Science Curriculum Statement
At St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School, our vision is to give children a Science curriculum which enables them to confidently explore and discover the world around them, so that they have a deeper understanding of the world we live in. To achieve this, it involves exciting, practical hands on experience that encourage science enquires, curiosity and questioning.
Our aim is that these stimulating and challenging experiences help children secure and extend their scientific knowledge, conceptual understanding and vocabulary through biology, chemistry and physics. Additionally, the teaching of Science will promote and develop transferable skills from other subjects and provide opportunities for children to enhance their communication and teamwork skills.
We believe that our Science curriculum will ensure that our children are confident, life-long learners who will explore the world around them.
PLANNING TO ADDRESS GAPS
On the 24th June 2020, the Science Lead attended a live webinar launch of the Stoke On Trent CALM approach to the Science curriculum recovery. From the resources provided, it gave the Science Lead tools for every year group to show the catch up options for each unit in the primary curriculum and how this maps to the next phase of learning. At St Thomas Aquinas, we have adopted a catch-up over time long term plan for the Science curriculum.
At St Thomas Aquinas, the National Curriculum Programmes of Study and the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum define our Science curriculum.
In the EYFS, Science is not taught as a specific subject, but is a key part of the EYFS Pilot Framework 2020, 'Understanding the World'.
Birth to three years will be learning to:
• Explore natural materials, indoors and outside.
• Explore materials with different properties.
• Explore and respond to different natural phenomena in their setting and on trips.
• Make connections between the features of their family and other families.
Three and four years olds will be learning to:
• Use all their senses in hands-on exploration of natural materials.
• Explore collections of materials with similar and/or different properties.
• Talk about what they see, using a wide vocabulary.
• Explore how things work.
• Continue to develop positive attitudes about the differences between people.
• Plant seeds and care for growing plants.
• Understand the key features of the life cycle of a plant and an animal.
• Begin to understand the need to respect and care for the natural environment and all living things.
• Explore and talk about different forces they can feel.
• Talk about the differences between materials and changes they notice.
Children in Reception will learn to:
• Explore the natural world around them.
• Describe what they see, hear and feel whilst outside.
• Understand the effect of changing seasons on the natural world around them.
In the EYFS, it is also integral to many areas of daily exploration, learning and play. Alongside specific scientific knowledge and vocabulary pupils will develop the concept of ‘working scientifically’ appropriate to their developmental stage.
As part of the Long Term Plan, year groups are allocated science topics to ensure that children cover all aspects of science as they progress through the school. (You can view the progression of Science by clinking on the Progression ladders tab).Where possible links are made between Science and other subjects particularly English, Topic and Maths, thus building a cross-curricular and immersed curriculum where children are more able to make links between Science and the world around them.
‘Working scientifically’ specifies the understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science for each year group. At St Thomas Aquinas, it is not taught as a separate strand and where possible it is embedded within the content of each Science unit. Pupils follow various approaches to working scientifically in order to answer relevant scientific questions, these include:
- observing over time
- pattern seeking
- identifying, classifying and grouping
- comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations)
- researching using secondary sources.
Within key stage 1, pupils will cover the following practical scientific methods and skills:
- asking simple questions
- observing closely, using simple equipment
- performing simple tests
- identifying and classifying
- gathering and recording data
Within lower key stage 2, pupils will cover the following practical scientific methods and skills:
- asking relevant questions
- using different types of scientific enquiries
- setting up simple practical enquiries
- making systematic and careful observations and taking accurate measurements
- using a range of equipment
- gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data
- reporting on findings from enquiries
- using results to draw simple conclusions
- identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes
Within upper key stage 2, pupils will cover the following practical scientific methods and skills:
- planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions
- recognising and controlling variables
- taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment
- recording data and results
- using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests
- reporting and presenting findings from enquiries
- identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments
Enrichment and Engagement
In addition to weekly lessons, children are engaged and excited about science through special events and activities. We hold an annual Science Week, incorporating fun and unusual enquiries. During Science Week and throughout the year, children enjoy special visits from experts in different aspects of Science. As well as this, children’s Science work is supported and enriched through educational visits.
Knowledge Organisers were introduced in February 2020 in Science.
Click here to find out more information on Knowledge Organisers. You can view the Science Knowledge Organisers by clicking on the Curriculum tab and scrolling down to Knowledge Organisers.
Please find more information on the role on the Science Ambassadors under the 'Learning' tab.