Our science ethos is one of excitement, engagement and wonder. Teachers facilitate this through well planned, often child-led, practical lessons and high quality out of school visits and activities. Our lessons enable children to work as scientists to explore and extend their sense of awe and wonder about the world we live in. Our curriculum encourages rich questioning which stimulates thinking and drives children’s ambition and curiosity to find out the answers to real life problems. In order for children to achieve, our school not only teaches and embeds the necessary knowledge but develops the skills needed to work scientifically. These transferable and life-long skills include observing, questioning, researching and evaluating. These skills are built on throughout the key stages and are closely intertwined with developing problem solving, independence and thought processes. Links are made in our science lessons with other subjects, notably, maths, IT and design and technology.
Science learning and teaching is a core entitlement for every child in school. In PWPA we timetable science (flexibly, by module) for each class in line with national recommendations.
In EYFS science is called Knowledge and Understanding of the World:
- Pupils learn to explore, problem solve, observe, predict, think, make decisions and talk about the world around them
- Children learn about creatures, people, plants and matters in their natural environments
- They observe and manipulate objects and materials to identify differences and similarities
- Children learn to use their senses, for example feeling dough or listening to sounds in the environment, such as sirens or farm animals
- Children are encouraged to ask questions about why things happen and how things work
- Pupils learn about the importance of keeping healthy and the things that contribute to this and learn to recognise changes that happen to the body when it is active.
Science at Key Stage 1
Pupils learn about the importance of asking questions, gathering evidence, carrying out experiments and looking at different ways of presenting their results. Lessons are practical and focus on the world around us.
In line with the 2014 National Curriculum children in Year 1 cover the following topics:
- Plants – identifying and naming plants and looking at their basic structure
- Animals including humans – identifying and naming different animals and understanding how and why they are grouped
- Everyday materials – looking at materials and their properties
- Seasonal changes – observing changes across the four seasons and looking at different types of weather.
Children in Year 2 cover:
- Living things and their habitats – including dependence within habitats and micro-habitats
- Plants – observing how seeds and bulbs grow into plants and what plants need to stay healthy
- Animals including humans – focusing on reproduction, nutrition and exercise
- Everyday materials – comparing uses and looking at how they can be changed by exerting force.
Science at Key Stage 2
Pupils are encouraged to ask questions about scientific concepts and then carry out experiments to find out the answers. As children enter upper Key Stage 2 they will continue to practise these skills in more depth and precision.
In lower KS2:
- Children learn what a ‘fair test’ is
- Pupils begin to take measurements from a range of equipment
- Children begin to gather and record data and report their findings orally and in writing
- Pupils are taught to understand what variables are and how to control them.
In Upper KS2:
- Children are given opportunities to take measurements from a range of equipment
- Pupils understanding the need for repeated measures to increase accuracy
- Children begin to gather and record data using labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs
- Children use test results to make further predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests
- Children make conclusions on the test carried out, orally and in writing.
Under the 2014 National Curriculum children in Year 3 cover the following topics:
- Plants including parts of plants, needs of plants and their lifecycle
- Animals including humans, focusing on nutrition, skeletons and muscles
- Rocks, including comparing rocks, looking at fossils and understanding how soil is made
- Light, looking at how light is reflected and how shadows are formed and can change
- Forces and magnets, focusing on attraction and repulsion of magnets, magnetic materials and the two poles of a magnet.
Children in Year 4 cover:
- Living things and their habitats, including classifying living things and looking at changes to environments
- Animals, including humans, focusing on eating: teeth, the digestive system and food chains
- States of matter, including grouping materials, changing state, evaporation and condensation
- Sound, looking at creation of sound through vibration and changes in pitch and volume
- Electricity, including constructing a circuit and understanding conductors and insulators.
Children in Year 5 cover:
- 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.
Children in Year 6 cover:
- 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.
Our science ethos in Paddock Wood Primary Academy is one of excitement, engagement and wonder. Teachers facilitate this well through well planned, practical lessons, and high quality out of school visits and activities. Our pupils are given lots of opportunities to explore and investigate, to develop their scientific skills as well explore and investigate.