The Science Curriculum at St Thomas
At St Thomas’, we deliver an ambitious, knowledge-based science curriculum that aims to inspire pupils’ curiosity and interest to know more about the world around them. It enables all pupils to gain a sense of enquiry about the world and encourages them to understand how key knowledge and concepts can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave and analyse causes.
Our curriculum also offers opportunities for all pupils to:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding in all areas of science
- develop knowledge and understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through scientific enquiry enabling pupils to answer scientific questions about the world around them
- gain the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science today and for the future
The science curriculum builds upon prior knowledge in a carefully sequenced curriculum, both within and between year groups, and makes links to other subject areas.
Pupils develop an understanding of key substantive concepts (classification, properties, habitat and characteristics) that act as threads throughout the science curriculum from the beginning to the end of the pupils’ primary education.
How is science taught at St Thomas?
Structure of lesson:
All children will take part in a short task where they will be required to retrieve previously gained knowledge. The children may have acquired this knowledge in a previous lesson, unit of work or even a previous year group. This task is designed to strengthen all our pupils’ memories of key knowledge, enabling them to permanently remember and make progress across the curriculum.
All children will be introduced to key vocabulary (STAR words) at the beginning of every lesson. They will be challenged to learn the meaning of these words and apply them correctly during the lesson. Teachers will provide children with actions to match each of these words, to support the children in remembering them.
The teacher will share the core knowledge for the lesson with the children. This is an opportunity for children to listen to and understand the new information.
Children will work with a partner to complete a short task or discuss new information. Children will be expected to apply their understanding of the new information taught (they may even use the STAR words).
The children will sometimes work independently on a task or as part of a small group. These tasks may vary between the planning of investigations, the write up of results from these investigations or the practical task itself. These tasks may require the children to apply everything they have learned or apply their newly acquired skills.
In some lessons, our children will read. This can be incorporated into any aspect of the lesson. Children will read a range of texts, from information texts to online glossaries and blogs. We believe reading is the key to all learning, so have made reading a priority in lessons.
What do we expect to achieve through our science curriculum?
By the end of KS1, our pupils will:
- Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways
- Observe closely, using simple equipment
- Perform simple tests
- Identify and classify
- Use observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
- Gather and record data to help answer questions
- Know about the four seasons, the associated weather and the varying day lengths throughout the year. (Y1)
- Know about a variety of common animals and their structure: carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. (Y1)
- Know about our 5 senses and how we use them. (Y1)
- Know the different materials we use and their properties. (Y1)
- Know about common plants and trees, their structure and the differences between them. (Y1)
- Know what a habitat is and how it is suited to a specific animal. (Y2)
- Know how animals obtain their food and what a food chain is. (Y2)
- know why materials are best suited to particular jobs and how solid objects can be changed. (Y2)
- know the basic needs of animals including humans and the importance of a healthy lifestyle. (Y2)
- know how plants grow and what they need to survive. (Y2)
By the end of KS2, our pupils will:
- Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
- Be able to set up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests.
- Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers.
- Gather, record, classify and present data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions.
- Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables.
- Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions.
- Use results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions.
- Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes.
- Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.
- Know how surfaces affect the movement of objects and how magnets can attract and repel depending on each pole. (Y3)
- Know the functions of our skeleton and muscles and the importance of nutrients from a varied and balanced diet. (Y3)
- Know that light is reflected from surfaces and this is needed in order for us to see. (Y3)
- Know how to protect our eyes. (Y3)
- Know how shadows are formed. (Y3)
- Understand the functions of the different parts plants and the life cycle of plants through pollination. (Y3)
- Understand how fossils are formed. (Y3)
- Know how to group different kinds of rocks based on their properties. (Y3)
- Know how living things are grouped through classification and how environmental changes effect living things. (Y4)
- Know how to group materials into solids, liquids and gases and how their states can be changed. (Y4)
- Understand how we hear sound and the difference between volume and pitch. (Y4)
- Understand how our digestive system works, the functions of our teeth and the food chain process. (Y4)
- Know how to construct a simple circuit and what materials are conductors/ insulators. (Y4)
- Know how to group materials based on their properties. (Y5)
- Know how to separate mixtures and which changes of state are reversible. (Y5)
- Understand the shape and movement of the planets in the solar system. (Y5)
- Understand reproduction and the differences in life cycles. (Y5)
- Understand the effects of aging on our bodies. (Y5)
- Understand forces and the effect these have on objects. (Y5)
- Know that light travels in straight lines and objects are seen because light is reflected off them. (Y6)
- Know why living things are classified into broad groups. (Y6)
- Know the main parts of the human circulatory system and their functions. (Y6)
- Understand the impact lifestyle can have on our bodies. (Y6)
- Understand how living things have adapted to their environment thus resulting in evolution. (Y6)
- Understand that offspring inherit characteristics but are not identical to their parents. (Y6)
- Understand that the number and voltage of cells used in a circuit impact the lamp/buzzer. (Y6)