It is our intent that the Science curriculum at Peover Superior Primary School should provide children with solid foundations for understanding the world around them. We aim to develop inquisitive and enthusiastic scientists who are excited and curious about natural phenomena. In each Science lesson, learners are encouraged to question as well as participate in or lead them own scientific enquiries. By the end of Key Stage Two, we aim for pupils to competently and confidently design their own enquiries. This is achieved through ‘working scientifically’ underpinning learning in Science with numerous opportunities for children to question, find patterns, notice similarities and differences, classify, make predictions, undertake fair and comparative tests and conclude their findings drawing upon their scientific knowledge and vocabulary. Children are taught the implications of science in the present day and in the future through learning about key scientists who have changed our world because of their discoveries, ideas, inventions and enquiries. Furthermore, each year children participate in Science Week activities which provide them with opportunities to witness first-hand the way in which Science is all around us.
We provide a broad and balanced curriculum which covers aspects of biology, chemistry and physics to prepare children for secondary school as well as the use of science in adult life. Through revisiting scientific topics and aspects of ‘working scientifically’, we ensure children progressively develop their knowledge, skills and understanding. Furthermore, we utilise other areas of the curriculum such as Mathematics and Physical Education to make effective and purposeful links as well as allowing children to apply their learning from other subjects.
Our curriculum is designed to:
- Develop children’s scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Throughout their time at Peover Superior, children have opportunities to revisit and develop their knowledge of different aspects of the Science curriculum.
- Develop our pupils’ understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of scientific enquiries. Staff ensure that children are given experiences of a range of scientific enquiries to help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
- Elicit children’s ideas at the beginning and end of topics through pre and post-assessments – this provides teachers with a clear picture of children’s knowledge so misconceptions can be addressed and lessons can be pitched accordingly. Additionally, post-assessments show the progress pupils have made following a series of lessons. Pre and post-assessments are carried out in a variety of ways: discussions about concept maps and Explorify activities; self and peer-assessment; creation of mind maps; creation of retrieval cards and quizzes; presenting their knowledge to others; use of KWL (What I KNOW, what I WANT to know and what I have LEARNT) grids and observation and questioning when children plan, carry out and evaluate scientific enquiries. Children’s skills for working scientifically as well as conceptual understanding of scientific topics are focused upon during assessment tasks to ensure our pupils become well-rounded scientists by the end of Year 6.
- Ensure the Science Lead makes use of the TAPs Science Assessment: School Self-Evaluation Tool so that there is effective monitoring of pupil progress:
- Ensure staff are secure when assessing children through the use of https://pstt.org.uk/resources/curriculum-materials/assessment. This supports teachers to plan assessment opportunities and decide whether children are working towards, working at and working at greater depth for their year group expectations. There are regular opportunities for teachers to participate in moderation during staff meetings to align their judgements.
- Develop children’s knowledge of key scientists who have changed our world through linking scientific disciplines to associated scientists, for example: children find out about Isaac Newton when learning about gravity.
- Ensure children are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
- Ensure children use scientific vocabulary accurately and precisely, both orally and in writing. The vocabulary children are expected to use at each age and stage is planned into the curriculum to ensure teaching staff use the expected terminology with their pupils.
- Use STEM activities to provide children with opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills from other subjects to Science and vice versa.
- Provide opportunities for pupils to apply their mathematics skills with statistics to collect, present and analyse their data in Science.
- Ensure children have at least 60 minutes of Science each week in Key Stage One and at least 90 minutes of Science each week in Key Stage Two.
- Provide staff with professional development opportunities to ensure their teaching pedagogy for Science is effective, secure and reflects research findings by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).
During the pupils’ first year at school, children at Peover Superior are regularly guided to make sense of the physical world around them. A range of fiction and non-fiction texts are chosen carefully to enhance children’s understanding of our ecologically diverse world as well developing their vocabulary when talking about the world around them. From the beginning of their time in EYFS, children are encouraged to widen their scientific vocabulary and use the correct terminology when discussing the patterns, changes, similarities and differences in their immediate environment as well making comparisons between their immediate environment to differing environments. Educational visits are utilised effectively to foster children’s interest in the world around them – museums, zoos, parks, woodlands, forests and coastal areas are among the visits planned to develop children’s knowledge of the world and the animals and plants living in it.
The EYFS environment provides children with numerous opportunities to develop as scientists. The water trough is available for children to experiment which objects float and which sink. Furthermore, children regularly participate in nature walks which involve their senses and encourage them to consider the changes in their environment during the different seasons. Children learn about life cycles of plants and animals through observing different stages of a seed growing and eggs hatching. There are opportunities planned for children to learn about their own body parts and songs are used to support this. During their time in EYFS, children are given opportunities to touch, make things out of and build with different materials. Whilst doing so, children are asked questions about the suitability of such materials and whether other materials could be used for the same purposes.
