At Westgate Primary School all children, including SEN and disadvantaged, study the Science curriculum outlined in the National Curriculum. It is organised through the study of scientific concepts and themes:
- 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/theories/generalisations/scientific laws
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 where for example in Year 5, they are learning about making healthy lifestyle choices. In Year 4 they are learning how their choices impact on the environment.
Science is taught as mini topics within other topics throughout the year, and is also an in depth topic during term 5 and 6. The timing of the topic enables pupils to connect learning within and across subjects (eg. science/geography, weather, water cycle, seasons etc).
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.
We want pupils to be able to accurately articulate their thoughts and opinions through the acquisition and use of technical and non-technical vocabulary.
In Year 1, we start with seasons because this is familiar to pupils and they experience it first-hand. It also connects to their Geography topic where they investigated the weather. 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, (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? The last topic involves studying humans, plants and animals. This is an in-depth unit of work (a science driven topic) 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 e.g. science units and geography topic.
In Year 2, the children start by looking at the topic ‘Animals including humans’ which builds upon the last year 1 topic – Humans, plants and animals. 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. This is also connected to their history topic e.g. why are the pyramids still there? The last topic is ‘Mini beasts and habitats’ which builds upon the previous knowledge learnt in Year 1 through looking at their immediate environment.
In Year 3, pupils start 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. The final topic is an in-depth study of ‘Plants, animals, living things and their habitats’; this topic builds upon the work on plants and animals from KS1 through exploring a wider area and the impact humans have on the environment.
In Year 4, the learning starts with ‘Rocks and soils’ and this connects with their geography topic about ‘Coasts’. They then move onto ‘Sound and light’ which builds further upon their investigative skills by gathering and recording data and answering a variety of questions. Their in-depth topic is electricity which connects to their DT project where they make lighthouses.
In Year 5, the first topic is ‘Animals including plants and animals’ with a focus on lifestyles. This connects to their geography topic - Mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes. They draw upon the knowledge and skills taught in previous years relating to plants and animals to plan scientific enquires and answer questions. They build upon their Year 4 knowledge about light by studying ‘Earth and Space’ and the use scientific evidence to support or refute ideas or arguments. Then they move onto ‘States of Matter’ deepening their Year 3 knowledge by beginning to investigate reversible and irreversible change. The final in-depth topic is ‘Healthy Eating’ because children have reached an age where they should be making informed choices about their lifestyle.
In Year 6, pupils start with light because it makes connections to the geography topic of ‘Biomes’. The next topic is the study of electricity which is an extension of the work studied in Year 4, by comparing and giving reasons for variations in how components function whilst also posing their own investigative questions. This also connects with their History topic on the Victorians. The last in-depth study is ‘Forces’, which draws upon all the scientific enquiry skills taught throughout the previous years and prepares them for their secondary education.