Our Science Co-ordinator is Mr Grant Jones. 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 the first twenty schools nationally to take part in the Pilot Scheme for the Science Quality Mark Award, achieving the Bronze Quality Standard. Learning is supported through use of materials from a range of schemes, such as Hamilton Trust, Star Science and Twinkl resources.
National Curriculum: Science Programmes of Study
Children study particular units of work, each term, summaries of which can be found below.
A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding.
The programmes of study describe a sequence of knowledge and concepts. While it is important that pupils make progress, it is also vitally important that they develop secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts in order to progress to the next stage. Insecure, superficial understanding will not allow genuine progression: pupils may struggle at key points of transition (such as between primary and secondary school), build up serious misconceptions, and/or have significant difficulties in understanding higher-order content. Pupils should be able to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language, but they should also be familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely. They should build up an extended specialist vocabulary. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data. The social and economic implications of science are important but, generally, they are taught most appropriately within the wider school curriculum: teachers will wish to use different contexts to maximise their pupils’ engagement with and motivation to study science.
The nature, processes and methods of science
‘Working scientifically’ specifies the understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science for each year group. It should not be taught as a separate strand. The notes and guidance give examples of how ‘working scientifically’ might be embedded within the content of biology, chemistry and physics, focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. These types of scientific enquiry should include: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources. Pupils should seek answers to questions through collecting, analysing and presenting data. ‘Working scientifically’ will be developed further at key stages 3 and 4, once pupils have built up sufficient understanding of science to engage meaningfully in more sophisticated discussion of experimental design and control.
The national curriculum for science reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their scientific vocabulary and articulating scientific concepts clearly and precisely. They must be assisted in making their thinking clear, both to themselves and others, and teachers should ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.
Key Stage 1
The principal focus of science teaching in key stage 1 is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly-constructed world around them. They should be encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They should be helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They should begin to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways. Most of the learning about science should be done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there should also be some use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos.
‘Working scientifically’ is described separately in the programme of study, but must always be taught through and clearly related to the teaching of substantive science content in the programme of study. Throughout the notes and guidance, examples show how scientific methods and skills might be linked to specific elements of the content.
Pupils should read and spell scientific vocabulary at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.
Year 1 Seasonal Changes
In this unit the children observe changes across the four seasons and describe weather associated with the seasons and how day length varies. Unlike all other units in our science curriculum, this unit is covered over the course of the entire year, focusing on the seasonal changes as they occur. The children observe and talk about changes in the weather and the seasons. They make tables and charts about the weather, and learn about the importance of not looking directly at the sun.
Year 1 (Autumn Term) Everyday Materials
Pupils are taught to distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made, identifying and naming a variety of everyday materials, including wood, plastic, glass, metal, water, and rock. They describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials and compare their simple physical properties. The children explore, name, discuss and raise questions about everyday materials so that they become familiar with the names of materials and properties such as: hard/soft; stretchy/stiff; shiny/dull; rough/smooth; bendy/not bendy; waterproof/not waterproof; absorbent/not absorbent; opaque/transparent. Pupils also explore and experiment with a wide variety of materials; not only those listed in the programme of study, but including for example: brick, paper, fabrics, elastic, foil.
Year 1 (Spring Term) Animals including Humans
In this unit, children identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. They learn that animals can be carnivores, herbivores and omnivores, describing and comparing a wide variety of animals; (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including pets). The children make use of our environment area to explore and answer questions about animals in their habitat.
The children also identify, name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body and say which part of the body is associated with each sense.
The children learn the names of the main body parts (including head, neck, arms, elbows, legs, knees, face, ears, eyes, hair, mouth, teeth) through games, actions, songs and rhymes.
Year 1 (Summer Term) Plants
In this unit, the children iidentify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees. They also identify and describe a variety of common flowering plants, including trees. The children make use of their Year 1 plot in the environmental area, observing the growth of flowers and vegetables that they have planted. They describe how they were able to identify and group them, and draw diagrams showing the parts of different plants and trees.
Year 2 (Autumn Term) Animals including Humans
In this unit the children learn that animals, including humans, have offspring which grow into adults. They find out about and describe the basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival; (water, food and air). Children learn about the importance for humans of exercise, eating the right amounts of different types of food, and the importance of exercise. They are also introduced to the basic needs of animals for survival, and the processes of reproduction and growth in animals. The focus at this stage should be on questions that help pupils to recognise growth; they are not expected to understand how reproduction occurs.
Year 2 (Autumn Term) Plants:
In this unit, children observe and describe how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants. They learn about how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and stay healthy. Children are introduced to the requirements of plants for germination, growth and survival, as well as learning about the processes of reproduction and growth in plants.
The children record the growth of a variety of plants as they change over time from a seed or bulb, observing similar plants at different stages of growth.
Year 2 (Spring Term) Everyday Materials
Children identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses. They find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching. Children become familiar with how some materials are used for more than one thing (metal can be used for coins, cans, cars and table legs; wood can be used for matches, floors, and telegraph poles) or different materials are used for the same thing (spoons can be made from plastic, wood, metal, but not normally from glass). They think about the properties of materials that make them suitable or unsuitable for particular purposes and are encouraged to think about unusual and creative uses for everyday materials. Children find out about people who have developed useful new materials, for example John Dunlop, Charles Macintosh or John McAdam.
