Our aim in science is to deliver an engaging and challenging curriculum so that pupils develop a scientific perspective of the world around them and can make informed decisions.
We encourage children to be inquisitive throughout their time at the school and beyond. The Science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in our students about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. Throughout the programmes of study, the children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group, as well as the application of scientific skills. We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout children’s time at the school so that they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
We aim to prepare our pupils effectively for the future to make them confident, responsible members of the school and wider community and to set them on the path to success for their KS4 exams and beyond.
Our science curriculum adheres to a ‘spiral curriculum’ approach to education. This involves regularly re-visiting the educational topics over the course of a student’s education. Each time the content is re-visited, the student gains deeper knowledge of the topic. It has the benefits of reinforcing information over time and using prior knowledge to inform future learning. Planning the curriculum in this way enables students to develop a deeper understanding of the topic, while also helping them to retain the information. This allows for logical progressions from simplistic to complicated ideas, and encourages students to make links between old learning and new learning.
With a whole school focus on embedding formative assessment, we look at how students can activate their prior knowledge and then apply their knowledge in progressively more challenging real-world situations. We encourage them to reflect so that they are better able to make links to past study and encourage independent learning.
Year 5 Science
- Living things and their habitats, including life cycles of a mammal, amphibian, insect and bird.
- Animals, including humans, focusing on changes from birth to old age.
- Properties and changes of materials, including dissolving, separating and reversible changes.
- Earth and space, looking at the movement of the sun, earth and moon.
- Forces, including gravity, air resistance, water resistance and friction.
Year 6 Science
- Living things and their habitats, including classifying micro-organisms, plants and animals.
- Animals, including humans, focusing mainly on diet and exercise.
- Evolution and inheritance, looking at fossils, reproduction and adaptation.
- Light, looking closely at how it travels and how shadows are made.
- Electricity, analysing the function of lamps, buzzers, cells and switches.
In Years 5 and 6, children will practise their scientific skills with depth and precision. When carrying out experiments they will:
- understand what variables are and how to control them.
- take measurements from a range of equipment, understanding the need for repeated measures to increase accuracy.
- gather and record data using labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.
- use test results to make further predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests.
- make conclusions on the test carried out, orally and in writing.
Year 7 Science
- Cells and organisation
- The skeletal and muscular systems
- The particulate nature of matter
- Atoms, elements and compounds
Year 8 Science
- Nutrition and digestion
- Gas exchange systems
- Cellular respiration
- Relationships in an ecosystem
- Pure and impure substances
- Chemical reactions
- The periodic table
The impact and measure of this is to ensure children not only acquire the appropriate age related knowledge linked to the science curriculum, but also skills which equip them to progress from their starting points, and within their everyday lives.
- Pupils enjoy and are enthusiastic about science in our school.
- There is a clear progression of children’s work and teachers’ expectations in our school. Success criteria for each topic are shared at the beginning of each topic.
- Children’s work shows a range of topics and evidence of the curriculum coverage for all science topics.
- Children are becoming increasingly independent in science, selecting their own tools and materials, planning investigations and choosing their own strategies for recording.
- Feedback from teachers has impact on our pupils, with our policy of taking the learning forward to push learning on.
- Teachers’ judgements are formed from a range of sources including classwork, homework and end of topic test. There is regular moderation of judgements both internally and externally at Science cluster meetings.
- Our SLT and trustees are kept up to date with developments in the way science is run in our school with subject.
Sequence of Learning
Autumn 1 & Autumn 2
- Properties of a broad range of materials.
- Reversible changes including evaporating, filtering, sieving, melting and dissolving.
- The processes of melting and dissolving.
Growing Up and Growing Old
- Stages in the growth and development of humans.
- Changes experienced in puberty.
Out Of This World
- The sun, Earth and planets.
Let’s Get Moving
- Forces and air resistance
Circle of Life
- Life cycles of mammals, amphibians, insects and birds.
- Life process of reproduction in some plants and animals.
- The school environment.
Animals Including Humans
- The main body parts and internal organs (skeletal, muscular and digestive system.)
- How the circulatory system works.
- How to keep our bodies healthy.
- Exploring the way in which light behaves, including light sources, reflection and shadows.
- Constructing simple series circuits.
- Represent a simple circuit in a diagram using recognised symbols.
- Combining skills and knowledge of light and electricity.
- Classification of animals into commonly found invertebrates and vertebrates.
- The Linnaean classification system.
- Selective and cross breeding.
- Cells as the fundamental unit of living organisms
- Using a microscope
- The functions of the cell components
- The particle model
- Changes of state, shape and density
- Atoms and molecules
- The properties of the different states of matter
- Changes of state in terms of the particle model
- The similarities and differences between light waves and waves in matter
- Light waves travelling through a vacuum; speed of light
- The transmission of light through materials: absorption, diffuse scattering and specular reflection at a surface
- The structure and functions of the human skeleton
- The structure and functions of the gas exchange system in humans
Elements, atoms and compounds
- Introduction to the periodic table and chemical formulae
- A simple (Dalton) atomic model
- Differences between atoms, elements and compounds
- Chemical symbols and formulae for elements and compounds
- Forces as pushes or pulls, arising from the interaction between two objects
- Using force arrows in diagrams
- Hooke’s Law
- Human reproduction: the structure and function of the male and female reproductive systems, menstrual cycle (without details of hormones), gametes, fertilisation, gestation and birth.
- Plant reproduction: flower structure, wind and insect pollination, fertilisation, seed and fruit formation and dispersal.
Acids and Alkalis
- Defining acids and alkalis in terms of neutralisation reactions
- The pH scale for reactions of acids with metals
- Reactions of acids with alkalis to produce a salt plus water
- Our sun as a star; other stars in our galaxy
- Other galaxies
- The seasons and the Earth’s tilt; day length at different times of year, in different hemispheres
- The light year as a unit of astronomical distance
Health and Lifestyle
- The content of a healthy human diet
- Calculations of energy requirements in a healthy daily diet
- The consequences of imbalances in the diet, including obesity, starvation and deficiency diseases
- How the digestive system works
The Periodic Table
- The physical and chemical properties of different elements
- The principles underpinning the Mendeleev periodic table
- The periodic table: periods and groups; metals and non-metals
- How patterns in reactions can be predicted
- The properties of metals and non-metals
- The chemical properties of metal and non-metal oxides
- Comparing energy values of different foods (from labels) (kJ)
- Comparing power ratings of appliances in watts (W, kW)
- Comparing amounts of energy transferred (J, kJ, kW hour)
- Domestic fuel bills, fuel use and costs
- Fuels and energy resources
Electricity and Magnetism
- Electric current in circuits
- Series and parallel circuits
- Potential difference, measured in volts
- Differences in resistance between conducting and insulating components
- Magnetic poles and magnetic fields
- The composition of the Earth
- The rock cycle
- The composition of the atmosphere
- The interdependence of organisms in an ecosystem
- The importance of plant reproduction
- How organisms affect, and are affected by, their environment, including the accumulation of toxic materials