Science

Subject Leader: Mrs E Warburton

WARBURTONE@saintgeorgescofe.kent.sch.uk

Purpose of study

A high-quality science education such as that provided by ‘Rising Stars Switched on Science’ chosen carefully for the pupils in our school, provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science changes lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are actively encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Aims

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 and are taught most appropriately within the wider school curriculum: teachers 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. Pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. These types of scientific enquiry include: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources. Pupils seek answers to questions through collecting, analysing and presenting data.

Spoken language

The 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. Pupils are assisted in making their thinking clear, both to themselves and others, and teachers ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.

 

School curriculum

Year 1 Programme of Study

  1. Who am I?                         Animals, including humans
  2. Celebrations                         Everyday materials
  3. Polar Places Everyday materials; plants; animals including humans
  4. Plants and

animals where we live            Everyday materials; plants; animals including humans

  1. On Safari Everyday materials; plants; animals including humans
  2. Holiday Working Scientifically Skills project

 

Year 2 Programme of Study

  1. Healthy me Animals, including humans
  2. Materials monster Everyday materials
  3. Squash, bend, twist & stretch Animals, including humans
  4. Our local environments Everyday materials; living things and their habitats
  5. Young gardeners Living things and their habitats; plants
  6. Little masterchefs Working Scientifically Skills project

Year 3 Programme of Study

  1. Rocks, soils and fossils Rocks
  2. Food and our bodies Animals, including humans
  3. Light and shadows Light
  4. How does your garden grow? Plants
  5. Forces and magnets Forces and magnets
  6. The nappy challenge Working Scientifically Skills project

Year 4 Programme of Study

  1. What’s that sound? Sound
  2. Living things Living things and their habitats
  3. Looking at states States of matter
  4. Teeth and eating Animals, including humans
  5. Power it up Electricity
  6. The big build Working Scientifically Skills project

Year 5 Programme of Study

  1. Out of this world Earth and space
  2. Material world properties and changes of materials
  3. Circle of life Living things and their habitats
  4. Let’s get moving Forces
  5. Growing up and growing old Animals, including humans
  6. Amazing changes Working Scientifically Skills project

 

Year 6 Programme of Study

  1. Classifying living things Living things and their habitats
  2. Healthy bodies Animals, including humans
  3. Evolution and inheritance Evolution and inheritance
  4. Light Light
  5. Electricity Electricity
  6. The Titanic Working Scientifically Skills project

Early Years 

Children have a natural interest in the world around them. A high-quality Science education enables our children to explore and build up an understanding of that world, not only by acquiring knowledge, but also through developing the skills required for ‘working scientifically’.

In our school, Science is taught in the EYFS within the Area of Learning called Understanding the World.

In Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) our children will start to gain the scientific knowledge that they will build on throughout their primary school years, such as developing their skills of observation, prediction, critical thinking and discussion. This is done through verbal discussion and lots of practical investigations, to develop their understanding and thinking further.

Science within the EYFS is introduced indirectly through activities that encourage our children to explore, problem solve, observe, predict, think, make decisions and talk about the world around them.

We use both our indoor and outdoor environment to support the teaching and learning of Science. We are extremely fortunate to have a rich outdoor learning environment which includes our Forest School area. We also have a wonderful outdoor area to support our learning which the children can access daily throughout the year. All these areas are regularly used to develop the children’s Science skills and knowledge of plants, animals and habitats

Key Stage One

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 are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They are supported 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. Pupils 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 is done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there is also some use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos. ‘Working scientifically’ is described separately in the programme of study but is always taught through and clearly related to the teaching of substantive science content in the programme of study. Pupils are expected to read and spell scientific vocabulary at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.

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 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 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 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 in the programme of study but is always taught through and clearly related to substantive science content in the programme of study. Pupils are expected to read and spell scientific vocabulary correctly and with confidence, using their growing word reading and spelling knowledge.

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 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, pupils encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They 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 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 scientifically’ is described separately in the programme of study but is always taught through and clearly related to substantive science content in the programme of study. Pupils are expected to read, spell and pronounce scientific vocabulary correctly.