Year 2 (Summer Term) Living Things and their Habitats
Through this unit, children explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive. They identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants. Children identify and name a variety of plants and animals, and learn about how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain. Children are introduced to the idea that all living things have certain characteristics that are essential for keeping them alive and healthy.
Lower Key Stage 2
The principal focus of science teaching in lower key stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They should do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. They should ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They should draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out.
‘Working scientifically’ is described separately at the beginning of the programme of study, but must always be taught through and clearly related to substantive science content in the programme of study. Throughout the notes and guidance, examples show how scientific methods and skills might be linked to specific elements of the content.
Pupils should read and spell scientific vocabulary correctly and with confidence, using their growing word reading and spelling knowledge.
Year 3 (Autumn Term) Rocks and Soils
Within this unit, children compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties.
They describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock, and recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter. The unit is consolidated through work in geography, with children exploring different kinds of rocks and soils, including those in the local environment.
Year 3 (Autumn Term) Forces and Magnets
Children compare how things move on different surfaces and notice that some forces need contact between two objects, but magnetic forces can act at a distance. They observe how magnets attract or repel each other and how they may attract some materials and not others. Children 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. They learn about magnets as having two poles, and predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, depending on which poles are facing. The children observe that magnetic forces can act without direct contact, unlike most forces, where direct contact is necessary (for example, opening a door, pushing a swing). Within the unit, they explore the behaviour and everyday uses of different magnets (for example, bar, ring, button and horseshoe.)
Year 3 (Spring Term) Animals, including Humans
In this unit, children identify that animals, including humans, need the right types and amount of nutrition, and that they get nutrition from what they eat. They learn that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement. They link their learning about nutrition to the main body parts, associated with the skeleton and muscles, finding out how different parts of the body have special functions. The children compare and contrast the diets of different animals (including their pets) and decide upon ways of grouping them according to what they eat. They research different food groups and how they keep us healthy and design meals based on what they find out.
Year 3 (Summer Term) Plants
Children identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plant, such as roots, stem/trunk, leaves and flowers. They explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant. Children
investigate the way in which water is transported within plants and explore the part that flowers play in the life cycle of flowering plants, including pollination, seed formation and seed dispersal. Pupils are introduced to the relationship between structure and function: the idea that every part has a job to do. They focus on the role of the roots and stem in nutrition and support, leaves for nutrition and flowers for reproduction.
Year 3 (Summer Term) Light
Within this unit, children recognise that they need light in order to see things and that dark is the absence of light. They learn that light is reflected from surfaces and recognise that light from the sun can be dangerous and that there are ways to protect their eyes. The children discover that shadows are formed when the light from a light source is blocked by an opaque object, and find patterns in the way that the size of shadows change.
The children explore what happens when light reflects off a mirror or other reflective surfaces, including playing mirror games to help them to answer questions about how light behaves. They consider why it is important to protect their eyes from bright lights. Within the unit, children measure shadows, find out how they are formed and what might cause the shadows to change.
Year 4 (Autumn Term) States of Matter
Children compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases. They observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (°C). Children learn about evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature. Through the unit, children explore a variety of everyday materials and develop simple descriptions of the states of matter (solids hold their shape; liquids form a pool not a pile; gases escape from an unsealed container). Pupils also observe water as a solid, a liquid and a gas and note the changes to water when it is heated or cooled.
Year 4 (Spring Term) Electricity
In his unit, children identify common appliances that run on electricity, and
construct a simple series electrical circuit, identifying and naming its basic parts, including cells, wires, bulbs, switches and buzzers. They identify whether or not a lamp will light in a simple series circuit, based on whether or not the lamp is part of a complete loop with a battery. Children discover that a switch opens and closes a circuit and associate this with whether or not a lamp lights in a simple series circuit. They find out about some common conductors and insulators, and associate metals with being good conductors. Children have the opportunity to construct simple series circuits, trying different components, and drawing the circuit as a pictorial representation, not necessarily using conventional circuit symbols at this stage; these will be introduced in year 6. Pupils might use the terms current and voltage, but these should not be introduced or defined formally at this stage. Pupils are taught about precautions for working safely with electricity.
Year 4 (Spring Term) Sound
In this unit, children identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with vibration. They learn that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear, and find patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it. Children also find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it,
recognising that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases.
Year 4 (Summer Term) Animals including Humans
Children describe the simple functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans. They identify the different types of teeth in humans and their simple functions. The children are introduced to the main body parts associated with the digestive system, for example, mouth, tongue, teeth, oesophagus, stomach and small and large intestine and explore questions that help them to understand their special functions.
When learning about animals, children construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey.) They comparing the teeth of carnivores and herbivores, suggesting reasons for differences; finding out what damages teeth and how to look after them.
