Science Curriculum Offer
Crowcombe and Stogumber Primary Schools science curriculum aims to give all our children an understanding of the world around them from the moment they join us. We want them to develop a love of hands on, practical learning in and around their environment. Developing a passion and understanding of science from such an early age helps them to think scientifically and to understand the scientific processes. When children are studying science at the primary level, they should be acquiring specific skills and knowledge to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena with an understanding of the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
At Crowcombe and Stogumber Primary Schools, alongside our Forest School sessions, our children build their expertise of science so that the following 2014 National Curriculum requirements are met.
The first is ‘substantive knowledge – themes, ideas and language’, which is knowledge of the products of science, such as models, laws and theories. We will ensure that our pupils develop a deep and secure knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts. Pupils will be taught to think and reason scientifically, developing their ability to apply their knowledge and understanding to real life situations.
The second category is ‘disciplinary training’, which is knowledge of the practices (skills) of science. This teaches pupils how scientific knowledge becomes established and gets revised. Importantly, this involves pupils learning about the many different types of scientific enquiry rather that it being reduced to learning a single scientific method. The knowledge is carefully sequenced to reveal the interplay between the substantive and disciplinary.
This ensures that pupils not only know ‘the science’; they also know the evidence for it and can use this knowledge to work scientifically.
Children begin their formal science education in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This involves learning foundational knowledge primarily through the ‘understanding the world’ area of learning which involves a range of observational, practical explorations. This provides a number of rich contexts for pupils to learn a wide range of scientific vocabulary. Dinosaurs, changes of state and matter, weather and seasons, space, forces and animals are some of the areas covered in EYFS.
In Key Stage 1 children will begin to ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in a variety of ways. Children will develop their skills in working scientifically through using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions. They will gather and record data to help them in answering scientific questions. Children will look at: identifying wild plants and describing the basic structure of a variety of common plants, defining carnivores, herbivores and omnivores, the human body, looking at everyday materials and observing the changing seasons throughout the year. They will also look at: exploring the differences between things that are living, dead and those that have never been alive, identifying habitats, simple food chains, describing what plants need to thrive, the basic needs of animals and comparing the properties and suitability of everyday materials.
In Lower Key Stage 2 children pupils will be working scientifically by asking relevant questions, setting up simple practical enquiries, making systematic and careful observations, recording findings and using results to draw simple conclusions. It is in this key stage that the science becomes more defined into biology, physics or chemistry. The children will progress further in order to make comparative and fair tests, use simple scientific language, drawings and charts, report findings from enquiries, use results to make predictions whilst suggesting improvements. Children will be encouraged to raise further questions and use straightforward scientific evidence to answer their questions. Children will also: identify and describe the function of plants, investigate the way in which water is transported in plants, identify the needs and structures of animals, compare and group together rock and soil types (including how fossils are formed), explore light and shadows and look into the effect of forces. Children will also: recognise living things can be grouped in a variety of ways, use classification keys, describe the functions of the human body, identify food chains, identify how sounds are made and investigate electricity and circuits. Children will continue the exploration into the change in materials when it is heated or cooled, and explore the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle.
In Upper Key Stage 2, children will work scientifically by planning different types of scientific enquiries; taking measurements, recording data and results, using test results to make predictions and identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments. The children will show progress in working scientifically by: recognising and controlling variables, increasing the accuracy and precision of taking measurements, recording results of increasing complexity, making predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests and reporting and presenting findings. Children will also: describe life cycles, group together everyday materials, demonstrate the changes of materials, continue further learning about Earth and Space and investigate how to increase the effects of forces and gain a deeper understanding of materials and their properties. They will also: describe how living things are classified, identify human needs and the impact of diet, exercise drugs and lifestyles, recognise that livings things change over time, identify how animals are adapted to suit environments, explore light and investigate electricity with increased complexity.
All children are encouraged to develop and use a range of skills including observing, planning and investigating. Specialist vocabulary for topics is taught and developed, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is modelled and encouraged. Regular use of the key features of scientific enquiry reinforce the key concepts so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. At we promote science alongside our school values and aim for our children to develop an interest, enthusiasm and love for science that will encourage their care of the planet and provide the knowledge they need for KS3.