Science

Science

Our Science Co-ordinator is Mrs Grace Woollard. The school follow the National Curriculum recommendations of one hour of science per week in Key Stage 1 and 2 hours of science per week in Key Stage 2.

The school adopt an exciting, hands-on  investigative approach to the subject and were one of only eleven schools nationally to take part in the Pilot Scheme for the Science Quality Mark Award, achieving the Bronze Quality Standard. In Key Stage 2 the children’s learning is supported where appropriate through the Star Science Scheme.

Last year one of the real highlights was our Science week. Classes enjoyed special Set Point Science Workshops and Year 6 enjoyed a fascinating  session on forensic science. The Year 2 class put together a magnificent presentation that captured the breadth of events that took place during the week.

National Curriculum: Science Programmes of Study

New Science Curriculum from September 2013

Children study particular units of work, each term, summaries of which can be found below. The skills associated with science are listed under the heading ‘Working Scientifically’. These skills are embedded in each unit’s learning.

Working scientifically in Year One and Year Two

Learning includes observing closely, using simple equipment, simple tests, identifying and classifying and recording findings.

Year 1 (Autumn Term) Everyday Materials

In this unit children learn to identify and name a variety of everyday materials, describing, comparing and grouping them on the basis of their properties. Children investigate how some solid materials can be changed through squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.

Year 1 (Spring Term) Animals, including humans

Children learn to identify and name a variety of common animals (including humans) of all types, those with different diets, to describe and name their structures and how they are suited to their environment. They will also identify, name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body and explain which parts are associated with the different senses.

Year 1 (Summer Term) Plants

Children learn to identify and name a variety of both evergreen and deciduous plants including daisy, oak, and holly, becoming aware of structures such as roots, stem, leaves and flowers. The local environment will be used for these studies.

Year 1 (taught throughout the year) Seasonal Changes

Children observe changes across the four seasons, thinking about weather and day-length. They make observations of how the sun appears to move during the day. There are lots of opportunities for measuring, recording and discussing in this unit.

Year 2 (Autumn Term) Animals including humans

Children learn that animals have offspring which grow into adults, about basic needs for survival (water, food, air) and the importance for humans of exercise and eating the right amounts of different food types. Growth and change are investigated; however reproduction is not taught in this unit.

Year 2 (Autumn Term) Uses of everyday materials:

Children identify and compare the uses of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick/rock, and paper/cardboard. They conduct investigations and think scientifically about why materials are used for particular objects and purposes. They encouraged to think about unusual and creative uses for everyday materials.

Year 2 (Spring Term) All Living things

Children explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive. They learn about living processes and explore questions such as: ‘Is a flame alive? Is a deciduous tree dead in winter?’ and talk about ways of answering their questions.

Year 2 (Spring Term) Movement

Children describe how things move at different speeds and vary those speeds using simple comparisons and comparative vocabulary. Children investigate movement using a range of toys; comparing them, by measuring how far they go; ordering their findings and recording their observations and measurements, for example by constructing tables and charts, and drawing on their results to answer their questions.

Year 2 (Summer Term) Plants

Children investigate how seeds and bulbs grow and what plants need to keep them healthy. They observe and record the growth of a variety of plants as they change over time from a seed or bulb, or observe similar plants at different stages of growth; setting up a comparative test to show that plants need light and water to stay healthy.

Year 2 (Summer Term) Habitats

Children use the local environment to identify and study plants and animals, and learn about habitats and microhabitats. They learn that living things live in habitats which suit them, identify and name plants and animals in a variety of habitats, and describe a simple food chain.

Working scientifically in Year Three and Year Four

Learning includes aspects of setting up simple comparative and fair tests, beginning to make accurate measurements using standard units, recording and reporting on findings, and using results to draw conclusions and make predictions for setting up further tests.

Year 3 (Autumn Term) Animals, including humans

In this unit, children learn how animals need the right types and amount of nutrition, and that they cannot make their own food; they get nutrition from what they eat. Children look at how nutrients and water are transported within animals. Children learn how some animals have skeletons and muscles for support and movement.

Year 3 (Spring Term) Forces and magnets

This unit provides children with the opportunity to explore how a push or pull acts on something else; describe how some forces act in contact and others at a distance. Children investigate magnets and their uses. They compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of whether they are attracted to a magnet, and identify some magnetic materials.

Year 3 (Spring Term) Rocks

Children learn that there are different kinds of rocks and that their properties relate to how they were formed. They examine, compare and group together different types, and describe how fossils are formed.

Year 3 (Summer Term) Plants

Children are introduced to the relationship between plant structure and function. They compare different plants, identifying the requirements for life and growth and how water is transported. Simple tests might include putting carnations in coloured water and observing how the water travels up the stem to the flowers. Children explore the role of flowers in the life-cycle of flowering plants, including pollination, seed formation and seed dispersal.

Year 3 (Summer Term) Light

This unit asks children to think about different light sources and notice that light is reflected from surfaces. They associate shadows with a light source being blocked by something and look for patterns that determine the size of shadows. Children are taught about the safety precautions associated with this topic, learning never to look directly at the sun, even when wearing dark glasses.

Year 4 (Autumn Term) States of matter

In this unit, children compare and group materials according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases, explain that some materials change state when heated or cooled, and measure the temperature of this in degrees ºC. They are also taught to compare and give reasons (based on measurements) for changes to the state of water, using correct scientific vocabulary, and identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle.

