Science

Intent 

The science curriculum at Valley View Primary School aims to equip all pupils with a profound understanding of the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. It focuses on ensuring pupils acquire the essential knowledge, methods and processes to be enthused about their future secondary science education, to be curious and confident in questioning the world around them and to harness their scientific acumen to access their own future employment opportunities and the future prosperity of the local, national and global societies in which they live. The school is steadfastly committed to addressing the impact of social disadvantage on pupil achievement, promoting social mobility and delivering social justice for the communities we educate through inspiring a lifelong thirst for knowledge and a love of learning, questioning, investigating and evidencing scientific phenomena. Valley View Primary School aims to offer pupils a high quality STEM curriculum which recognises and acknowledges the unique context of our school community: learning is embedded into real world STEM contexts linked to pupils’ experiences and future employment opportunities within their local area. We aim to ensure that all pupils are immersed in scientific vocabulary in order to embed the deep conceptual understanding of topics, assimilate key knowledge into their long term memory and embrace within them the power of rational explanation and scientific enquiry through oracy.   

 

Implementation

The school implements a science curriculum which is progressive and embeds the teaching of ‘working scientifically’ objectives throughout. Pupils develop the scientific attitudes of curiosity, cooperation, creativity, sensitivity to living things and critical reflection through the ‘Understanding the World’ area of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and these form the foundations of their scientific enquiry skills. 

 

The principal focus of teaching in key stage 1 provides pupils with opportunities to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly-constructed world around them. Pupils are taught the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:

  • asking simple questions
  • observing closely, using simple equipment
  • performing simple tests
  • identifying and classifying
  • using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
  • gathering and recording data to help in answering questions

 

The principal focus of teaching in lower key stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. Pupils are taught the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:

  • asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them
  • setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests
  • making systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers
  • gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data in a variety of ways to help answering questions
  • recording findings using scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables
  • reporting on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions
  • using results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions
  • identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes
  • using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings

 

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. Pupils are taught the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:

  • planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary
  • taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate
  • recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs
  • using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests
  • reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations
  • identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments

 

We meet National Curriculum expectations for science through a coherent scheme of study that is progressive throughout the school, and ensures there is a focus on both knowledge and skills. Working scientifically objectives are described separately in the school’s curriculum planning and implementation, but are always taught through and clearly related to the teaching of substantive science content. Throughout their time in school, pupils are supported to develop a secure understanding of each block of key knowledge and concepts before progressing onto the next stage and this is planned out clearly in the science ‘progression of teaching’ document. Pupil learning is directed towards specifically identified end points in the scheme of study and opportunities to systematically assess, revisit and assimilate learning into pupils’ long term memory are planned for using the school’s ‘knowledge and understanding passports’. Opportunities to observe processes and natural phenomena in the outdoor environment are prioritised throughout every stage in school. Our curriculum is enriched by our commitment to providing pupils with real life, hands-on learning opportunities: all pupils partake in farm school activities, walks around the local area and visits such as Scotswood Community Garden, Williby Rocs and Marsden beach. The school’s STEM curriculum plans out clear links between mathematics, computing, design and technology and science and is enhanced through visits to local engineering employers such as Nissan, enterprise week experiences, trips to the Hancock Museum and the Centre for Life and expert visitors in school such as Techy Tots. Teachers are committed to adapting and extending the science curriculum for all pupils’ abilities and prior starting points. Its implementation throughout school supports Hedworthfield’s core values by fostering curiosity, collaboration, teamwork, resilience to failure and a willingness to be challenged. 

 

Please see our science curriculum overview below identifying the programme of study:

 

Cycle One
Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Year 1 & 2 Art Attack: 

Seasonal Change (cp)

Apply working scientifically methods and processes through continuous provision.

Toys: 

Everyday materials

Uses of everyday materials (Y2)

Seasonal Change (cp)

Which material is most suitable for an umbrella?

Frozen Planet: Animals including humans 

Seasonal Change (cp)

Apply working scientifically methods and processes through continuous provision.

Regal Royals: 

Animals including humans

Living things and their habitats(Y2)

Can you describe a microhabitat?

Amazing Africa:

Plants

What conditions does a sunflower need to grow?

Ship Ahoy! Coastal School:

Seasonal Change (cp)

Apply working scientifically methods and processes through continuous provision.

Year 3 & 4Cycle One  Rainforests:

Animals including humans

Living things and their habitats (y4)

Apply working scientifically methods and processes through continuous provision

Chocolate- Study of North America:

States of matter

How does the % of cocoa affect a chocolate’s melting point?

Art’s Amazing:

Sound

How do sound vibrations travel through different materials? (amplification, direction, pitch)

Buried Treasure:

Animals including humans

Apply working scientifically methods and processes through continuous provision

Key Skills:

Animals including humans

Apply working scientifically methods and processes through continuous provision

Inspector Gadget:

Light 

How does light travel and reflect?

Year 5 & 6  Our Universe:

Earth and Space

Forces

How does size and shape impact the effectiveness of a parachute?

Lights Camera, Action:

Light

How does refraction impact on what we see?

Local Area. 

Living things and habitats

Classification

Apply working scientifically methods and processes through continuous provision

Control:

Electricity

How can we change the brightness of a bulb or the volume of the buzzer?

Tudors and Tudor Exploration

Working scientifically

Properties and changes in materials

How does the molecular structure of a liquid impact its behaviour? (lava lamps)

 

Cycle Two
Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Year 1 & 2 Me, Myself and I:

Seasonal Change

Animals and humans

How can we look after our teeth? (eggshells)

Zoom:

Seasonal change

Apply working scientifically methods and processes through continuous provision

Mega Structures. 

Everyday materials

Seasonal change

How far can you stretch a curlywurly?

Fire Fire:

Everyday materials

Uses of materials (Y2)

Apply working scientifically methods and processes through continuous provision

Fantastic Beasts and where to find them:

Plants

Animals and humans

Living things and their habitats (Y2)

Apply working scientifically methods and processes through continuous provision

I’m a Survivor!

Everyday Materials

Seasonal Change

How can we measure temperature?

Year 3 & 4 There’s No Place Like Home:

Forces and magnets

How do magnets work?

Yabadabadoo

Rocks and Soils

Who was Mary Anning?

Apply working scientifically methods and processes through continuous provision

Mighty Mountains. 

Rocks and soils

How do rocks change over time? (testing hardness and permeability)

Dungeons and Dragons:

Electricity

Which materials will conduct electricity?

Key Skills:

Plants

Apply working scientifically methods and processes through continuous provision

Roman Around:

Plants

How does fertiliser effect plant growth?

Year 5 & 6  Grand Designs and Ancient Greece:

Forces 

Can we lift a bigger load with smaller effort? (levers)

Man or Beast:

Evolution and Inheritance

Which beak is most effective for which food type? (adaptation in birds)

Invasion:

Living things and their habitats 

Animals including humans

How can we measure recovery rate? (healthy heart and exercise)

What can Lichens tell us about air quality? (air survey using trees)

Islamic Civilisation: 

Properties and changes in materials

Reversible or irreversible?

Apply working scientifically methods and processes through continuous provision

 

Impact 

 

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught.
  • Continuous assessment of pupil discussions about their learning.
  • Images and videos of the children’s practical learning.
  • Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
  • Moderation staff meetings where pupils’ books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
  • Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum.
  • Marking of written work in books.

 

We want the children to have thoroughly enjoyed learning about science, therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future.