Science in the Foundation Stage is introduced indirectly through activities thatencourage your child to explore, problem solve, observe, predict, think, make decisions and talk about the world around them. It’s called ‘knowledge and understanding of the world’.
Children explore creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments. They observe and manipulate objects and materials to identify differences and similarities. For example, they may look at an egg whisk, sand, paper and water to learn about things that are natural and manmade and their different functions. Children also learn to use their senses, feeling dough or listening to sounds in the environment, such as sirens or farm animals.
Your child will be encouraged to ask questions about why things happen and how things work. They might do activities such as increasing the incline of a slope to observe how fast a vehicle travels, or opening a mechanical toy to see how it works. Your child will also be asked questions about what they think will happen to help them communicate, plan, investigate, record and evaluate findings.
Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)
The principal focus of the school’s 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. They are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They are also helped to 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.
The curriculum is designed to help learners to begin to 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 done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there are also opportunities to use appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos.
Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4)
The principal focus of the science curriculum in lower Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils 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. Furthermore, we encourage pupils to 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.
The curriculum encourages them to draw simple conclusions and use scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out, and pupils are encouraged to read and spell scientific vocabulary correctly and with confidence, using their growing word-reading and spelling knowledge.
Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6)
The principal focus of the science curriculum 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.
Also at upper Key Stage 2, the curriculum ensures that learners 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 are taught to 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.
Pupils are able to draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings, and pupils are encouraged to read, spell and pronounce scientific vocabulary correctly.