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Denbigh Science Curriculum

We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in order to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding of the world through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  Science is taught under the umbrella of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), in half termly weekly blocks. A cross curricular approach is given to the subject with many opportunities for the children to record their work applying both their scientific understanding, English and Maths skills and other cross curricular subject areas such as DT, Art, Music, PE and Topic.

Each block of work covers the knowledge needed to gain a deeper understanding of the Science unit and uses a range of practical enquiry work that supports the working scientifically aspect of the learning. Children learn about the scientists who are important in each particular area of STEM. Through an annual bespoke British Science Week or Engineering Week, the children develop a love for STEM and can understand the careers and jobs associated with these chosen disciplines.

Visits are often arranged to enhance the learning within Science via trips such as to The Discovery Museum, Dove Laboratory, Centre for Life, The Energy Centre and Wallsend Park. Visitors also enhance the Science provision through workshops and talks in school such as Technology Tom, Party animals, Space Dome, local health services and Sustainable Science. The children are also given an opportunity to take part in a whale and dolphin watching trip on board the DFDS Seaways to Amsterdam, here they learn about the different sea creatures on board with the ORCA wildlife officers.

Science also has good links within the community such as other local primary schools through our cluster and secondary schools, as well as colleges, universities and industry. Joint projects and learning take place with many of these partners such as the ICE bridge building, RAF projects and STEMtastic.

We have been recognised as outstanding for Science teaching and learning at Denbigh and hold the Primary Science Quality Mark at Gold level.

To achieve the Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM), a key set of principles for good Science teaching were created with input from both the staff and pupils. These are used by staff when planning lessons and also form the basis of lesson observations.

Staff at Denbigh know that good Science occurs in our school when…

  • It is led by the children, interests them and is memorable to them.
  • Children are talking, laughing, engaged and enjoying science through a range of interactive and practical activities.
  • Children are actively involved in their own learning, asking questions, looking for the answers, planning their own investigations and taking risks.
  • Science is differentiated and inclusive with children making progress throughout the lesson and unit.
  • Good quality assessment and Assessment For Learning is used to inform planning and builds on children’s prior learning.

Our Key Concept Progressions ensure that our children’s learning is secure and developed. Our curriculum provides opportunities for repetition and practise to develop essential knowledge, skills and understanding in Science.  The Key Concepts helps to scaffold and challenge our learning. Please view examples of what the progression of our key concepts looks like.

Threshold Concept : Comparative and Fair Testing.

Milestone One (Years 1 & 2): To perform simple tests.

Threshold Concept: Comparative and Fair Testing

Milestone Two (Years 3 & 4): To set up simple practical enquires, comparative and fair tests.

Threshold Concept: Comparative and Fair Testing

Milestone Three (Years 5 & 6): Planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.

Year 1 Curriculum

Working Scientifically

Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways

Use simple equipment to observe closely

Perform simple tests

Gather and record data to help in answering questions

Animals Including Humans

Identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals

Group animals according to what they eat

Identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores

Describe and compare the structure of a variety of common animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including pets

Identify, name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body and say which part of the body is associated with each sense

Materials

Distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made

Identify and name a variety of everyday materials, including wood, plastic, glass, metal, water, and rock

Describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials

Compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of their simple physical properties

Identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees

Identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees

Seasonal Changes

Observe changes across the four seasons

Observe and describe weather associated with the seasons and how day length varies

Year 2 Curriculum

Animals Including Humans

Understand that animals, including humans, have offspring which grow into adults

Describe the basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival (water, food and air)

Describe the importance for humans of exercise, eating the right amounts of different types of food, and hygiene

Living Things And Their Habitats

Explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive

Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other

Identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including micro-habitats

Describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food

Materials

Identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses

Describe how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching

Plants

Observe and describe how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants

Describe how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and stay healthy, and describe the impact of changing these

Working Scientifically 

Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways  including use of scientific language from the national curriculum (Year 2 focus)

Use simple equipment to observe closely including changes over time (Year 2 focus)

Communicate his/her ideas, what he/she does and what he/she finds out in a variety of ways

Perform simple comparative tests (Year 2 focus)

Identify, group and classify (Year 2 focus)

Use his/her observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions noticing similarities, differences and patterns (Year 2 focus)

Gather and record data to help in answering questions including from secondary sources of information (Year 2 focus)

Year 3 Curriculum

Animals Including Humans

Identify that animals, including humans, need the right types and amount of nutrition, and that they cannot make their own food; they get nutrition from what they eat

Identify that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement

Forces And Magnets

Compare how things move on different surfaces

Notice that some forces need contact between two objects, but magnetic forces can act at a distance

