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Science

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more so that we may fear less". - Marie Curie, physicist 1867-1934

Subject Leader: Geraldine Summers

Link Governor: Andrew Rankin

At Christ Church, science lessons give children the opportunity to ask questions, explore ideas, develop theories and undertake hands-on investigations. The constantly evolving, high quality primary science curriculum embraces the scientific strands of biology, physics and chemistry.

Within lessons children are given the opportunity to ask their own questions about a topic and to discuss their ideas and understanding with their peers. They are encouraged to be inquisitive about the world around them and to link the knowledge and skills they have acquired to real life roles and activities.

What Children Learn

We ensure that each of our science lessons are accessible to all children, regardless of academic ability and enjoy using multi-sensory approaches to learning - some of our favourites are:

  • Creating a model of the digestive system with tights and food in Y4
  • Dissecting a sheep's heart in Y6 to bring the circulatory system to life
  • A long term project across the whole academic year with lots of outdoor learning, observing and planting for Y1’s Seasonal Change topic.

Science is taught by the class teacher throughout our school and is planned using the National Curriculum. Much thought is given when planning science lessons to ensure children are supported with vocabulary, concepts and implementation to enable each learner to achieve the lesson objective. Challenge, to stretch minds further, can also be found in how the lessons are structured and differentiated. 

Our learning is organised to ensure that knowledge and skills build on previous study, allowing for regular recall of prior learning. Each year group embraces physics, biology and chemistry strands which are taught in an order that allows them to be linked meaningfully to their current overarching topic. A variety of scientific skills will also be taught within these lessons which, just like the knowledge, are built up over time so that children are familiar with them all as they make their journey through the school. These skills include observing, classifying, communicating, measuring, inferring and predicting and are often linked across the curriculum, especially to maths and science. Where only one science topic is taught in a term, the remaining time will be dedicated to becoming more familiar with science skills through short focused lessons where the skill is the prominent objective or revisiting a particular point of the curriculum which the teacher feels will help to consolidate learning allowing the children to develop a deeper understanding of the subject.

Nursery

In the Nursery, the children will notice plants, animals and natural objects found within their local environment. As the year progresses, children will ask questions about the things they notice in order to build up knowledge. The children will explore changes in state through fun, play-based experiences such as exploring cornflour or watching ice melt. 

Reception

  • Autumn The children explore the signs of Autumn and what weather they may expect to see. They will also look at their local environment exploring what natural objects, plants and animals they can hear, see and feel. The Reception children will also explore the forces of ‘push and pull’ through fun, play based experiences. 
  • Spring The children explore the signs of Spring and what weather they may expect to see. They will also explore freezing and melting through fun, play based experiences. 
  • Summer This term the children look at plants and begin to explore what a plant needs in order to grow and thrive. The children will also look at the lifecycle of a caterpillar first hand as they care for caterpillars and set them free after they have transformed into butterflies. 

Year 1

  • Autumn The children learn about Seasonal Change across the whole year including the weather, seasons and the varying length of the day. They also begin the Animals Including Humans topic by looking at observable parts of the body and how they are linked to the senses.
  • Spring The children continue their Animals Including Humans topic by identifying and naming a variety of common fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals and describing and comparing their structure.
  • Summer This term the children look at Plants and identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees as well as describing their basic structure.

Year 2

  • Autumn Year 2 starts with the exciting topic of Uses of Everyday Materials. In this, the children identify and compare a variety of everyday materials, discuss their suitability for particular uses and discover how the shapes of some solid objects can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching. Their second topic, Living Things and Their Habitats, explores and compares the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive and identifies that most living things (plants and animals) live in habitats (including microhabitats) to which they are suited. The children are also introduced to the idea of a simple food chain.
  • Spring The children pay their second visit to Animals Including Humans but this time, they look at how offspring grow into adults and find out about their basic needs for survival as well as the importance for humans of exercise, diet and hygiene. Children revisit Plants again in the second half of term and build on their knowledge by observing how seeds and bulbs grow to mature plants and think about the optimum environment needed to help them thrive. 
  • Summer Having covered all the National Curriculum Programmes of Study, Y2 dedicate this term to becoming more familiar with science skills through short focused lessons where the skill is the prominent objective, or they may also revisit a particular point of the curriculum to help consolidate learning, and allow the children to develop a deeper understanding of the subject to support them in their onward journey to the Junior part of the school.

