Science

Intent

At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School our intent for Science is for our children:

  • to ask questions about the world by expanding their natural curiosity.
  • to develop their scientific knowledge and find solutions through practical investigations.
  • to ensure they are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to help take their learning further.
  • to have access to the language and vocabulary of science.
  • to enjoy science by ensuring that lessons are engaging and fun. 

Implementation

Science is taught in weekly lessons and is delivered by class teachers.  The school follows the Kent Scheme of Work, which covers 28 units of study linked to the National Curriculum and supports teachers with their lesson planning. Each of the units displays progression in the key scientific knowledge and concepts required from Year 1 to Year 6. The Scheme also contains the most appropriate scientific vocabulary to be used when studying a particular area of science and practical investigations to support the children’s learning. Congruently, other sources may also be used to enrich the lessons in order to meet the needs of the children.

Early Years Foundation Stage

In Early Years, children participate in scientific activities through their study and acquirement of Understanding the World. Pupils follow the Early Years Curriculum for Understanding the World. Regular observations and assessments of learning are recorded using learning journals and contribute to a summative assessment at the end of EYFS using the Early Years outcomes (Early Learning Goals) for Understanding of the World. 

Key Stage 1

The prime focus of science teaching in Key Stage 1 is to allow pupils to experience and observe events, looking carefully at both the natural and manufactured world around them. During years 1 and 2, pupils are taught to work scientifically by using the following practical scientific skills, methods and processes through the teaching of the programme of study:

  • Asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
  • Observing closely, using simple equipment
  • Performing simple tests
  • Identifying and classifying
  • Using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
  • Gathering and recording data to help in answering questions

These will be taught through the following topics:

  • Plants                                                                                                                   
  • Animals including humans
  • Everyday materials
  • Seasonal changes (continuing topic throughout the year)
  • Living things and their habitats
  • Uses of everyday materials

Lower Key Stage 2

The prime focus of science teaching in Years 3 & 4 is to allow pupils to broaden the way they work scientifically and their scientific view of the world. They should do this through:

  • Setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests. 
  • Making systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers.
  • Gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions.
  • Recording findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables.
  • Reporting on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions.
  • Using results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions.
  • Identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes. 
  • Using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings. 

These will be taught through the following topics:

  • Plants
  • Animals including humans
  • Everyday materials
  • Rocks
  • Light
  • Forces and magnets
  • Living things and their habitats
  • Electricity
  • Sound
  • States of matter

Upper Key Stage 2

The prime focus of science teaching in upper Key Stage 2 is to allow pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a range of scientific concepts and working scientifically. They do this through:

  • Planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  • Taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate. 
  • Recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs. 
  • Using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests. 
  • Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations. 
  • Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments. 

These will be taught through the following topics:

  • Living things and their habitats
  • Animals including humans                                                                                 
  • Properties and changes of materials
  • Earth and Space   
  • Forces                                                                                                    
  • Evolution and inheritance
  • Light                                                                                                                               
  • Electricity

Teachers need to also read and apply the non-statutory guidance within the National Curriculum, to broaden the skills of the children within their class. Children will be involved in a variety of structured activities and in more open ended investigative work including:

  • Activities to develop good observational skills.
  • Practical activities using measuring instruments which will develop their ability to read scales accurately.
  • Structured activities to develop understanding of a scientific concept and open ended investigations.

Impact

The children at St Mary's are confident scientists who can talk about the investigations that they have carried out. We have Science Ambassadors across the KS2 classes and each year we take part in British Science Week. The school invites professionals from different scientific fields to update our children on current scientific projects as well as potentially inspire them into future STEM roles. We host a whole school Science Fair, which yields huge excitement and is very popular. Parents support their children and we see a wonderful variety in the scientific experiments/investigations submitted.