At William Cobbett, we have designed our Science curriculum with the intent to captivate the innate curiosity children are born with. As natural scientists, children have enquiring minds and a desire to explore the world around them, asking questions and interacting with their environment. Science changes lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Right now, in today’s rapidly changing world, scientists and engineers are in high demand with a range of fascinating career opportunities available which will make a difference to the future of our ever-changing world. Therefore, it is essential that we take advantage of this existing enthusiasm and teach the knowledge, skills and methods for science.
The National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all pupils:
Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics; develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them and are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
We understand the importance of Early Years for building the Science foundations for the future years. Our educational programme ensures that our children:
- are introduced indirectly to science through activities that encourage every child to explore, problem solve, observe, predict, think, make decisions and talk about the world around them.
- explore creatures, people, plants, and objects in their natural environments.
- observe and manipulate objects and materials to identify differences and similarities.
- learn to use their senses, feeling dough or listening to sounds in the environment, such as sirens or farm animals.
- make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur and talk about changes.
- children will be encouraged to ask questions about why things happen and how things work.
- They will do activities such as increasing the incline of a slope to observe how fast a vehicle travels, or opening a mechanical toy to see how it works.
- Children will also be asked questions about what they think will happen to help them communicate, plan, investigate, record and evaluate findings.
Key Stages 1 and 2
After Early Years, children will enter Key Stage 1 where they will be provided with opportunities to:
- identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees
- identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees
- identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals
- identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores
- describe and compare the structure of a variety of common animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals including pets)
- identify, name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body and say which part of the body is associated with each sense
- distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made
- identify and name a variety of everyday materials, including wood, plastic, glass, metal, water, and rock
- describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials
- compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of their simple physical properties
- observe changes across the 4 seasons
- observe and describe weather associated with the seasons and how day length varies
- explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive
- identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other
- identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including microhabitats
- describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food
- observe and describe how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants
- find out and describe how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and stay healthy
- notice that animals, including humans, have offspring which grow into adults
- find out about and describe the basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival (water, food and air)
- describe the importance for humans of exercise, eating the right amounts of different types of food, and hygiene
- identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses
- find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching
Curriculum Maestro projects are the foundation on which we build our science curriculum. Projects are adapted and enhanced to ensure content is relevant to, engaging for and accessible to our children. In EYFS, science is taught through half termly projects. Our pupils further extend their understanding by exploring textures, sounds and the natural world in simple games and activities and through regular visits to our Forest School area. In KS1 and KS2 there is a more formal approach, with science taught as a distinct subject, but with natural links to other subjects at times where it enhances learning. Pupils are expected to plan parts of and conduct experiments; record evidence and findings as well as making conclusions and predictions.
Here, at William Cobbett Primary School, it is important that our science lessons provide children with the opportunity to explore their understanding and children are actively encouraged to work hard to make their own predictions and hypothesis prior to conducting different investigations and exploring outcomes. Children use the knowledge and skills they have gained throughout their previous learning to make accurate predictions. Key vocabulary is carefully selected and explicitly taught in science lessons using a Word Aware approach, with the intention that children understand it, use it and remember more and more.
Scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each topic the children study and these topics are revisited and developed throughout their time at school. Topics, such as Plants, are taught in Key Stage One and studied again in further detail throughout Key Stage Two. Thus allowing the children to grow in their understanding, building upon their prior knowledge and increasing their enthusiasm for the topics whilst embedding this procedural knowledge into the long-term memory.
Throughout their education at William Cobbett Primary School, children are given the opportunity to extend and engage with their learning through relevant trips. Children take part in exciting scientific trips including Winchester Science Museum and Planetarium, preparing children for future learning. Here, children take part in hands-on science enquiry sessions led by the centre, linked to a range of national curriculum science statements.
Children will become confident in posing scientific questions, planning investigations and drawing conclusions by interpreting data. They will have participated in a wide range of science events and contributed to a whole school awareness of science through family learning projects, science trips and workshops, members of the local community visiting and science celebration events. Studying science will enable them to ask questions about the world around them and encourage them to develop a greater curiosity in the natural world.
All children will have:
- a wider variety of skills linked to both scientific knowledge and understanding, and scientific enquiry/investigative skills.
- a richer vocabulary which will enable to articulate their understanding of taught concepts.
- high aspirations, which will see them through to further study, work and a successful adult life.
Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first-hand experiences of the world around them. Children at our school enjoy science and this results in motivated learners with sound scientific understanding. More children leave William Cobbett Primary School having achieved the age-related expectation in science than do so nationally.
Science is assessed at the end of each academic year in each year group. This is done through teacher judgment using the assessment laid out in the science progression of knowledge and skills document. Teachers record children’s progress from Reception through to Key Stage 2 in science. Teachers will need to judge if a child is developing, secure or greater depth at the end of each year group and this is communicated to parents through children’s annual reports.
Science is monitored by the subject leader and senior leadership team through book looks, learning walks and pupil and teacher surveys. Monitoring observations are communicated to staff and support and training are put in place where a need has been identified.
‘I like getting muddy, I got very wet last time, my smelly potion got knocked over and ran into my welly boots. I thought it would make me fly when my socks got wet.’
‘I like Science when we get to do experimenting. I like it when we sprayed water in trays. It was really fun.’
‘I think of electricity and we got to do the practical part and then we drew the scientific pictures.’
‘I think that it's fun when we get to use the equipment for investigations.’
‘I like doing practical experiments and those types of activities. I prefer doing things other than writing. I do like making predictions because I like to see if I am right or not.’