Science at Manor

The importance of science in the curriculum

We believe that Science has the transformative power to stimulate pupils’ curiosity in the world around them and to provide the foundations for understanding the world through the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge, concepts and skills, children are supported to develop the skills of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity of natural phenomena.
To fulfil these aims, children acquire both factual knowledge and the skills of scientific enquiry: identifying questions that can be addressed scientifically; planning and carrying out investigations; evaluating data; and recognising the limitations of their own and others’ work.

We believe that our annual Science Week is an opportunity for all children to participate in workshops, visits and practical experiments. A key activity is our Science Fair in which parents and children are provided with opportunities to explore and question key scientific concepts.

Teaching, learning and assessment in Science

Children have frequent opportunities to develop their skills in, and take responsibility for, planning investigative work, selecting relevant resources, making decisions about sources of information, carrying out activities safely and deciding on the best form of communicating their findings. Clearly defined working Scientifically skills underpin each lesson and all lessons have a clear knowledge and understanding focus.

Recording tasks are modelled and clear guidelines provided through ‘steps to success’ are provided to ensure that presentation and productivity  is of a high standard and in line with the handwriting, presentation and marking and feedback policies. Specific vocabulary associated with the working scientifically and Science knowledge concepts and skills is taught explicitly.
Lessons and units make links with other curriculum areas and subjects (where appropriate) especially English and Mathematics. Children have opportunities to work both independently and collaboratively, whether in pairs (learning partners) mixed ability or ability groups. Learning opportunities in Science are matched to the needs of all children in the class, including those with special educational needs and those who speak English as an additional language.

The programmes of study describe a sequence of knowledge and concepts. While it is important that pupils make progress, it is also vitally important that they develop secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts to progress to the next stage. Insecure, superficial understanding will not allow genuine progression: pupils may struggle at key points of transition (such as between primary and secondary school), build up serious misconceptions, and/or have significant difficulties in understanding higher-order content. Pupils should be able to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language, but they should also be familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely. They should build up an extended specialist vocabulary. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data.

Science at different stages in the school

Nursery: Learning through play

In Early Years, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance. ‘Understanding the World’ involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. Children at Manor are encouraged to explore daily through play, active learning, creating and taking part in mixed activities both teacher led and child initiated. Children cover topics such as health and social care, people and communities, understanding the world and technology.

Reception: Knowledge and Understanding of the World

In Reception, Science is studied as part of ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World’, and the aim is to help children to make sense of the world around them. The pupils learn to develop their skills of observation, prediction, critical thinking and discussion, which will come in useful throughout school, not only in Science, but also in subjects such as history, geography, computing and beyond. The children will conduct experiments, be encouraged to explore different methods of discovery, and they will start to use drawings and charts to present their findings. This is a fun and practical part of the curriculum, as the children will work with a range of materials both inside and out of the classroom.

EYFS

Working Scientifically skills Knowledge and Understanding (topics)
  • How to use their senses to investigate objects and materials
  • Looking at objects and observing similarities, differences, patterns and changes
  • Finding out and identifying features of living things, objects and events
  • Minibeasts (insects)
  • Animals
  • Plants
  • People who help us
  • Festivals and celebrations
  • Ourselves
  • Where we live
  • Water

KS1 Years 1 and 2

The principal focus of science teaching in key stage 1 is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly-constructed world around them. The children are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information.

They use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways. Most of the learning about science is using first-hand practical experiences, but there is also be some use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos.

Working Scientifically skills Knowledge and Understanding (topics)
  • asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways 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
Year 1

  • Animals including humans
  • Seasonal changes
  • Plants
  • Everyday Materials

Year 2

  • Uses of everyday materials
  • Animals including humans
  • Plants
  • Living things and their habitat

Lower KS2 Years 3 and 4

The principal focus of science teaching in lower key stage 2 is to enable the children to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They 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.

They 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, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They are encouraged to draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out.

Working Scientifically skills Knowledge and Understanding (topics)
  •  Ask relevant questions and use enquiries to answer them
  • Use scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings
  • Set up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests
  • Take accurate measurements using standard units
  • Record findings using simple scientific language, labelled diagrams, tables and bar charts
  • Use results to draw simple conclusions
  • Set up simple practical enquiries
  • Make systematic and careful observations, and where appropriate, taking accurate measurements
  • Record findings labelled diagrams
  • Use results to draw simple conclusions
Year 3

  • Light
  • Animals including humans
  • Forces and magnets
  • Plants
  • Rocks

Year 4

  • Living things in their habitats
  • Electricity
  • Animals including humans
  • States of matter
  • Sound

Upper KS2 Years 5 and 6

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. They do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. At upper key stage 2, the children encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time.

They select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, 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 should conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.

Working Scientifically skills Knowledge and Understanding (topics)
  • Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling    variables where necessary
  • Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision
  • Recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, and bar and line graphs
  • Use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests
  • Use simple models to describe scientific ideas
  • Report and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations
  • identify scientific evidence that has been used to support
Year 5

  • Living things in their habitats
  • Properties and changes of materials
  • Earth and space
  • Forces
  • Animals including humans

Year 6

  • Living things in their habitats
  • Animals including humans
  • Electricity
  • Evolution and inheritance