Why should we care about primary science?
Pupils should be inspired by their first formal educational encounters with science at primary school. Primary science should develop pupils’ understanding of the world, nurture their curiosity and teach essential skills, including enquiry, observation, prediction, analysis, reasoning and explanation.Replace with further content or remove this additional text...
Science provides a ‘motivating context’ for pupils to develop and improve skills in many areas, including literacy and mathematics. Children start to develop perceptions about whether science is ‘for them’ towards the end of primary school. It is therefore essential that all primary school pupils experience inspiring science that builds their understanding of the value and place of science in their lives. This will lay the bedrock for their future studies, enable them to make well-informed decisions in our increasingly hi-tech world and give them access to a wide range of rewarding careers.
As the future economy will require a larger proportion of the workforce to possess high levels of scientific and technological skill, we need more students to continue to study science subjects beyond the statutory curriculum and move into related employment. If more pupils are enthused to study science, starting at the primary level, this will help secure our economic future. Science is a core and compulsory subject for all primary school pupils.
As schools deliver the new national curriculum for science (which became statutory in England from September 2014), leaders have the chance to ensure that this subject is placed at the heart of primary teaching.
(Taken from a Wellcome Trust paper entitled ‘Primary Science: Is it missing out?’)
LEGO®-based therapy helps children to learn and practise social skills through facilitated, collaborative, group play.
Fundamental British Values
Fundamental British Values (FBV) are integral to teaching and learning in every maintained school since the publication of the policy ‘Promoting fundamental British Values as part of SMSC in schools’ in November 2014. According to the British Educational Research Journal, (Janmaat, 2018), this policy also formed part of the government’s counter-terrorism ‘Prevent’ strategy. The purpose of this document is to prevent the radicalisation of children and young people.
What are the Fundamental British Values? According to Ofsted, the key elements of FBV are democracy; the rule of law; liberty and mutual respect for and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs and for those with no belief.
Through teaching and learning at Barcroft primary, teachers and support staff aim to incorporate the elements of SMSC (Social, Moral, Spiritual, and Cultural) and FBV values. Barcroft Primary is familiar with the importance of SMSC as well as FBV and make sure they are making links throughout the creative curriculum. Teachers, teaching assistants and the school governors have recently undertaken ‘Prevent’ training to keep them up to date with policies and procedures. Furthermore, it is to empower all adults working with children and young people with the knowledge of ‘what to do’ in the event of identifying extremist views as well as vulnerable children who are at risk of being radicalised.
Our aim is to keep our children safe; to make them aware and tolerant of different faiths and beliefs through the teaching of PSHE and RE. Children are able to have a voice; an opinion through our regular School Council meetings. They understand by making links with the wider community. Our School Council visited the ‘Houses of Parliament’ last year and hopefully the new members of the School Council will have that same opportunity this year as this helped them understand what it means to be part of a democratic society and the need for our British laws.
How can the parents of our children help and support the Fundamental British Values? As we live in a multi-cultural society, we hope that parents and guardians can help us educate our children to be the best citizens that they can be; to be tolerant of others, regardless of race or religion; to have an opinion but to be respectful of the opinion of others’ and those that may be different to ours; to know what is morally wrong and what is acceptable.
Your children are the future. Through the teaching of SMSC and FBV, the children will have a better understanding of the world around them.
Why is Geography important?
Geography opens individuals to the world which holds beauty, infinite complexity and challenges for people of all abilities. Geography is the subject which opens the door to this dynamic world and prepares each one of us for the role of global citizen in the 21st century (QCA, 1999).
“A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.” (National Curriculum, 2013).
Having geographical knowledge helps individuals analyse world events, make rational decisions, understand basic physical systems of everyday life, like implications of the solar system on climate, water cycles, ocean currents, etc.
Studying geography supports the knowledge about different places on Earth and how they relate with each other. Usually, starting in Early Years and learning about your home, community, region, country, continent, brings their location at the centre and how it all relates together.
Children learn about the importance about becoming a good citizen. It allows children to appreciate important events that influence the world around them, support decision making using the resources that are available and helps children ask relevant questions about the world they live in. An informed citizen makes an informed future leader.
Geography allows children to make and appreciated the historical aspects that have changed within their immediate settings. They are able to understand the historical changes in land and climate, the rise and fall of civilisations.
With close links to Science children discover the relationship between human beings and the natural environment, the weather, our footprint on the Earth and global conservation.