Purpose of Study
The focus for Science teaching is on children building up a body of knowledge and concepts, through which they are encouraged to recognise rational explanations and develop a sense of awe and wonder about natural phenomena. Children are to be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave and analyse causes.
The National Curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
- are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Key Stage 1
The main focus 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 and develop their understanding of scientific ideas. Pupils begin to use scientific vocabulary 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 is done through first hand practical experiences but there is also an opportunity for pupils to use appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos.
Pupils read and spell scientific vocabulary at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at Key Stage 1.
Lower Key Stage 2
The main focus is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. This is done 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 ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. Children ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best way to answer them. They draw simple conclusions and some scientific language, first to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out.
Pupils read and spell scientific vocabulary correctly and with confidence, using their growing word reading and spelling knowledge.
Upper Key Stage 2
The main focus is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. This is done through exploring and talking about their ideas, asking their own questions about scientific phenomena, analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. Pupils 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. Pupils select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions, using different types of scientific enquiry. They 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.
‘Working and thinking scientifically’ is described separately at the beginning of the programme of study, but must always be taught through and clearly related to substantive science content in the programme of study. Throughout the notes and guidance, examples show how scientific methods and skills might be linked to specific elements of the content.
Pupils should read, spell and pronounce scientific vocabulary correctly.