Science – curriculum information

Intent

At Rokeby Park Primary School, we strive to deliver an ambitious and high-quality science curriculum which allows our pupils to recognise the significance of science in their everyday lives. We explicitly teach pupils the skills and knowledge they need to become methodical, analytical and inquisitive scientists.

Our curriculum has science enquiry at its heart and has been developed to ensure it has breadth and depth and is progressive so that it allows our pupils to build their knowledge, whatever their starting point, to enable them to develop to their full potential and ‘aim to be the best they can be’. We encourage our pupils to be enquiry-based learners and our science teaching ensures our pupils develop the necessary disciplinary knowledge as they progress through the school to enable them to become the scientists of the future and the possibilities ahead of them.

As scientists, pupils work collaboratively to develop their research, communication and critical thinking skills. We encourage curiosity about natural phenomena and encourage our pupils to ask questions about the world around them.

We ensure all children are exposed to high quality science teaching and a range of learning experiences. Science teaching is carefully sequenced to ensure a clear progression of substantive knowledge and disciplinary knowledge. Each lesson is designed to explore and build on children’s prior knowledge. This allows for misconceptions to be addressed effectively.

The substantive knowledge builds progressively to develop children’s understanding of concepts, models, laws and theories. It is organised into the following four areas:

Biology

• Living things and their environment
• Reproduction, inheritance and evolution

Chemistry

• States of matter
• Materials (properties and changes)

Physics

• Energy
• Forces

Earth Science

• Earth and space

The disciplinary knowledge builds progressively to enable children to work scientifically and covers the following aspects:

• Methods used to answer questions
• Using apparatus and techniques
• Data analysis
• Using evidence to develop explanations

We deliver a broad and balanced science curriculum which stimulates and maintains children’s natural curiosity. Key scientists, significant discoveries and theories are also focused on to give the children a real-life understanding of the concepts taught. Where possible, real-life examples are used in lessons to give our children a deeper understanding

of these concepts. Building blocks for lifelong learning are reinforced throughout our lesson sequencing.

Key concepts:

Through the science curriculum, pupils will develop an understanding of the following key concepts. These concepts are revisited through different units as pupils move through the school. By the end of primary school, children will know and understand these key concepts.

Biology

• Organisms require a supply of energy and materials
• Genetic information
• Evolution

Chemistry

• All matter (stuff) in the universe is made of tiny building blocks.
• Materials (properties and changes)
• States of matter

Physics

• The universe follows unbreakable rules that are all about forces, matter and energy
• Forces
• Energy

Earth Science

• The earth in relation to the universe.
• The earth spins on its axis

Enquiry strategies

As part of working scientifically which is embedded throughout all units, pupils will also learn to use a variety of enquiry strategies to answer scientific questions. Different questions lead to different types of enquiry and are not limited to fair testing. By the end of primary school, children will be able to use these enquiry strategies confidently and know that different strategies may be needed at different times.

• Observing over time
• Identifying and classifying
• Looking for patterns
• Comparative and fair testing
• Answering questions using secondary sources of evidence

As well as this, pupils will learn about:

• Using models

Second order concepts

Through each unit of science, the following second order concepts are explored:

• Responsibility
• Similarity and difference
• Cause and consequence
• Continuity and change
• Significance
• Written and oral expression

End points:

By the end of EYFS, children will:

Be able to identify similarities and differences between themselves and others, places, objects, materials and living things and are able to discuss past and present events in their own lives. They can make simple observations of animals and plants. They recognise that technology is used for particular purposes in different environments and can select technology appropriately. They can explore how to make things move.

By the end of KS1, children will:

Explore animals, humans and changes within environments and begin to develop simple scientific vocabulary linked to this. Children use different types of scientific enquiry to answer a range of questions. Children are encouraged to ask questions, discuss their findings and present the ideas in a variety of ways.

By the end of KS2, children will:

Have a deep understanding of a range of scientific ideas. Children are able to link scientific ideas to the world around them and, through research, understand how scientific ideas are developed over time. Children use secondary sources of information and practical enquiry to draw conclusions and find things out.

1. Pupils have an understanding of the key domains of knowledge and can use key concepts to make links between the domains

2. Pupils can ask questions and make observations about the world around them using scientific knowledge

3. Pupils can analyse data and articulate evidenced conclusions

4. Pupils are able to follow and design scientific enquiries

5. Pupils have an understanding of some of the major issues facing our planet and an appreciation of the importance of science to wider society

Implementation

At Rokeby Park Primary School, we use the Snap Science scheme as a basis for science planning. The Collins scheme has been developed by a team of leading science experts and then refined by science leaders across the Constellation Trust. The programme ensures the full coverage of the National Curriculum following the identified programmes of study.

Working scientifically disciplinary knowledge is embedded throughout the scheme alongside the substantive knowledge to ensure clear progression towards carefully identified end points. Lessons have clearly defined outcomes and pupils are taught using effective teaching sequences which include modelling, scaffolding, guided practice, independent work and feedback.

Our curriculum is centred upon the ‘big ideas in science’; this requires deep thinking, exploration, discussion, investigating and researching. The clear progression ensures that children are continually building on their prior learning as they systematically develop their understanding of key ideas and their scientific skills. Pupils have opportunities to ask their own questions and consider which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best way of answering them. Our pupils draw conclusions and use scientific vocabulary to discuss and present their findings in a range of different ways.

The substantive knowledge has been organised around the key concepts which are revisited as pupils progress through the school.

Assessment is used to check whether pupils have acquired the intended learning during lessons and to inform future teaching. Teachers understand that for pupils to learn, knowledge and skills need to become embedded in long-term memory. To ensure this happens, all lessons are planned to build on what has been taught before and work towards defined end points. Teachers ensure pupils have a secure understanding of the learning intention and can use and apply their knowledge and skills fluently and independently. All teachers are supported to develop expert subject knowledge in science through high-quality CPD, both from within school and from external providers .

Impact

The successful, collaborative approach to the teaching of science across the Constellation Trust results in an ambitious, engaging, high quality education that allows pupils to understand the world around them and encourages them to explore science further as they leave primary school.

Our pupils develop the knowledge, skills and cultural capital needed to ensure they successfully progress onto the next stage in their education and life and develop into responsible, respectful and resilient citizens.

Further information

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