At Manor Community Primary School all children, including those with SEND and the most disadvantaged, study the Science curriculum outlined in the National Curriculum. It is organised through the study of scientific concepts.
Through scientific investigation we aim to foster pupils’ understanding of content learned and the world around them by testing, analysing and evaluating information gained through testing, generalising and proving the wider implications of the evaluation and finally gaining a deeper understanding of scientific laws.
Science is taught as mini topics within other topics throughout the year, over 6 terms. The timing of the topic enables pupils to connect learning within and across subjects (eg. science/geography/ Design and technology etc). We want pupils to be able to accurately articulate their thoughts and opinions through the acquisition and use of technical and non-technical vocabulary.
- Enquiry/Investigation/Fair testing/Controlling variables
- Scientific Laws
- Developing curiosity
- Developing scientific knowledge
- Using technical/non-technical vocabulary
- Using a range of equipment
- Taking measurements/repeating taking measurements to improve accuracy
- Gathering and recording data
- Using labels, classification, keys, tables, scatter, bar and line graphs
- Reporting findings
- Using test results to make further predictions
By connecting our British Values through the teaching of Science, we explore issues that affect us all in our lives and this helps inform decisions that will shape our future, for example, Individual liberty of own views, tolerance and mutual respect of other’s views. This is taught through the topics, where different views and ethics are involved, for example in year 2 where they learn about the basic needs of animals for survival.
Also the Rule of law where our pupils are taught to following laboratory rules for the safety of all, for example in Years 3 and 6 where they learn about Forces and understanding of the need to have speed limits (speed, force, change of momentum). In year 5 they obey the Rule of law when they learn about the impact of diet and exercise and discuss life choices regarding alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs. In Year 4 they are learning how their choices impact themselves and the environment when they explore their Light topic.
Key Stage 1
We start with humans and begin to draw on the concept of observation as we identify, name and label the human body. They pursue the scientific concept of enquiry and investigation as they deepen their understanding of humans in their history topic which is the Family Tree.
This is further linked to the Geography topic of Weather where they explore how the seasons impact the human body and the habitat of animals and affect the type of animals that live in a particular climate. Pupils begin by looking at the season of autumn using observation skills and simple equipment, then they build on this by comparing and describing two seasons, collating simple data e.g a pictogram of different weather.
This is then developed further when they look at materials in term 3, (for example by exploring how materials are chosen for their strength and resilience to the weather/weathering which connects to their history topic. Pupils build on their observational skills by developing the skills to answer scientific questions. They also begin to use simple scientific investigation skills e.g. which material is the best to make your house out of?
They will then look further at Animals by studying the scientific concept of comparing and contrasting as they classify a variety of common animals such as amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. They apply the concept of predictions as they link in their weather Geography unit to gain an understanding of which animals live in hot or cold countries according to the body coverings. The unit based on Spring and Summer (plants) follow on in terms 5 and 6 and the children have the opportunity to apply all the skills previously learnt and they build upon these skills by, identifying and classifying, by making links to prior learning, evaluating outcomes from their enquiry e.g. science units and geography topic. The Year 1 children will be looking at light and dark with an emphasis on how light works. They will investigate how shadows are created.
We start by looking at the topic ‘Animals including humans’ which builds upon the previous year 1 topics – Humans, plants and animals. Here, they zone in on developing the scientific concept of evaluation after gathering and recording data.
Then they extend their Year 1 knowledge of materials by doing an in-depth study of properties of materials and how materials can be changed which deepens their understanding of the concepts of investigation, generalising and fair testing. This is also connected to their history topic on the Great Fire of London. e.g. Why did the fire of the Great fire of London spread so quickly?
While applying the concepts of hypothesis they are taught to test results to make further predictions and generalisations. The next concepts of observation and investigation are further developed in our ‘Living things and habitats’ topic. Here, they investigate a range of different habitats, which builds upon the previous knowledge learnt in Year 1 through looking at their immediate environment and then linking in their Geography skills of animals and habitats around the world. Children are taught to use labels, classifications, tables, keys etc to analyse and sort living and non-living things to help them understand more deeply the concept of scientific laws and theorising.
Key Stage 2
We start the year with our ‘Animals including humans’ topic where we ask relevant questions about parts of the digestive system and use different types of scientific enquiry to answer them. They use results acquired from developing investigations to draw simple conclusions about the functions of different types of teeth.
