Curriculum Leader: Jess Harrison
Miss Harrison is our Science Leader and is responsible for this curriculum area. This means ensuring we teach an ambitious curriculum, supporting our teachers to implement our curriculum through high-quality lessons and checking that lessons are helping our children to know more, remember more and do more.
Our vision for Science at Chiltern
At Chiltern Primary, our mission statement and tagline are "Making Learning Irresistible" and Science is no exception to this. We recognise the vital role that science plays in our everyday lives in helping to develop the world in which we live. We aim to teach science through the delivery of practical, engaging scientific investigations to inspire the children's natural curiosity and develop their curiosity of enquiry. We develop and foster their enthusiasm to question the world in which we live to enable them to create their own hypotheses and develop their own levels of enquiry.
They will experience and investigate scientific concepts, in a range of different ways, to ensure a continually evolving knowledge and understanding of the world around them.
Our children will be encouraged to:
- Ask questions
- Take risks
- Make and learn from mistakes in a safe environment
- Acquire and apply core skills that equip them for an ever-changing world
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.
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 an 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.
We are setting out to help our pupils be ...
Enquiring - to ask and answer questions about the world around them.
Curious - to foster a lifelong curiosity and interest in the sciences.
Resilient - be resilient and reflective scientists. Mistakes are opportunities for learning!
Confident - children learn key scientific knowledge and vocabulary and use this to understand the world around them.
We will do this by ensuring ...
Children are taught working scientifically and enquiry skills explicitly and this is built upon across the year groups.
Opportunities for hands-on, real-life experiences.
Children have access to a broad and engaging curriculum full of real-life experiences and enrichment opportunities.
Children have time to explore, following their own lines of enquiry and reflecting on ideas and methods.
Children are taught scientific knowledge and skills progressively across the year groups. Children are able to apply maths skills in their scientific learning.
We will have made a difference when ...
Children link their learning in science to real-life situations and confidently ask and answer questions to find out more.
Children are excited by their science learning and show they are actively curious to learn more.
Children are able to plan investigations, record results and explain and reason their findings.
Children apply scientific knowledge and skills independently (innovate challenges) and use vocabulary correctly.
Key scientific vocabulary is displayed across the school and shared and supported by parents through the use of knowledge organisers.
Here is an overview of what we expect children to be taught, know and do by the end of each year group.
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.
In Year 1, children start the autumn term with Everyday Materials, linking this learning to the design and technology project Shade and Shelter. In the Human Senses project, they learn about parts of the human body and those associated with the senses. In the spring project Seasonal Changes, they learn broadly about seasonal changes linked to weather, living things and day length. They revisit some of this learning in the following summer term project Plant Parts. They finish with the project Animal Parts, linking back to their knowledge about body parts and senses and identifying commonalities.
In Year 2, children begin the autumn term with the project Human Survival, learning about the survival needs of humans, before expanding to study animals within their habitats in the project Habitats. Building on learning from Year 1, children learn about the uses of materials in the spring project Uses of Materials and begin to understand changes of materials through simple physical manipulation, such as bending and twisting. The spring Plant Survival project also explores survival, with children observing what plants need to grow and stay healthy. Finally, in the project Animal Survival, children bring together learning from the autumn term, thinking about what animals need to survive.
Having learned about human body parts, the senses and survival in Key Stage 1, children now focus on specific body systems and nutrition in Key Stage 2. In the autumn term of Year 3, they learn about the skeletal and muscular system in the project Skeletal and Muscular Systems. This learning again links to other animals, with children identifying similarities and differences. Children also learn about healthy diets alongside the autumn term design and technology project Cook Well, Eatwell. In the spring term, properties of materials are revisited in the project Forces and Magnets, with children identifying magnetic materials and learning about the non-contact force of magnetism. They also begin to learn about contact forces, investigating how things move over surfaces. Science learning about rocks and soils is delivered through the geography project Rocks, Relics and Rumbles. Children begin to link structure to function in the summer Plant Nutrition and Reproduction project, identifying the plant parts associated with reproduction and water transport. Children finish the year with the project Light and Shadows, where they are explicitly introduced to the subject of light, with children learning about shadows and reflections, revisiting language from Key Stage 1, including opaque and transparent.
