Statement of Intent
Science has shaped and informed the world we live in today and will continue to do so; therefore it is a vital subject not just for the enjoyment and challenges it offers but also for its contribution to life and future economic prosperity. Children are born with a natural curiosity about the world around them and when they first begin to speak they frequently question things and ask “why?”
Within science pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and continue to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. Alongside this, they will build up a body of key foundational scientific knowledge, passions and concepts, providing the foundations for understanding the world.
All pupils are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
Our main aims for science, taken from the National Curriculum, are to ensure that all pupils:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding
- develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions, some self-posed, about the world around them
- are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future
- develop positive attitudes towards learning and enjoy setting, seeking, enquiring, exploring and finding or offering possible ideas and solutions to the many questions that arise as we seek to understand ourselves and the world in which we live.
We use the Maestro curriculum for our Science projects. These projects are all sequenced to develop both children’s substantive and declarative knowledge, and if possible, make meaningful links to other projects. For example, in Year 3, the projects Plant Nutrition and Reproduction and Light and Shadows are taught alongside the design and technology project Greenhouse and the art and design project Beautiful Botanicals. These links allow for children to embed their substantive knowledge in new and often real-life contexts.
The sequencing of projects ensures that children have the substantive knowledge and vocabulary to comprehend subsequent projects fully. Each project’s place in the year has also been carefully considered. For example, projects that involve growing plants or observing animals are positioned at a suitable time of year to give children the best possible opportunity to make first-hand observations. Within all the science projects, disciplinary knowledge is embedded within substantive content.
Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2)
In Year 1, children start the autumn term with Everyday Materials, linking this learning to the design and technology project Shade and Shelter. In the Human Senses project, they learn about parts of the human body and those associated with the senses. In the spring project Seasonal Changes, they learn broadly about seasonal changes linked to weather, living things and day length. They revisit some of this learning in the following summer term project Plant Parts. They finish with the project Animal Parts, linking back to their knowledge about body parts and senses and identifying commonalities.
In Year 2, children begin the autumn term with the project Human Survival, learning about the survival needs of humans, before expanding to study animals within their habitats in the project Habitats. Building on learning from Year 1, children learn about the uses of materials in the spring project Uses of Materials and begin to understand changes of materials through simple physical manipulation, such as bending and twisting. The spring Plant Survival project also explores survival, with children observing what plants need to grow and stay healthy. Finally, in the project Animal Survival, children bring together learning from the autumn term, thinking about what animals need to survive.
Lower Key Stage 2 (Year 3 and 4)
Having learned about human body parts, the senses and survival in Key Stage 1, children now focus on specific body systems and nutrition in Key Stage 2. In the autumn term of Year 3, they learn about the skeletal and muscular system in the project Skeletal and Muscular Systems. This learning again links to other animals, with children identifying similarities and differences.
Children also learn about healthy diets alongside the autumn term design and technology project Cook Well, Eatwell. In the spring term, properties of materials are revisited in the project Forces and Magnets, with children identifying magnetic materials and learning about the non-contact force of magnetism. They also begin to learn about contact forces, investigating how things move over surfaces. Science learning about rocks and soils is delivered through the geography project Rocks, Relics and Rumbles.
Children begin to link structure to function in the summer Plant Nutrition and Reproduction project, identifying the plant parts associated with reproduction and water transport. Children finish the year with the project Light and Shadows, where they are explicitly introduced to the subject of light, with children learning about shadows and reflections, revisiting language from Key Stage 1, including opaque and transparent. In the autumn term of Year 4, children learn about the digestive system, again making comparisons to other animals, in the project Digestive System.
The second autumn term project Sound introduces the concept of sound, with children identifying how sounds are made and travel. They learn and use new vocabulary, such as pitch and volume, and identify properties of materials associated with these concepts. In the spring term project States of Matter, children learn about solids, liquids and gases and their characteristics. They understand how temperature drives change of state and link this learning to the project Misty Mountain, Winding River, in which children learn about the water cycle.
Up to this point, children have had many opportunities for grouping and sorting living things. In the spring project Grouping and Classifying, children recognise this as ‘classification’ and explore classification keys. Finally, in the summer term, children study electricity by creating and recording simple circuits in the project Electrical Circuits and Conductors. They also build on their knowledge of the properties of materials, identifying electrical conductors and insulators.
Our project-led approach in this subject results in a fun, engaging and high-quality Science education which provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. This is evident in pupils’ work, photos, and displays.
Through well-sequenced lessons, coupled with experiential learning outside of the classroom (including workshops, trips and interactions with experts), children at Shipham Church of England School have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity.
Children are beginning to be aware of the possibilities for careers in Science, as a result of our community links and connection with national and local agencies such as the STEM association. This gives our children access to positive role models within the field of science from the immediate and wider local community. In a fast-changing world, our children are budding scientists, capable of achieving great things and working in careers yet to be invented.