At Shepherd Primary School, we aim to promote a love of Science. We strive to engage all children in real life experiences to explore, ask questions and work together scientifically with an inclusive approach. The children are given a rich and varied curriculum ad are encourages to challenge and question their own understanding.
The vision we share with the children has been created to reflect the key scientific skills they will develop during their time at the school.
We have an annual Science week, which is a fantastic opportunity to extend the children’s learning and broaden their knowledge around a topic. It is always a highlight for the children and staff. We ensure that we have a range of competitions for the children which are open to the whole school.
This year we ran a competition to design a poster to show how something has changed over time - there were some fantastic entries as you can see in the photos above. The activities completed each year follow a theme, this year we linked our experiments with a book these ranged from Pirates love underpants to Charlie and the Chocolate factory. This year 'Mad Science' visited and ran workshops for all classes from Nursery all the way to Year 6 - the workshops were based on their current Science topic to give the sense of excitement about what was about to come. Science week is a fantastic way to enthuse pupils about Science and encourage their Scientific thinking.
We are extremely fortunate to have a dedicated STEM room, with lab coats to help pupils start to think like a Scientist as soon as they enter the room. A dedicated room means that resources can be kept easily to hand, resources can be set up prior to the lesson and experiments needing to be run over a period of time can do so without being disturbed.
Science learning starts as soon as children enter the school in Nursery, being covered within topics and provision (Understanding the World). As they move into Reception, science is taught with the UW curriculum as a discreet lesson with accompanying workshops allowing children to rehearse their skills and knowledge, as well as being weaved into the continuous provision where children’s learning is developed through learning conversations with adults. All UW topics are centred around a core text strategy.
As the children move into Year 1, their science learning becomes more formal with dedicated lessons each week. Through the entire year they will dip into the topic of ‘Seasonal Changes’, this allows them to compare each of the seasons while they are experiencing them. The children will learn about ‘Animals including humans, ‘Everyday Materials’ and ‘Plants’ over each of the terms. While covering their animal topic they will be learning about and finding their own ways to group different animals. Everyday materials look at the varied materials around them and the features of them. Plants includes looking at the different types of plants we have in the local area.
When they move into Year 2, they keep some of the same topics but start to look at them in more detail, starting to develop their scientific questioning skills about:
- ‘Everyday Materials’ - looking how their unique features help to decide their use,
- ‘Plants’ - testing out what different plants need to grow,
- ‘Animals including Humans’ and
- ‘Living things and their Habitats’ - finding out what a habitat is and how they differ.
In Year 3, the plant journey continues this time looking at what each of the distinct parts of a plant do and the life cycle of plants. ‘Light’ is a new topic on their journey, identifying various sources of light, if they are natural or man-make and how shadows are formed. The ‘Animals including Humans’ topic starts looking at skeletons and their features as well as the foods we eat and the categories they fit into. ‘Magnets and Forces’ allows the children to look at magnets and where they are found in the world around them and how forces are made up of pushes and pulls Another new topic for them to experience is ‘Rocks’ testing out the properties of different rocks and looking at where they are in the world around us.
As they move into Year 4, the topic of ‘Animals including Humans’ continues, this time moving on to look at our digestive system and teeth. Within ‘Living things and their Habitats’ they start to learn about food chains and how changes in the environment affect the living things within it. ‘States of Matter’ introduces the idea of solids, liquids, and gases, allowing children to test out the differences between them. In the topic of ‘Electricity’ the class starts to test out the features of a circuit and what it needs to work. The last topic of Year 4 is ‘Sound’ finding out how they are created and how sound travels.
Year 5, allows the children to develop their understanding of Forces that they started in Year 3, looking at several types of force and how they can be measured, this moves easily into ‘Earth and Space’ - the different planets in our solar system as well as how the moon moves around us. ‘Properties and changes of Materials’ this looks at how materials can change – looking at separating, dissolving, and melting to give a taster. ‘Living things and their Habitats’ and ‘Animals including Humans’ look at the life cycle of animals and how they change through the stages.
In their final year, Year 6, ‘Animals including Humans’ continues this time looking at the systems within the body – including how the circulatory systems work. ‘Living things and their Habitats’ learning about micro-organisms. ‘Evolution and inheritance’ looks at how animals change over time. As they build on ‘Light’ they start looking at the symbols used when recording circuits.