In the autumn term of Year 4, children learn about the digestive system, again making comparisons to other animals, in the project Digestive System. The second autumn term project Sound introduces the concept of sound, with children identifying how sounds are made and travel. They learn and use new vocabulary, such as pitch and volume, and identify properties of materials associated with these concepts. In the spring term project States of Matter, children learn about solids, liquids and gases and their characteristics. They understand how temperature drives change of state and link this learning to the project Misty Mountain, Winding River, in which children learn about the water cycle. Up to this point, children have had many opportunities for grouping and sorting living things. In the spring project Grouping and Classifying, children recognise this as ‘classification’ and explore classification keys. Finally, in the summer term, children study electricity by creating and recording simple circuits in the project Electrical Circuits and Conductors. They also build on their knowledge of the properties of materials, identifying electrical conductors and insulators.
In the autumn term of Year 5, children broaden their knowledge of forces, including gravity and air and water resistance, in the project Forces and Mechanisms. They revisit learning from design and technology projects, including Making It Move and Moving Mechanisms, to explore various mechanisms and their uses. Their knowledge of gravity supports the autumn term project Earth and Space, so they can understand the forces that shape planets and our solar system. They also develop their understanding of day and night, first explored in the Year 1 project Seasonal Changes. Having learned that animals and plants produce offspring in earlier projects and studied plant and animal life cycles in Sow, Grow and Farm, children now focus on the human life cycle and sexual reproduction in the spring term project Human Reproduction and Ageing. In the summer term project Properties and Changes of Materials, children revisit much of their prior learning about materials’ properties and learn new properties, including thermal conductivity and solubility. To this point, children have learned much about reversible changes, such as melting and freezing, but now extend their learning to irreversible changes, including chemical changes.
In Year 6, the final body system children learn about is the circulatory system and its roles in transporting water, nutrients and gases in the autumn term project Circulatory System. Science learning about classification is delivered through the spring term geography project Frozen Kingdoms. In the spring term, children also build on their knowledge about electrical circuits from Year 4, now learning and recording standard symbols for circuit components and investigating the function of components and the effects of voltage on a circuit in the project Electrical Circuits and Components. In the summer project Light Theory, children recognise that light travels in straight lines from a source or reflector to the eye and explain the shape of shadows. Finally, in the project Evolution and Inheritance, children learn about inheritance and understand why offspring are not identical to their parents. They also learn about natural selection and how this can lead to the evolution of a species.
Units of Learning
Year 1 - Autumn
This project teaches children that objects are made from materials. They identify a range of everyday materials and their sources. Children investigate the properties of materials and begin to recognise that a material's properties define its use.
Year 1 - Autumn
This project teaches children that humans are a type of animal, known as a mammal. They name body parts and recognise common structures between humans and other animals. They learn about the senses, the body parts associated with each sense and their role in keeping us safe.
Year 1 - Spring
This project teaches children about the seasons, seasonal changes and typical seasonal weather and events. They learn about measuring the weather and the role of a meteorologist. Children begin to learn about the science of day and night and recognise that the seasons have varying day lengths in the UK.
Year 1 - Summer
This project teaches children about wild and garden plants by exploring the local environment. They identify and describe the basic parts of plants and observe how they change over time.
Year 1 - Summer
This project teaches children about animals, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and invertebrates. They identify and describe their common structures, diets, and how animals should be cared for.
Year 2 - Autumn
Muck, Mess & Mixtures
This project develops children’s knowledge of how to mix colours and apply materials to create unique pieces of art.
Year 2 - Autumn
This project teaches children about the basic needs of humans for survival, including the importance of exercise, nutrition and good hygiene. They learn how human offspring grow and change over time into adulthood.
Year 2 - Spring
This project teaches children about the growth of plants from seeds and bulbs. They observe the growth of plants firsthand, recording changes over time and identifying what plants need to grow and stay healthy.
