Science Curriculum Overview
At St Francis, the science projects are sequenced to develop children’s knowledge, and if possible, make meaningful links to other projects. The sequencing of projects ensures that children have the knowledge and vocabulary to comprehend subsequent projects fully.
Key Stage 1
In Year 1, children start the autumn term with Everyday materials, linking this learning to the design and technology project Shade and Shelter. In the Humans project, they learn about parts of the human body and those associated with the senses. In the spring project Seasonal changes, they learn broadly about seasonal changes linked to weather, living things and day length. They finish with the project Animals, linking back to their knowledge about body parts and senses and identifying commonalities.
In Year 2, children begin the autumn term with the project Humans, learning about the survival needs of humans, before expanding to study animals within their habitats in the project Living things and their habitats. Building on learning from Year 1, children learn about the uses of materials in the spring project Uses of everyday materials and begin to understand changes of materials through simple physical manipulation, such as bending and twisting. The spring Plants project also explores survival, with children observing what plants need to grow and stay healthy. Finally, in the project Animals, children bring together learning from the autumn term, thinking about what animals need to survive.
Lower Key Stage 2
In the autumn term of Year 3, children learn about the skeletal and muscular system in the project Animals, including humans. This learning links to other animals, with children identifying similarities and differences. In the spring term, properties of materials are revisited in the project Forces and magnets, with children identifying magnetic materials and learning about the non-contact force of magnetism. They also begin to learn about contact forces, investigating how things move over surfaces. Science learning about rocks and soils is delivered through the geography project Rocks, Relics and Rumbles. Children begin to link structure to function in the summer Plants project, identifying the plant parts associated with reproduction and water transport. Children finish the year with the project Light, where they are explicitly introduced to the subject of light, with children learning about shadows and reflections, revisiting language from Key Stage 1, including opaque and transparent.
In the autumn term of Year 4, children learn about the digestive system, again making comparisons to other animals, in the project Animals, including humans. The second autumn term project Sound introduces the concept of sound, with children identifying how sounds are made and travel. In the spring term project States of matter, children learn about solids, liquids and gases and their characteristics. They understand how temperature drives change of state and link this learning to the project Misty Mountain, Winding River, in which children learn about the water cycle. In the spring project Living things and their habitats, children recognise this as ‘classification’ and explore classification keys. Finally, in the summer term, children study electricity by creating and recording simple circuits in the project Electricity. They also build on their knowledge of the properties of materials, identifying electrical conductors and insulators.
Upper Key Stage 2
In the autumn term of Year 5, children broaden their knowledge of forces, including gravity and air and water resistance, in the project Forces. Their knowledge of gravity supports the autumn term project Earth and space, so they can understand the forces that shape planets and our solar system. They also develop their understanding of day and night, first explored in the Year 1 project Seasonal changes. Having learned that animals and plants produce offspring in earlier projects and studied plant and animal life cycles in Sow, Grow and Farm, children now focus on the human life cycle and sexual reproduction in the spring term project Animals, including humans. In the summer term project Properties and changes of materials, children revisit much of their prior learning about materials’ properties and learn new properties, including thermal conductivity and solubility. To this point, children have learned much about reversible changes, such as melting and freezing, but now extend their learning to irreversible changes, including chemical changes.
In Year 6, the final body system children learn about is the circulatory system and its roles in transporting water, nutrients and gases in the autumn term project Animals, including humans. Science learning about classification is delivered through the spring term geography project Frozen Kingdoms. In the spring term, children also build on their knowledge about electrical circuits from Year 4, now learning and recording standard symbols for circuit components and investigating the function of components and the effects of voltage on a circuit in the project Electricity. In the summer project Light, children recognise that light travels in straight lines from a source or reflector to the eye and explain the shape of shadows. Finally, in the project Evolution and inheritance, children learn about inheritance and understand why offspring are not identical to their parents. They also learn about natural selection and how this can lead to the evolution of a species.