St Francis Church of England Aided Primary School and Nursery

Living our High Five Values as we learn and grow together in our Christian School.

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In Science we use the Cornerstones scheme of work.


At St Francis, we want our children to be naturally curious about the world around them. We want to embrace their sense of wonder about natural phenomena and to guide them into becoming enquiry-based learners. The science in our school is about developing children’s ideas and ways of working that enable them to make sense of the world in which they live. We want our children to develop an understanding of the uses and implications of Science, how it has changed and shaped our lives and how vital it is to the world’s future prosperity.

Scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each topic the children study and these topics are revisited and developed throughout their time at school. Topics, such as Plants, are taught in Key Stage One and studied again in further detail throughout Key Stage Two. Thus, allowing the children to grow in their understanding, building upon their prior knowledge and increasing their enthusiasm for the topics whilst embedding this procedural knowledge into the long-term memory.

Science teaching at St Francis involves adapting and extending the curriculum to match all pupils’ needs to ensure they are challenged and achieve success, regardless of their starting point. Where possible, science is linked to class topics. Science is taught as discrete units and lessons where needed to ensure coverage in line with the National Curriculum requirements. Teachers plan to suit their children’s interests, current events, their own teaching style, the use of any support staff and the resources available. Opportunities are sought to teach science through all of the primary subjects.

We ensure that all children are provided with rich learning experiences that aim to:

· Prepare our children for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world today and in the future.

· Help our children acquire a growing understanding of the nature, processes and methods of scientific ideas.

· Help develop and extend our children’s scientific concept of their world.

· Build on our children’s natural curiosity and developing a scientific approach to problems.

· Encouraging open-mindedness, self-assessment, perseverance and developing the skills of investigation – including: observing, measuring, predicting, hypothesising, experimenting, communicating, interpreting, explaining and evaluating.

· Develop the use of scientific language, recording and techniques.

· Develop the use of computing in investigating and recording.

· Make links between science and other subjects.



In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in science, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school.

Planning for science is a process in which all teachers are involved to ensure that the school gives full coverage of, ‘The National Curriculum programmes of study for Science 2014’ and, ‘Understanding of the World’ in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Additionally, Science teaching at St Francis C of E Primary School involves adapting and extending the curriculum to match all pupils’ needs. We use the Cornerstones scheme of work in order to achieve this.

Science units are taught on a year rolling programme. This ensures progression between year groups and guarantees topics are covered. Teachers plan to suit their children’s interests, current events, their own teaching style, the use of any support staff and the resources available.

Each unit of work has a strong element of investigation to develop children’s enquiring minds as well as a clear knowledge content to build on both their prior and next stages of learning. As well as this, in each year group, additional investigations are provided to ensure coverage is achieved including, autumn/winter walks (EY) etc.

We seize opportunities to further enhance the curriculum and grow enthusiasm in science. Recent examples include: the annual, whole school science week, and class trips including visits to the Think Tank in Birmingham and a visit to All Things Wild (Early Years). We also draw upon our beautiful and extensive environment during Forest School sessions.

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 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 topic Uses of everyday materials and begin to understand the changes of materials through simple physical manipulation, such as bending and twisting. The spring Plants project 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 how 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 and 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.



The impact and measure of this is to ensure children not only acquire the appropriate age-related knowledge linked to the science curriculum, but also skills which equip them to progress from their starting points, and within their everyday lives.

All children will have:

· A wider variety of skills linked to both scientific knowledge and understanding, and scientific enquiry/investigative skills.

· A richer vocabulary which will enable to articulate their understanding of taught concepts.

· High aspirations, which will see them through to further study, work and a successful adult life.

Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first-hand experiences of the world around them. Children at our school overwhelmingly enjoy science and this results in motivated learners with sound scientific understanding. Our pupils are learning that Science in its many forms is vital to the world’s future prosperity and know and believe that they play a significant part in this future.

Enrichment opportunities

· Establishing cross-curricular links.

· Providing regular on and off-site subject or topic related experiences.

· Offering opportunities for children to learn outdoors where appropriate.

· Encouraging students to contribute to the life of the school and the community, including charity work, and use these ‘real’ contexts to develop their skills and knowledge.