Our Science curriculum aims to 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 our pupils will be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of Science.
Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, our pupils will be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They will be encouraged to understand how Science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
Scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding
While it is important that our 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 which may mean that our pupils may struggle at key points of transition (such as between primary and secondary school), build up serious misconceptions, and have significant difficulties in understanding higher-order content.
We intend for our pupils 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 and should aim to apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of Science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data.
We have adapted the ‘Snap Science’ scheme of work to enable us to reflect current ideas about best practice in primary Science teaching and learning. There is a wealth of research evidence and good practice data that has informed the design and content of Snap Science. At the heart of the resource are the following principles:
Big ideas in Science
The 10 ‘Big Ideas’ in Science is a way of approaching our curriculum not in terms of knowing about a body of facts and theories but as a progression towards key ides which together enable an understanding of events and phenomena relevant to the children’s lives during and beyond their school years.
Big idea 1
Everything in our universe is made of very small particles.
Big idea 2
Objects can affect other objects without touching them.
Big idea 3
To change the movement of an object, an overall force needs to act on it.
Big idea 4
Energy cannot be created or destroyed but can move from one place to another
Big idea 5
The weather can change each day and with the seasons
Big idea 6
The earth is part of a solar system, the solar system is part of a galaxy, and the galaxy is one of millions in the universe
Big idea 7
Bodies are made up of complex systems of lots of small parts
Big idea 8
Plants as well as animals, including humans, need energy and other resources to survive
Big idea 9
Living things reproduce
Big idea 10
Living things are all different but connected
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 will be encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They will also 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.
Our pupils will also 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 will be done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there will also be some use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos. Our pupils will also read and spell scientific vocabulary at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at Key Stage 1.
Lower Key Stage 2
The principal focus of Science teaching in Lower Key Stage 2 is to enable our pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They will 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 will 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. Our pupils will also draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out. Our pupils will read and spell scientific vocabulary correctly and with confidence, using their growing word reading and spelling knowledge.
Upper Key Stage 2
The principal focus of Science teaching in Upper Key Stage 2 is to enable our 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 will encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates.
Our pupils will also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They will 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. Our pupils will 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. Lastly, our pupils will read, spell and pronounce scientific vocabulary correctly.