Year 2 - Spring
This project teaches children about habitats and what a habitat needs to provide. They explore local habitats to identify and name living things and begin to understand how they depend on one another for food and shelter.
Year 2 - Summer
This project teaches children about growth in animals by exploring the life cycles of some familiar animals. They build on learning about the survival of humans by identifying the basic needs of animals for survival, including food, water, air and shelter.
Year 3 - Autumn
Animal Nutrition and the Skeletal System
This project teaches children about the importance of nutrition for humans and other animals. They learn about the role of a skeleton and muscles and identify animals with different types of skeleton.
Year 3 - Spring
Forces & Magnets
This project teaches children about contact and non-contact forces, including friction and magnetism. They investigate frictional and magnetic forces, and identify parts of a magnet and magnetic materials.
Year 3 - Summer
Plant Nutrition & Reproduction
This project teaches children about the requirements of plants for growth and survival. They describe the parts of flowering plants and relate structure to function, including the roots and stem for transporting water, leaves for making food and the flower for reproduction.
Year 3 - Summer
Light & Shadows
This project teaches children about light and dark. They investigate the phenomena of reflections and shadows, looking for patterns in collected data. The risks associated with the Sun are also explored.
Year 4 - Autumn
This project teaches children about the human digestive system. They explore the main parts, starting with the mouth and teeth, identifying teeth types and their functions. They link this learning to animals' diets and construct food chains to show the flow of energy.
Year 4 - Autumn
This project teaches children about sound and how sounds are made and travel as vibrations through a medium to the ear. They learn about pitch and volume and find out how both can be changed.
Year 4 - Spring
States of Matter
This project teaches children about solids, liquids and gases and their characteristic properties. They observe how materials change state as they are heated and cooled, and learn key terminology associated with these processes.
Year 4 - Spring
Grouping & Classifying
This project teaches children about grouping living things, known as classification. They study the animal and plant kingdoms and use and create classification keys to identify living things.
Year 4 - Summer
Electrical Circuits & Conductors
This project teaches children about electrical appliances and safety. They construct simple series circuits and name their parts and functions, including switches, wires and cells. They investigate electrical conductors and insulators and identify common features of conductors. It also teaches children about programmable devices. They combine their learning to design and make a nightlight.
Year 5 - Autumn
Forces & Mechanisms
This project teaches children about the forces of gravity, air resistance, water resistance and friction, with children exploring their effects. They learn about mechanisms, their uses and how they allow a smaller effort to have a greater effect.
Year 5 - Autumn
Earth & Space
This project teaches children about our Solar System and its spherical bodies. They describe the movements of Earth and other planets relative to the Sun, the Moon relative to Earth and the Earth's rotation to explain day and night.
Year 5 - Spring
Properties & Changes of Materials
This project teaches children about the wider properties of materials and their uses. They learn about mixtures and how they can be separated using sieving, filtration and evaporation. They study reversible and irreversible changes, and use common indicators to identify irreversible changes.
Year 5 - Summer
Human Reproduction & Ageing
This project teaches children about animal life cycles, including the human life cycle. They explore human growth and development to old age, including the changes experienced during puberty and human reproduction.
Year 6 - Autumn
The Circulatory System
This project teaches children about the transport role of the human circulatory system, its main parts and primary functions. They learn about healthy lifestyle choices and the effects of harmful substances on the body.
Year 6 - Spring
Electrical Circuits & Components
This project teaches children about electrical circuits, their components and how they function. They recognise how the voltage of cells affects the output of a circuit and record circuits using standard symbols. It also teaches children about programmable devices, sensors and monitoring. They combine their learning to design and make programmable home devices.
Year 6 - Summer
This project teaches children about the way that light behaves, travelling in straight lines from a source or reflector, into the eye. They explore how we see light and colours, and phenomena associated with light, including shadows, reflections and refraction.
Year 6 - Summer
Evolution & Inheritance
This project teaches children how living things on Earth have changed over time and how fossils provide evidence for this. They learn how characteristics are passed from parents to their offspring and how variation in offspring can affect their survival, with changes (adaptations) possibly leading to the evolution of a species.