Observe how magnets attract or repel each other and attract some materials and not others

Compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of whether they are attracted to a magnet, and identify some magnetic materials

Describe magnets as having two poles

Predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, depending on which poles are facing

Light

Recognise that he/she needs light in order to see things and that dark is the absence of light

Notice that light is reflected from surfaces

Recognise that light from the sun can be dangerous and that there are ways to protect eyes

Recognise that shadows are formed when the light from a light source is blocked by a solid object

Find patterns in the way that the size of shadows change

Plants

Identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots, stem/trunk, leaves and flowers

Explore and describe the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant

Investigate the way in which water is transported within plants

Explore the part that flowers play in the life cycle of flowering plants, including pollination, seed formation and seed dispersal

Rocks

Compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties

Describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock

Recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter

Working Scientifically

Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them (Year 3 focus)

Set up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests (Year 3 focus)

Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, take accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers (Year 3 focus)

Gather, record, classify and present data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions (Year 3 focus)

Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables (Year 3 focus)

Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions (Year 3 focus)

Use results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions (Year 3 focus)

Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes (Year 3 focus)

Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support his/her findings (Year 3 focus)

Year 4 Curriculum

Animals Including Humans

Describe the simple functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans

Identify the different types of teeth in humans and their simple functions

Construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey

Electricity

Identify common appliances that run on electricity

Construct a simple series electrical circuit, identifying and naming its basic parts, including cells, wires, bulbs, switches and buzzers

Identify whether or not a lamp will light in a simple series circuit, based on whether or not the lamp is part of a complete loop with a battery

Recognise that a switch opens and closes a circuit and associate this with whether or not a lamp lights in a simple series circuit

Recognise some common conductors and insulators, and associate metals with being good conductors

Living Things And Their Habitats

Recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways

Explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment

Recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers and have an impact on living things

Sounds

Identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating

Recognise that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear

Find patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it

Find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it

Recognise that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases

States Of Matter

Compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases

Observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (°C)

Identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature

Working Scientifically 

Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them (Year 4 focus)

Set up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests (Year 4 focus)

Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, take accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers (Year 4 focus)

Gather, record, classify and present data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions (Year 4 focus)

Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables (Year 4 focus)

Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions (Year 4 focus)

Use results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions (Year 4 focus)

Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes (Year 4 focus)

Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support his/her findings (Year 4 focus)

 

Year 5 Curriculum

Animals Including Humans

Describe the changes as humans develop to old age

Earth And Space

Describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system

Describe the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth

Describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies

Use the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky

Forces And Magnets

Explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object

Identify the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction, that act between moving surfaces

Recognise that some mechanisms, including levers, pulleys and gears, allow a smaller force to have a greater effect

Living Things And Their Habitats

Describe the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird

Describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals

Materials

Compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties, including their hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity (electrical and thermal), and response to magnets

Recognise that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution, and describe how to recover a substance from a solution

Use knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated, including through filtering, sieving and evaporating

Give reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials, including metals, wood and plastic

Demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes

Explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible, including changes associated with burning and the action of acid on bicarbonate of soda

Working Scientifically

Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary (Year 5 focus)

Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate (Year 5 focus)

Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs (Year 5 focus)

Use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests (Year 5 focus)

Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations (Year 5 focus)

Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments (Year 5 focus)

 

Year 6 Curriculum

Animals Including Humans

Identify and name the main parts of the human circulatory system, and describe the functions of the heart, blood vessels and blood

Recognise the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way their bodies function

Describe the ways in which nutrients and water are transported within animals, including humans

Electricity

Associate the brightness of a lamp or the volume of a buzzer with the number and voltage of cells used in the circuit

Compare and give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches

Use recognised symbols when representing a simple circuit in a diagram

Evolution and Inheritance

Recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago

Recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents

Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution

Light

Recognise that light appears to travel in straight lines

Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye

Explain that we see things because light travels from light sources to our eyes or from light sources to objects and then to our eyes

Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them

Living Things And Their Habitats

Describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including micro-organisms, plants and animals

Give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics

Working Scientifically

Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer their own or others’ questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary (Year 6 focus)

Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate (Year 6 focus)

Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs (Year 6 focus)

Use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests (Year 6 focus)

Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations (Year 6 focus)

Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments (Year 6 focus)

Describe and evaluate their own and other people’s scientific ideas related to topics in the national curriculum (including ideas that have changed over time), using evidence from a range of sources

Group and classify things and recognise patterns

Find things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information

Use appropriate scientific language and ideas from the national curriculum to explain, evaluate and communicate his/her methods and findings

Denbigh Primary School