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Science Intent

To provide our children with a strong understanding of the world in which they live whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically, to gain an understanding of scientific processes and also an understanding of the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future.

Curriculum Narrative

Science programmes of study in the national curriculum are assigned to year groups. However, this is not compulsory and they must be covered before the end of the phase. Physics is not formally introduced until Key Stage 2. However, in Class 1, children have opportunities to explore natural phenomena, such as shadows.


In Curriculum 22, the names of the science projects are matched to the national curriculum aspects, for example, Living things and their habitats and Earth and space. However, in Class 1, the aspect of Animals, including humans has been separated so that children study humans before expanding to explore animals.


The science projects are sequenced to develop both children’s substantive and declarative knowledge, and if possible, make meaningful links to other projects. For example, in Cycle A, the projects Plant Nutrition and Reproduction and Light and Shadows are taught alongside the design and technology project Greenhouse and the art and design project Beautiful Botanicals. These links allow for children to embed their substantive knowledge in new and often real-life contexts.


The sequencing of projects ensures that children have the substantive knowledge and vocabulary to comprehend subsequent projects fully. Each project’s place in the year has also been carefully considered. For example, projects that involve growing plants or observing animals are positioned at a suitable time of year to give children the best possible opportunity to make first-hand observations. Within all the science projects, disciplinary knowledge is embedded within substantive content.


Little Acorns
In Cycle A, children explore the natural world and find out about plants and animals in their local environment. They learn about the features of woodland animals, including nocturnal animals, and explore how wild animals differ from pets. They learn what animals need to survive and how to care for animals that live in the local environment. Children identify common features of animals and explore habitats world wide. They learn about farm animals and match them to their babies. They are introduced to the features of plants and learn about what plants and animals need to grow and survive by planting seeds and looking after insects. They learn about the features of insects and observe how plants change, exploring growth and decay. Children begin to learn about the seasons, seasonal change and the weather. They are introduced to everyday materials, exploring their properties and sorting them into groups. They build on this knowledge by exploring reflective materials and waterproof materials.Children learn about the natural phenomenons of shadows, rainbows, melting and freezing, and floating and sinking. 


In Cycle B, children explore their local environment to find out about living things and the places where they live. They learn how the weather changes with the seasons and explore the life cycles of animals, including frogs and chickens. They explore how animals survive in the wild, observe the features of animals, and learn about the similarities and differences between different animal groups. They are introduced to the terms herbivore and carnivore when studying the diets of animals and learn about unfamiliar animals worldwide, and their habitats. They compare the features of invertebrates and learn about invertebrate life cycles. They learn about their own bodies and how to care for them and explore using their senses. Children explore, name and sort materials according to their properties. Children explore battery operated toys and how to make simple circuits. They learn about the properties of materials, including magnetism. Children explore shadows using shadow puppets and toys. Children carry out simple investigations into materials.  Children learn about the phenomenon of floating and sinking and investigate waterproof fabrics. 


Class 1
In Cycle A, 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.  In the summer term children study the project Human Survival, learning about the survival needs of humans, before expanding to study animals within their habitats in the project Habitats.


In Cycle B, children begin the autumn term with projects Plant Parts and Animal Parts, linking back to their knowledge about body parts and senses and identifying commonalities. Building on learning from Cycle A, 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.


Class 2
Having learned about human body parts, the senses and survival in Class 1, children now focus on specific body systems and nutrition in Key Stage 2. In the autumn term of Cycle A, 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 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.  In the summer term children learn about the digestive system, again making comparisons to other animals, in the project Digestive System.  Children finish the year with the project Sound, which 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 autumn term of Cycle B, children begin to link structure to function in the Plant Nutrition and Reproduction project, identifying the plant parts associated with reproduction and water transport.  They also study Light and Shadows, where they are explicitly introduced to the subject of light, with children learning about shadows and reflections, revisiting language from Class 1, including opaque and transparent.  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.  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.


Class 3
In the autumn term of Cycle A, 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 Class 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 Cycle B, 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 Class 2, 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.


Throughout the science scheme, there is complete coverage of all national curriculum programmes of study.