This leads links in with ‘States of Matter’ which connects to their geography topic ‘Rivers’. They move on to forces which make connections to their Roman topic e.g. testing surfaces for their chariots to move along. They then proceed to the unit on healthy eating linking in the eating habits of the Romans. The units of ‘Plants, animals, living things and their habitats’; builds upon the work on plants and animals from KS1 through exploring a wider area and the impact humans have on the environment.
In terms 6, the concept of observation is taught as they observe how seeds are formed and dispersed through simple practical enquiries which involve taking accurate measurements using standard units and a range of simple equipment. This links in well with their Geography topic of rivers and the part they play in seed dispersal and pollination. They apply the concept of comparing and contrasting as they identify differences and similarities between flowering and non-flowering plants.
They start the year with ‘Rocks and soils’ and this connects with their geography topic on Coasts’. Here, they use concepts of comparing and contrasting to determine how rocks are formed and observation of the physical properties that they possess to gather and record their data.
In term 2, their in-depth topic is electricity which connects to their Design Technology project where they design and make lighthouses. The concept of prediction and theorising come into play here as they explore materials that are insulators or conductors of electricity. They then revisit the year 3 topic of Nutrition and deepen their understanding of the concepts of evaluation by using tables, classification keys, labels, bars and graphs.
They then move onto ‘Sound and vibrations’ which builds further upon their investigative skills by gathering and recording data and answering a variety of questions. In term 5, the Year 4 children will be looking at light and dark with an emphasis on how light works. As they explore scientific laws governing light, they will investigate how light travels to enable us to see. They will use a range of scientific equipment in their enquiry, develop curiosity in their explorations and debunk generalisations that that they have once held based on the results from their investigations.
The first topic studied in year 5 is ‘Living things’. Here, the children learn about the concept of scientific laws as they make comparisons with natural laws in their quest for a deeper understanding of the life cycles of mammals, amphibians, insects and birds.
As they develop scientific knowledge in this area, they use technical and non- technical vocabulary to explain their observations. The next unit they learn about is ‘Materials and their properties’, building on their Year 3 knowledge by beginning to investigate reversible and irreversible change and maintain links to the materials they used to make volcanoes in their Design and technology unit. They further their understanding of the concept of investigations by exploring liquids, solids and gases where they use test results to make further predictions and theories.
This connects to their geography topic - Mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes. They draw upon the knowledge and skills taught in previous years linked to ‘States of matter’ to plan scientific enquires and answer questions. They build upon their Year 4 knowledge about light by studying ‘Earth and Space’ and the use of scientific evidence to support or refute ideas or arguments. The unit on plants will make links to the topic for Term 6 based on ‘Healthy eating’ because children have reached an age where they should be making informed choices about the lifestyles. The Year 5 children will be looking at Evolution with a focus on humans over time.
They start the year with one of their most exciting topics – Forces. Here, they explore scientific concepts such as prediction, enquiry and fair testing. They investigate different types of forces using a range of equipment and report their results using technical and non-technical vocabulary. They investigate friction, air resistance, gravity and the role that Newton plays in their understanding of scientific laws and concepts.
Under this topic, they develop scientific knowledge which enables them to raise enquiries and hypothesis that mechanisms allow a small force to have a greater effect. The children are able, armed with the concepts learnt, to design their own mechanism to support their findings. This concept anchored on ‘Forces’ with a focus on water resistance, makes links to the English topic based on the ‘Titanic’. In term 2, they move on to Electricity, which is a build up from the foundations laid in year 4, by comparing and giving reasons for variations in how components function whilst also posing their own investigative questions. Under this topic of electricity, they explore the concept of fair testing and controlling variables – the effect of an increase and decrease of voltage in a circuit.
This empowers the children with data from experiments to make new predictions based on previous results such as an increase in voltage and give reasons for variations in how components function. This also connects with their History topic on the Victorians. After that, they then focus on a new topic – light - because it makes connections to the geography topic of ‘Biomes’. The Year 6 children will be looking sundials and will investigate how the light supports the working of the dials during different seasons.
Other concepts explored under this topic are hypothesis, prediction, observation and generalising. Children make predictions and investigate how/if light travels from an object that makes its own light to the eyes. Scientific knowledge developed from this is used to explain the concept of shadows and their link to light.