“Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.”
What does Science at Fieldhead Carr look like?
Our aim in Science is to foster a curiosity about the world we live in and to nurture an enthusiasm and love of the subject. We want children to question, observe, ask questions and challenge the everyday things that surround them. We also want them to understand of the career possibilities that science can bring through an appreciation of the history of science and the modern world of science careers.
Science provides the foundations for understanding and thinking critically about our world through biology, chemistry and physics. The knowledge taught across these three subjects can be found by following this link:
In addition to the knowledge that is taught across all key stages all pupils will be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of Science in everyday life, this is called working scientifically. Working scientifically is not taught as a separate skill but rather underpins every science lesson as children learn through the application of the following skills:
Observing over time
Children develop the skills to watch, or listen carefully for changes in a short or long time. They can also stand back and look at changes. In KS1 this could involve children planting seeds or bulbs and watching them grow, noting changes through drawing, discussion and measurement. In KS2 this could involve looking at changes made to materials through the application of heat or cold.
Year 1 Exploring the seasonal changes in our local habitat
Nursery investigating ice crayons and what happens to them over time
Year 2 Exploring the growth of bulbs
Developing these skills means observing, measuring and recording events to identify relationships. Through this, children are looking to identify patterns to identify casual relationships or cause and effect. In Early Years this could mean investigating the question ‘Are all daisy leaves the same?’ In KS1 this could mean investigating the question ‘do children with the biggest feet have the biggest hands?’ and in KS2 it could involve looking for answers to the question “Does every planet take the same time to orbit the Sun?’
Year 6 investingating the impact of removing or adding bulbs and lamps to an electrical circuit
Identifying, classifying and grouping
Developing skills in this area enables children to lean the names of things, their characteristics and their similarities and differences. It also enables things to be grouped by observable features. In Early Years this involves sorting and grouping things through simple observable features such as colour, shape or size. In KS1 these skills are developed further so that by the end of year 2 children can sort and classify using specific criteria e.g. identifying if an animal is a herbivore, carnivore or omnivore according to teeth type, diet and habitat. At the end of KS2 children are able to use classification systems to identify animals and give clear reasons behind their processes of classification.
Year 1 Sorting deciduous and evergreen leaves
Year 1 Sorting Marterials according to type
Year 2 classifying animals
Comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations)
Children take part in comparative testing in KS1 and then both comparative and fair testing in KS2. They also have increasing control of the design of tests as they progress through school. For example, in year 2 pupils can investigate the need for light and water to maintain healthy plant growth. In lower KS 2 the question to be investigated will be the broader ‘investigate the requirements for plant growth and in upper KS2 the investigative question is narrower but the pupils would be designing and conducting the investigation themselves ‘what is the ideal amount of water needed to keep a plant alive?’ Pupils in Early Years carry out tests through explorative play whilst KS1 pupils may work as a class to design an investigation but write individual observations or conclusions. It is not necessary to implement a test independently from beginning to end every time in order to gain learning and it is possible to plan for skill development to progress through independently tackling a different part of the testing process with different investigations.
We create strong links to maths and data handling during scientific testing when we are recording results. KS1 children may use tally charts to record their observations but, as children move through KS2 they should be using an increasingly wide range of equipment to make measurements. They should learn what it means to measure accurately and check for reliability. Children will learn to independently plan how to record and analyse the data, using tables, pictograms, and bar charts to compare the measurements they make and to inform their conclusions.
Year 6 identifying how the digestive system works with different food types
Year 5 testing out how far sound travels
Year 2 Testing the suitability of materials
Researching using secondary sources
This skill is often used when it is not possible or unsafe for children to answer the questions first hand. Using secondary sources such as books, internet and experts enables children to evaluate the information they gather to form evidenced conclusions.
This is also the skill area where pupils can examine the lives and work of famous scientists to understand their achievements and highlight potential future careers. To see the scientists that are covered across year groups click here (insert key scientists overview document)
At Fieldhead Carr we create strong links to English when developing this skill and we promote the use of fiction and non fiction science related texts in both English and Science lessons. Sample texts are also available in class reading areas. To see a list of recommended texts by year group click here (insert literacy in science pdfs by year group)
FS2 using books to identify their animal models
Year 6 researching DNA and constructing DNA as a result of their investigations
Where ever possible our Science lessons involve practical hands on work in order to engage and stimulate learning and to ensure that a scientific skill is the focus of every lesson. Across a science topic, learning is recorded on our science working walls. This is a consistent format across school where we ensure that a range of scientific skills are covered across each topic, key vocabulary is highlighted and children’s learning is presented so links can be made from one lesson to the next. In Early Years, scientific skills are developed through the use of an investigation station where children can access and explore resources independently as well as direct teaching input. This idea of an investigation station is maintained throughout KS1. In KS2 the science working walls are supported by relevant book and artefact displays.