In science, we aim to give the children as much experience as possible to explore the world around them. We encourage them to ask questions, give their own ideas and make predictions about what they think will happen. From this they have opportunities to test out their own ideas, thinking carefully about what they have found out and what new knowledge they have as a result. This helps them to make sense of the world and equips them for the next stage of their education. This links closely with our values.
The breadth of our science curriculum is designed with three goals in mind:
Our Values in Science
The following information is extracts from the science curriculum policy.
Our Science Curriculum design is based on Chris Quigley Essentials Curriculum. Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science; three main principles underpin it:
In addition to the three principles we also understand that learning is invisible in the short term and that sustained mastery takes time.
Early Year Foundation stage
We teach science in the Foundation Stage (Nursery to Reception) as an integral part of the topic work covered in the year. We relate the scientific aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged nought to five. Science makes a significant contribution to the objective in the ELGs of developing a child’s understanding of the world, e.g. through investigating what floats and what sinks when placed in water.
Key Stage 1: Years 1 and 2
Science ‘Big Ideas’
Earth and Space
Ourselves Compared to Other Animals
Within each of the science ‘Big Ideas’ (topics) 'Working Scientifically' is built in to it in order to develop investigative skills AND the scientific concept being studied.
The road map gives you a really good overview of our topics from nursery to Year 6.
The are what pupils should understand. In science, these are returned to again and again across all year groups, they are what develops us as scientists. These include:
Understand animals and humans
Investigate living things
Understand evolution and inheritance
Understand movement, forces and magnets
Understand the Earth’s movement in Space
Investigate light and seeing
Investigate sound and hearing
Understand electrical circuits
Links to other subjects
How Science may be linked
Stories: Often used to give a context for the children for their learning. For example, we use the Snail and the Whale when we are looking at animals and habitats.
Communication: Children learn to communicate their scientific knowledge through talking in groups and whole class discussions.
Vocabulary: Scientific vocabulary is taught to the children and this helps them to develop what we call tier three vocabulary, for example, in materials they learn 'absorbent', 'rigid' and 'flexible'.
Writing: As children progress through school, they will start to communicate what they have learnt in writing. Some of the content for science may be used to stimulate writing in English, such as a story called ‘Snake Needs a Friend’.
Data: As children progress in working scientifically they will apply what they have learnt in data handling. This includes drawing tables to show results, tally charts and simple graphs.
Measures: Working through investigations in science offers great opportunities to measure. For example, when we are studying materials we have to measure to see which material will make the longest snake.
Historical figures: Whilst we do not study a scientist in history, the children may touch on historical figures such as Charles Darwin when studying animals or Thomas Edison when studying electricity.
Learning from history: The space race and Tim Berners Lee are an excellent example of STEM learning.
Places: Geography gives us an excellent opportunity to look at habitats and different places around the world. We can think about what different animals we might find in different areas, for example, what animals live in the sea and in the polar regions.
Eco Schools: This teaches us all of the morals about our environment and how we need to look after it for future generations.
Colour: Exploring colour mixing is an early application of science to see what happens when we combine colours and how textures may change if we add something to paint.
Modelling: When children work with modelling materials, such as clay, this links in with materials and early discussions about whether this is reversible or not.
Cookery: Cookery links well to reversible and irreversible changes. Exploring a range of foods also allows the children to have discussions about healthy eating and balanced diets.
Construction: When children are making constructions, they are applying some of their knowledge about materials, combining materials and the strength of materials.
Warm up: In warm ups in P.E., the teachers will regularly talk about why we need to warm up.
Exercise: When exercising, this is an excellent opportunity for staff to talk to the children about what is happening to their bodies when they exercise, e.g. the heart beating faster and breathing speeding up.
RSE: As part of learning about ourselves, the children learn the names of the body parts.
Health: The health aspect of PSHE overlaps with learning about our bodies, how to keep them healthy and making healthy choices.
Economic: Early discussions about jobs that science will help the children with is important. We try to use local people who use science in their jobs to come in and talk to the children.
To help children get to a deep level of understanding we use quizzes and stimuli to encourage children to discuss and reason about a range of scientific concepts. Big Ideas form an overview for each scientific topic and children are encouraged to develop their understanding from a basic, through to an advanced and deep level of knowledge and apply this when working scientifically, enabling them to explain their thoughts using appropriate scientific vocabulary.
Children develop each concept over time and it takes up to a two-year period to get to a deeper level of understanding at the appropriate age. For example, in Year 1, children will have a basic understanding of hard materials at an age appropriate level, but by revisiting this they should have a deeper level of understanding by Year 2 of changing materials. Summative assessments are carried out towards the end of each year in the form of POP tasks.
Most of our science work is practical and hands on experiences. We use a 'floor book' in each class for science where we record the learning that the children have done in science. The children get the opportunity to record individually, particularly as they move in to Year 2.
Take a look at some of our learning
Science Day 2022
We have been celebrating British Science week. We started the week with a visit from the Science Boffin Rodney. He amazed us with some fantastic science experiences from piercing a balloon without popping it to creating a mound of elephant toothpaste! After the assembly the Year 2s took part in a science workshop. Take a look at some of our learning. We had great fun!