Science

Purpose of Study

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 pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science.

Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena.

They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Aims

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

    • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

Subject leader

Miss Farmiloe is responsible for Science. This means ensuring there is an ambitious curriculum set, supporting teachers to implement it through high-quality lessons and checking that everything is helping children to know more, remember more and do more.

If you would like more information in addition to that published on this page, please email:

s.farmiloe@oakfield.hants.sch.uk

Oakfield's Approach

Intent

We are setting out to help our pupils be ...

  • Questioning - Pupils will be able to ask questions about the world around them and think about how to find the answers

  • Methodical - Pupils are able to work scientifically in order to investigate the subject matter in the curriculum.

  • Reflective - Pupils should be able to think about and discuss scientific phenomena, coming to reasoned conclusions.


Implementation

We will do this by ensuring ...

  • Children are encouraged to ask questions at all times and to reflect on other pupils’ ideas.

  • Content is taught progressively through ‘threshold concepts’ .These are the ‘big ideas’ we want all children to know.

  • Working scientifically is taught explicitly and is a key part of every block of learning.


Impact

We will have made a difference when ...

  • All pupils are able to ask and answer questions independently in their science lessons.

  • All pupils value and enjoy the curriculum we offer and are able to understand the threshold concepts.

  • All pupils are able to plan experiments, record results and interpret what they have found out.

Threshold Concepts

These are our big takeaways called ‘threshold concepts’ - an overview of what we want pupils to know. They are the same for every year group and help us to ensure we build learning on the same ideas, that way we help children to be able to remember more meaningful connections rather than remembering isolated facts.

  1. The human body is complex and it is important to understand how it works and make healthy lifestyle choices.

  2. It is important to understand how to stay safe when studying science.

  3. Identifying patterns in scientific processes is key to understanding the world.

  4. Observing how things change is a key scientific skill.

  5. Understanding processes at work on Earth.

  6. Describe and understand phenomena in our world.

  7. Forces act on objects in a variety of different ways.

  8. Models can represent scientific ideas and show how things work.

  9. Results are information that can be interpreted and conclusions drawn from them.

  10. Recording data is a key aspect of working scientifically so that ideas can be investigated.

  11. Asking questions is key to scientific enquiry.

  12. It is important to be able to measure things when conducting experiments in order to get accurate results.

  13. Being able to plan tests with a clear methodology is an important part of working scientifically.

  14. Observing carefully, making comparisons and looking for cause and effect.

  15. Using the properties of materials to sort them and investigate their uses.

  16. Understanding the importance of grouping and classifying in order to share information.

  17. Identifying smaller parts of living things and explaining their function as part of the whole organism.

  18. All living things need food and obtain it in a variety of ways.

  19. Living things have evolved and adapted in order to survive in different habitats.

  20. Comparing enables us to draw conclusions about different phenomena and about living things.

  21. Observing changes helps us to think more deeply about how location and time affect things.

Progression on a Page ...

Here is an overview of what we expect children to be taught, know and do by the end of each year group.

Year R

  • Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants. Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;

  • Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.

  • Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding. Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.

Year 1

Pupils should be able to ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways. They will observe closely, using simple equipment and perform simple tests. They will identify and classify some plants and animals. In addition, they should be able to sort everyday materials and recognise some seasonal changes. Finally, they will be taught to use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions and begin to gather and record data to help in answering these questions.

Year 2

Children will now ask more complex questions and be able to make suggestions about how to answer them. They will be able to identify differences between things that are both dead and living and make comparisons. When working with everyday materials, they will begin to think about their properties and how these are useful. Tests will be planned with increasing independence and observations will be made that can be recorded in simple tables.

Year 3

Pupils will now 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. In biology they should be able to explore the requirements for life and understand nutrition. They also begin to explore the properties of light and how forces act.

Year 4

Children should 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. They will be introduced to phenomena such as sound and electricity and be able to investigate them, making more decisions for themselves. In addition, they will understand how the digestive system works and be able to distinguish between different states of matter They should now draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language when explaining findings.

Year 5

Pupils will develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas through working more systematically. They should encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. Children will investigate life cycles and the solar system, making comparisons of increasing complexity. They will use scientific methodology to investigate changes in materials and the effect of different types of resistance.

Year 6

Children will independently select the most appropriate ways to answer scientific questions, including observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. Children will justify their ideas about a broad range of scientific ideas including evolution, electricity, the behaviour of light and the function of the blood and heart. They will use their observations to pose further questions to investigate.

Detailed Progression in Science

1e - Threshold Concepts v2 - Science.pdf

Science Week 2022

Click here to find out what we did during Science Week 2022 ...