Key Stage One:
During Key Stage One, children are given a range of first-hand practical experiences in Science lessons. They are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about the natural and humanly-constructed world around them. Scientific enquiry is an integral part of Science lessons – this ensures children continually develop their observation, pattern-spotting, grouping and classification skills. Additionally, children are encouraged to use a range of secondary sources to find out about different aspects of science; perform simple scientific tests and actively engage in discussions about their findings. Staff model accurate use of scientific terminology and children are encouraged to use this in class discussions.
Children are given regular opportunities to notice and observe seasonal changes in their locality throughout the year, as well as having two half terms in each cycle of Key Stage One to look in depth at seasonal changes. The units focusing on seasonal changes have been carefully sequenced to ensure that over the two-year cycle children have opportunities to focus on each of the different seasonal transitions, for example: autumn to winter and winter to spring. During our two-yearly cycle, children cover the remaining units in the Science curriculum for Key Stage One twice. This ensures that children have a depth of learning for each unit by the time they start in Lower Key Stage Two and have experienced a range of scientific enquiries. Some units covered combine Year 1 and Year 2 curriculum content, whereas others are entirely Year 1 or Year 2 content. When a unit covers only Year 1 objectives, teaching staff ensure that content is challenging for Year 2. When a unit covers only Year 2 content, lessons are adapted to ensure they are accessible for Year 1. Lessons are sequenced carefully by teachers; more difficult content is covered towards the end of each block to ensure for progression. In each lesson, children are encouraged to activate their prior learning and there are a range of opportunities for children to retrieve scientific vocabulary and knowledge. This ensures children remember scientific knowledge in readiness for Lower Key Stage Two.
Lower Key Stage Two:
During their two years in Lower Key Stage Two, children broaden their scientific knowledge and understanding of everyday phenomena and their environments. Children’s curiosity and questioning about the world around them is still encouraged, however they are now expected to use the knowledge they acquired in Key Stage One to support them with their ideas and predictions. Scientific enquiry is still a fundamental aspect of Science in Lower Key Stage Two; children are given numerous opportunities to be involved in planning, carrying out and reflecting on a range of scientific enquiries. At the beginning of Year 3 and Year 4, staff model the process of planning investigations which are appropriate for the question posed. Children are involved in suggesting ideas for appropriate enquiry types; apparatus which could be used; how data could be collected and how data could be recorded or presented. Later in each year of Lower Key Stage Two, children begin to have more ownership on what to observe; decide how to measure changes, similarities and differences; draw simple conclusions; share their findings with others through explanations, displays and presentations and consider ways to improve their investigations. As children are now more knowledgeable scientists, it is expected that they use correct scientific vocabulary both orally and in their written work. Vocabulary acquired during Science lessons is regularly revisited to ensure that it is retained and children begin Upper Key Stage Two with a secure understanding of a range of scientific terminology.
Over the two year cycle, there is a balance of biology, chemistry and physics units to ensure that children’s knowledge and understanding is developed in all areas of science. Some blocks in the two-yearly cycle are based on Year 3 curriculum content, but are stretched to incorporate teaching at the level of Year 4 children. Other blocks are based on Year 4 curriculum content but are adapted to ensure Year 3 children are able to access the learning. In each block, more difficult content is covered towards the end of the half term to ensure for progression. In each lesson, children are encouraged to activate their prior learning and there are opportunities for retrieval of scientific vocabulary and knowledge through a range of activities. This ensures children’s knowledge and understanding is retained in their long-term memory in readiness for Upper Key Stage Two.
Upper Key Stage Two:
In Upper Key Stage Two, children develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas through exploration, discussion, hypothesising, predicting, investigating and concluding. Following their time in Years 3 and 4, children are now budding scientists who regularly select appropriate ways to answer scientific questions and devise their own scientific enquiries, considering: the apparatus they require; what they will measure; the variables they will control and the method they will use to present their findings. Children are expected to work more systematically in Years 5 and 6 to support them in finding answers to their own scientific questions. Following investigations, children have opportunities to draw conclusions which are based on their data and observations, as well as considering whether any further tests are required to support their findings.
In Years 5 and 6, children are challenged to explore abstract scientific ideas such as evolution and inheritance. Through this topic, children discover more about how animals and humans have evolved and adapted over time and they have opportunities to analyse different ideas and arguments. Furthermore, through studying earth and space they learn about what is beyond our planet as well as how ideas about space have changed over time.
Over the two-yearly cycle, there is a balance of biology, chemistry and physics which ensures our learners are prepared for their transition to secondary school. Some blocks combine parts of the curriculum for Years 5 and 6, whilst other blocks are based purely on Year 5 or Year 6 curriculum content. When blocks are based on Year 5 content, learning is stretched for those in Year 6 to ensure they are challenged. For blocks based on Year 6 objectives, lessons are adapted to ensure Year 5 learners are able to access the content. Staff plan lessons progressively so that more difficult material is covered towards the end of each unit. In each lesson, children are encouraged to activate their prior learning and there are opportunities for retrieval of scientific vocabulary and knowledge. This ensures children’s knowledge and understanding is retained in their long-term memory.