At Leyland Methodist Schools we have developed a curriculum which inspires our young scientists to be analytical, inquisitive, adventurous, creative and most importantly, perseverant. These characteristics underpin each Science lesson, creating a platform which allows children to test, create, make mistakes and develop a deeper understanding of our world. Our experimental approach has child-led learning at the heart of our lessons and our aim is for your children to leave Leyland Methodist Schools enthused and inspired to be part of the Science world.
Science and the National Curriculum
Our Science curriculum has been tailored to follow a S.T.E.M. approach for some of our units, creating links to the historical engineering town that was once Leyland. Teaching children in this way gives our school the opportunity to use the professionals we have around us in the area to enhance the curriculum and give our children a hands-on learning experience. This approach was developed from undertaking a thorough curriculum needs analysis of our learners to ensure our curriculum fulfils their requirements and ensures an enriched curriculum with opportunities for every child.
Our curriculum is also based on an experimental approach, with child-led learning at the heart of our lessons. When experimenting, children have the opportunity to present their work and learning independently, giving them ownership of their knowledge and understanding.
Our Science curriculum develops both scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding that will stay with our children throughout their lives. Our tailored progression documents map out key skills of knowledge in Science learning from Year 1 to 6 and also the scientific enquiry skills which are needed alongside these to ensure our children are supported and challenged throughout their science journey.
At Leyland Methodist schools, we provide a programme of enrichments opportunities to enhance our curriculum and develop our children’s cultural experiences. Our enrichment programme involves visits to different settings, professionals working within school and high school links who provide tailored sessions to challenge our more able.
These educational experiences include a visit to the award winning Jodrell Bank who work to inspire Scientists of the future by engaging them in the ground-breaking scientific research carried out there. Other visits include Chester and Blackpool Zoo, which ensure our children get the opportunity to see animals outside of their environment, compare their characteristics and see how they have evolved over time. Our children also visit the historical buildings of the Museum of Science and Industry where they are inspired by ideas that changed the world; making connections between the past and the present, between scientific theory and real-world applications.
These experiences provide vital opportunities for our learners to see and understand how Science changed the world we know today and how they can apply their scientific understanding in that world.
To compliment this, we also believe that inviting scientists and S.T.E.M. professionals into school provides invaluable opportunities for children to meet, question and learn from experts. As our school is based in a historical engineering town, we deem it important for us to showcase the variety of professionals on our doorstep and create aspirations for all of our children. We have close links to Leyland Trucks and specialists at BAE who support our curriculum and help to put a face to a career, breaking down any stereotypes which still exist within the science world. Each year we have the ‘Mad Science’ team visit both sites to promote Science and encourage our learners to take risks. Their after school club targets all children and we have a high uptake of budding scientists each year. Alongside our local professionals, we also have visits from those further afield. Dr Megan Sutherland, a geneticist from the University of Manchester, has assisted with the teaching of DNA in year six, helping to provide a thorough science curriculum through invaluable experiences.
Finally, through our S.T.E.M. curriculum we provide multiple opportunities for our children to showcase their learning through a series of themed weeks. Our Discovery fortnight allows our children to learn and teach others about pioneering scientists who have helped form our world today, for example Marie Curie. It also provides a platform for children to work with their siblings, bringing science into the home.
Our S.T.E.M. week is a fantastic opportunity for children to devise and create their own ideas following a theme and allows them to push the boundaries of science and engineering. Again, collaboration is at the heart of their learning as we wish to prepare our children for the future and hopefully create future scientists and engineers.
Our Science curriculum offers diversity in the range of scientists explored, celebrating the successes of all scientists across the globe, both men and women. This is vital to ensure we provide a rich and diverse curriculum, breaking down any stereotypes that still linger in society.
Throughout our units of teaching, when appropriate, we ensure that our children have the chance to compare elements across different cultures and countries. For example, in the teaching of plants, not only do we look at our native plants but those in other climates. When looking at animals, again our regional animals are compared to those from other countries, looking at how they are adapted to their setting. These opportunities allow for discussion around environment and climate and develop a deeper understanding of the world around us.
Equality of Opportunity
Providing an enriched curriculum is crucial to ensuring our children receive as many experiences as possible, widening and deepening their understanding. With this in mind, our Mad Science opportunity is funded for our Pupil Premium children alongside visits outside of school. During our themed weeks, time is allocated to all of our children to work within school and have access to resources they may need.