Year 3

  • Autumn The children pay their third visit to Animals Including Humans to identify the right types and amount of nutrition needed to stay healthy. They link this to previous learning about plants who can make their own food compared to animals which cannot. They also look at skeletal and muscle structure.  In the second half of the term children explore the exciting world of Rocks by comparing and grouping different rocks on the basis of and describing how fossils are formed.
  • Spring The topic this term is Forces and Magnets. Both are observed allowing children to become familiar with poles, magnetism and contact or contactless forces.
  • Summer In their final term, children explore Light. They investigate reflection, shadows and how to stay safe and protect themselves, especially the eyes when out and about. They also pay their third visit to Plants to identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants, especially the part that flowers play in their life cycle and their requirements for successful life and growth.

Year 4

  • Autumn Children make their 4th visit to Animals Including Humans and this year they describe the functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans, identify the different types of human teeth and construct and interpret a variety of food chains. They then have a 2nd visit to Living things and their Habitats where they learn how to use a basic classification key to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment and recognise that environments can change which can sometimes pose dangers to living things.
  • Spring Studying States of Matter, children compare and group materials based on whether they are solids, liquids or gasses, observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled and identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle. They then encounter to topic of Electricity where they identify common appliances which run on electricity, construct a simple series electrical circuit and determine whether or not a lamp will light in it using the knowledge that a switch opens and closes a circuit. The children will also look at insulators and conductors. 
  • Summer The final term Programme of Study features Sound where the children identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating and recognise that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear. They will begin to connect the pitch of a sound with the features of the object that produced it and find patterns between the volume and the strength of the vibrations that produced it.

Year 5

  • Autumn Y5 begins with an exciting study of Earth and Space where children describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun as well as describing the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth. They then discuss scientific theories and investigate how it is possible to show the Sun, Earth and Moon are approximately spherical bodies - a very thought provoking discussion - before studying the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night. They continue the term with Properties and Changes of Materials building on their knowledge from Y1, 2 and 4 to investigate hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity and response to magnets. They then look at which materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution, and learn how to recover a substance from a solution, and discover reversible and irreversible changes in materials. 
  • Spring Children pay their 3rd visit to Living Things and Their Habitats to discover the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird and the reproduction process of  some plants and animals.
  • Summer Paying a 2nd visit, children build on their Y3 knowledge when they revisit Forces to investigate how gravity, air and water resistance and friction act between moving surfaces. They also discover that some mechanisms including levers, pulleys and gears, allow a smaller force to have a greater effect. They end the year with their 5th visit Animals Including Humans  to describe the changes as humans develop to old age. 

Year 6

  • Autumn In their final year at Christ Church, the children begin Year 6 with Electricity where they associate the brightness of a lamp or the volume of a buzzer with the number and voltage of cells used in a circuit and learn how to use recognised symbols when drawing a simple circuit diagram. They then make their final visit to Living Things and Their Habitats to describe how microorganisms, plants and animals are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics. 
  • Spring Linking to the topic of Victorians, Evolution and Inheritance shows that living things have changed over time and fossils provide information about things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago. Children also learn that living things produce offspring of the same kind and identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment. They then go on to the fascinating study of Light for the 2nd time when they investigate the passage of light and how objects are seen and use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them.
  • Summer The children pay their final visit to Animals Including Humans where they identify and name the main parts of the human circulatory system, and describe the functions of the heart, blood vessels and blood. Excitingly, the children dissect a sheep's heart to identify first hand the chambers and vessels within it. Linked to PSHE, the children recognise the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way their bodies function.