Science

Science 2018-01-29T11:18:39+00:00

Introduction

A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all children at St Mary’s are taught the essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, children are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. Children are also encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Year 1 & 2

The principal focus of science teaching in Key Stage 1 is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly-constructed world around them. They should be encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They are helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using different sources of information. Children are encouraged to communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways. Most of the learning about science should be done through the use of first-hand practical experiences.

Children in Key Stage 1 are taught to ‘Work Scientifically’:

  • ask simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
  • observe closely, using simple equipment
  • perform simple tests
  • identify and classifying
  • using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
  • Gather and record data to help in answering questions

Year 3 & 4

The principal focus of science teaching in lower Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They should do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They should draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out. Children build on the skills they have learnt in Key Stage 1 and are encouraged to do the following:

  • ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them
  • set up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests
  • make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using a range of equipment
  • gather, recording, classify and present data in a variety of ways to help answer questions
  • using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
  • use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings

Year 5 & 6

The principal focus of science teaching in upper Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They should do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. At upper Key Stage 2, they should encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They should also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. Children should be able to select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry. Children are encouraged to draw conclusions based on their data and observations and use evidence to justify their ideas and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.

During Year 5 & 6, pupils are taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills

  • plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary
  • take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate
  • record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs

  • use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests
  • report and present findings from enquiries
  • Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments