We take great pride in our science teaching at Bonner Primary School and we secured the Primary Science Quality Mark (GOLD).
“The school clearly places a high value on science and is providing an excellent experience for its children. A clear and thoughtful science policy, together with the school’s principles, seems to have helped create a shared ethos and is helping to drive the subject forward. A range of creative teaching and learning approaches is evident, as is an excellent programme of enrichment.” PSQM Awarding Body
We have always had a strong focus on science investigation because we believe that children should develop the practical science (and general problem solving) skills which this teaches. This is supported by making those vital cross-curriculum links with our topic work and literacy to give context to our children’s studies. This includes, for example, the study of famous scientists, drama and relevant stories. Our aim is to awaken the natural curiosity in our children so that they start to ask questions and help them to make sense of the world around them.
To support this aim and to help create a sense of wonder, Bonner Primary School holds an annual science week for all children with the single aim of getting children excited about science. This year the children were particularly enthusiastic to meet our special visitors, including five owls. Furthermore, we have had a highly successful, and popular, science club and a wide range of science enrichment activities. Activities have included:
– making volcanoes;
– testing carrier bags;
– making and launching rockets;
– developing tree crystals;
– building parachutes for eggs;
– making raisins dance; and
– clearing up an oil slick.
In addition, our science club enjoyed spending the night in the science museum last year and we have even held our own residential space camp!
We have embraced the new science curriculum and invested in the ‘Switched on Science’ scheme of work and new resources, such as fossils and electronic microscopes. Teachers use concept cartoons, dressing up and even puppets to support children in their learning and correct any misconceptions. Due to our urban setting we value and promote outside learning through our new outside learning area and garden, trips to museums and our local outside learning centre (The Soanes Centre). Recently, children have really enjoyed making recipes and eating food which they had grown themselves!
Clean Air and the Environment
Our school has been heavily involved in campaign work to reduce air pollution and we have developed strong cross-curricular links between science, PSHE and our work as a UNICEF Rights Respecting School. The Mayor, John Biggs, has visited our school to discuss air pollution and some of our children have returned the visit by going to the town hall. Working with the PTA, ‘Friends of Bonner’, our children have also helped lead an anti-idling campaign to encourage the local community to not idle their engines. As a result, some of our children were invited to be on posters for a borough wide campaign, present speeches at a clean air event run by City Hall and trial new technology, such as pollution monitoring coats.
Links with the wider science community
We have a strong relationship with the Institute of Education and we are proud to support the development of new teachers by inviting student teachers in to observe our science lessons and speak to our children. Excitingly, we have even helped the Institute of Education and Times Educational Supplement (TES) develop training materials and videos to support teachers nationwide as they grapple with the challenge of training and improving the confidence of new teachers. This has included our lessons being filmed and our children and staff being interviewed. In addition, our staff have taken part in focus groups to support the Wellcome Trust in developing new science resources and we have had an article published in the Association for Science Education journal.