Year 4 (Summer Term) Living Things and their Habitats
Children recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways,
using classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment. They recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things. Within the unit, children make use of our environmental area to identify and study plants and animals in their habitat. Children begin to put vertebrate animals into groups such as fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals; and invertebrates into snails and slugs, worms, spiders, and insects. They discover that plants can be grouped into categories such as flowering plants (including grasses) and non-flowering plants, such as ferns and mosses. The children explore examples of human impact (both positive and negative) on environments, for example, the positive effects of nature reserves, ecologically planned parks, or garden ponds, and the negative effects of population and development, litter or deforestation.
Upper Key Stage 2
The principal focus of science teaching in upper key stage 2 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They should do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. At upper key stage 2, they should encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They should also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They should select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. Pupils should draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.
‘Working and thinking scientifically’ is described separately at the beginning of the programme of study, but must always be taught through and clearly related to substantive science content in the programme of study. Throughout the notes and guidance, examples show how scientific methods and skills might be linked to specific elements of the content.
Pupils should read, spell and pronounce scientific vocabulary correctly.
Year 5 (Autumn Term) Earth and Space
In this unit, children describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system. They also describe the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth. The children learn about
the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky. The class are introduced to a model of the Sun and Earth that enables them to explain day and night. Pupils learn that the Sun is a star at the centre of our solar system and that it has eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune (Pluto was reclassified as a ‘dwarf planet’ in 2006). They learn that a moon is a celestial body that orbits a planet.
Year 5 (Autumn Term) Forces
Within this unit, children explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object. They learn about the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction. Children also learn that some mechanisms, including levers, pulleys and gears, allow a smaller force to have a greater effect.
The children explore falling objects and raise questions about the effects of air resistance. They should explore the effects of air resistance by observing how different objects such as parachutes and sycamore seeds fall. They experience forces that make things begin to move, get faster or slow down. They also explore the effects of friction on movement and find out how it slows or stops moving objects. The children also learn about the effects of levers, pulleys and simple machines on movement. They find out how scientists, for example, Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton helped to develop the theory of gravitation.
Year 5 (Spring Term) Properties and Changes of Materials
Children compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties, including their hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity (electrical and thermal), and response to magnets. They learn that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution, and describe how to recover a substance from a solution, using knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated, including through filtering, sieving and evaporating. The children give their reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials, including metals, wood and plastic. They demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes, and explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible. Pupils build a more systematic understanding of materials by exploring and comparing the properties of a broad range of materials, including relating these to what they learnt about magnetism in year 3 and about electricity in year 4.
Year 5 (Summer Term) Living Things and their Habitats
Within this unit, the children find out about the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird. They describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals. The children observe life-cycle changes in a variety of living things, for example, plants and animals in the school environmental area. They find out about the work of naturalists and animal behaviourists, for example, David Attenborough and Jane Goodall. Children learn about different types of reproduction, including sexual and asexual reproduction in plants, and sexual reproduction in animals.
Year 5 (Summer Term) Animals including Humans
Children describe the changes as humans develop from birth to old age.
They create a timeline to indicate stages in the growth and development of humans, learning about the changes experienced in puberty.
The children also research the gestation periods of other animals and compare them with humans; by finding out and recording the length and mass of a baby as it grows.
Year 6 (Autumn Term) Electricity
In this unit, children associate the brightness of a lamp or the volume of a buzzer with the number and voltage of cells used in the circuit. They compare 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, using recognised symbols when representing a simple circuit in a diagram. Building upon their learning in year 4, pupils construct simple series circuits, to help them to answer questions about what happens when they try different components, for example, switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors. Pupils are expected to learn only about series circuits, not parallel circuits. Pupils are taught to take the necessary precautions for working safely with electricity.
Year 6 (Autumn Term) Light
In this unit, children recognise that light appears to travel in straight lines, and use this idea to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye. They learn that we see things because light travels from light sources to our eyes or from light sources to objects and then to our eyes. The children build on the work on light in year 3, exploring the way that light behaves, including light sources, reflection and shadows.
Year 6 (Spring Term) Animals including Humans
In this unit, children identify and name the main parts of the human circulatory system, and describe the functions of the heart, blood vessels and blood. They recognise the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way their bodies function, and describe the ways in which nutrients and water are transported within animals, including humans. Pupils build on their learning from previous years about the main body parts and internal organs (skeletal, muscular and digestive system) to explore and answer questions that help them to understand how the circulatory system enables the body to function. Pupils also learn how to keep their bodies healthy and how their bodies might be damaged – including how some drugs and other substances can be harmful to the human body.
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.
Year 6 (Summer Term) Living Things and their Habitats
In this unit, children explore how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including micro-organisms, plants and animals.
They give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics. Pupils build upon their learning about grouping living things in year 4 by looking at the classification system in more detail. They are introduced to the idea that broad groupings, such as micro-organisms, plants and animals can be subdivided. Through direct observations where possible, they classify animals into commonly found invertebrates (such as insects, spiders, snails, worms) and vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals). Pupils might extend their learning by finding out about the significance of the work of scientists such as Carl Linnaeus, a pioneer of classification.