practical element, which we believe allows children to engage in more meaningful tasks that have a long-lasting impact on their learning and scientific development. Every lesson that we teach is focussed on a national curriculum objective or an investigative skill.
Investigations are used to help children further their understanding of basic concepts, by applying them in new contexts. Children at Bevington learn how to form their own predictions – relating them back to their prior knowledge of the world around them, set-up and carry out their own experiments, measure and record their own results and consider the variables that they need to think about in order to ensure that their data is valid. All of our investigations begin with a hook in the form of secondary evidence, which helps to increase children’s interest and make the activity more meaningful.
The completion of a full investigation begins in Year 1 and they are completed on a termly basis until the end of Year 6. The following are some of the types of questions that children will work on answering through investigations:
- What material is best to build a house?
- Which type of condition is most suitable for a morio worm to live in?
- What are the best conditions for plants to grow in?
- How does the length of the wire affect the brightness of a bulb?
- What state of matter is the most effective for sound to pass through?
As a school, Bevington possesses an incredibly well-stocked selection of resources that cover each area of the curriculum. These resources are used by children within their learning, and they improve their own working scientifically skills through deciding for themselves which piece of equipment would be most effective to use. Examples of science resources that we use to enhance learning across the school include: motorized solar systems, rain and wind gauges, glass thermometers and working microscopes.
We also have two mature learning gardens on either side of the building. Our science garden on the Key Stage One playground features over 100 varieties of plant, a pond and a large glasshouse which we use for group work. We have also recently received funding for two beehives which will be situated in this garden and will give pupils further opportunities in science learning.
A Lead School for STEM
STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating pupils in four specific disciplines – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. We believe that it is extremely important to help prepare our children for their futures and we do this through the integration of STEM in a cohesive learning model based on real-world applications.
Recently, we have developed a partnership with the Ogden Trust, which is a charitable organisation that helps to support the teaching and learning of Physics in primary schools across London. Over the coming years, we will be looking to work with schools locally to lead a partnership based on providing high-quality CPD for staff, exceptional resources for pupils, and networking opportunities for all.
We are extremely excited to be developing our own Science Lab inside Bevington. As our lessons across the school become more focussed on practical learning and conducting our own experiments and investigations in order to answer questions that we may have, this will be an incredible asset to our teaching and learning.
Recently, we have been very fortunate to build links with several well-established educational centres within our community. Every child in Year 1 – 6 has been given the opportunity to visit Westminster Academy in order to experience what science is like at a secondary school level. Year 5 were also given the chance, as a result of our links with Westminster, to visit the science labs at Imperial College London. At the start of this academic year, 6 children were selected from Year 5 and given the chance to attend the New Scientist Live exhibition at Royal Victoria, where they got to see first-hand some of the incredible careers that can come from having a good education in Science at school.