Year 4 (Autumn Term) Electricity

Children learn how electricity is used to power appliances, and experiment with constructing a simple circuit. They learn that some materials act as electrical conductors or insulators and test them. Children investigate switches, constructing different types from everyday materials. They learn about the safety precautions in working with electricity, and draw the circuit as a picture.

Year 4 (Spring Term) Animals, including humans

Children learn about the digestive system, thinking about the different parts and what role they play.  They examine the different types of human teeth relating the features to their functions.  Investigative work might include comparing the teeth of carnivores and herbivores, and suggesting reasons for differences or finding out what damages teeth and how to look after them.

Year 4 (Spring Term) Evolution and inheritance

Children learn how plants and animals resemble their parents. They might look at their own family tree, to look for common features. They examine how plants and animals adapt to suit to their environment, over time, and how fossils can provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.

Year 4 (Summer Term) Sound

Children observe and name a variety of sources of sound, noticing that we hear with our ears. They identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating. Children explore how sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases, looking for scientific explanations. Investigative work includes finding patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it and find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it.

Year 4 (Summer Term) All living things

Children identify and name a variety of living things (plants and animals) in the local and wider environment, using classification keys to assign them to groups. They give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics and learn that environments are constantly changing and that this can sometimes pose dangers to specific habitats.

Working scientifically in Year Five and Year Six

Learning includes planning investigations, including controlling variables, taking measurements with increasing accuracy and precision, recording results of increasing complexity, reporting on findings including conclusions, presenting reports in different forms, and continuing to develop the ability to use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests.

Year 5 (Autumn Term) Magnetism

This unit introduces the idea that magnets have two poles. Children look for patterns in the way that magnets behave in relation to each other and what might affect this, such as the strength of the magnet or which pole faces another. They might explore what happens if magnets are hung from threads or floated on water and relate this to the development and use of compasses for navigation.

Year 5 (Autumn Term) Earth and space

Children learn that the Sun is at the centre of our solar system, that it is one of many stars in the galaxy called the Milky Way. They also learn about other planets, explain the movement of the moon, earth and Sun, and identify how this movement creates day and night, and seasons. Children are taught about the safety precautions associated with this topic, learning never to look directly at the sun, even when wearing dark glasses.

Year 5 (Spring Term) Properties of everyday materials and reversible change

Children compare and group everyday materials based on comparative and fair tests, including solubility, hardness and insulation. They learn that some substances will dissolve to form a solution, and how to recover a substance from a solution. They learn that dissolving, mixing and change of state are reversible changes. Children plan investigations, including recognising and controlling variables, and measuring using scientific equipment with precision.

Year 5 (Summer Term) Animals, including humans

In this unit, children identify and name the basic parts and organs of the human circulatory system, explaining the functions of the heart, blood vessels and blood. They investigate the effect of different types of activity on pulse rate and breathing rate and find out about the effects of things that might damage the body’s systems. They might compare the organ systems of the human body with the organ systems of a variety of animals, asking pertinent questions and suggesting reasons for similarities and differences.

Year 5 (Summer Term) All living things

Children learn about the life cycles of a variety of animals, including humans, and plants. They observe and compare the life cycles of plants and animals in their local environment with other plants and animals around the world (the rainforest, under the oceans, desert areas and in prehistoric times), asking pertinent questions and suggesting reasons for similarities and differences.

Year 6 (Autumn Term) Forces

In this unit, children learn to explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object. They identify the effect of drag forces, such as air resistance, water resistance and friction, that act between moving surfaces and describe, in terms of drag forces, why moving objects that are not driven tend to slow down. Children explore the concept that force and motion can be transferred through mechanical devices such as gears, pulleys, levers and springs.

Year 6 (Autumn Term) Changes that form new materials

Children learn how some changes result in the formation of new materials and that this kind of change is difficult to reverse. These changes can include burning, oxidization and cooking. Children are taught the safety precautions associated with these.

Year 6 (Spring Term) Light

In this unit, children learn that light appears to travel in straight lines and use this concept to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye. They also relate this to why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them, and use it to predict the size of shadows when the position of the light source changes.

Year 6 (Spring Term) Electricity

Children identify and name parts of a simple electric circuit, learning to represent components using circuit diagrams and symbols. They investigate the relationship between the brightness of a lamp and the volume of a buzzer with the number and voltage of cells used in the circuit. They investigate and give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches.

Year 6 (Summer Term) All living things

In this unit, children are introduced to the classification of living things into broad groups and introducing them to the five kingdoms of all living things, vertebrates, invertebrates and ways of splitting these larger groups into smaller ones. Pupils study their local environment throughout the year and recognise the stages of growth and reproduction in a variety of living things. They compare the life processes of reproduction among plants and animals, and describe the changes as humans develop from birth to old age. Children think about the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way their bodies function.

Year 6 (Summer Term) Evolution and inheritance

In this unit, children learn to give reasons why living things produce offspring of the same kind, but which are often not identical with each other or their parents. They learn how adaptation can lead to evolution and investigate how and why the human skeleton has changed over time, since we separated from other primates. Investigative work might include analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of specific adaptations, such as being on two feet rather than four, or having a long or a short beak.