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Science

We are determined to stimulate the curiosity of every individual at St Thomas’ developing a thirst for learning in finding out why things happen in the way that they do. We teach methods of enquiry and investigation to stimulate creative thought. Children learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way in which science will affect the future on a personal, national and global scale.

Science is taught through practical lessons wherever possible, developing the skills of working scientifically and enquiry based learning, supported by subject specific knowledge and vocabulary, all of which become increasingly challenging as pupil progress through the school. 

 

Year 1

Autumn

Spring

Summer

  • Asking simple questions
  • Identifying and classifying using basic criteria
  • Observing using simple equipment
  • Performing simple tests
  • Using observations and ideas to inform scientific thinking
  • Identifying, naming, drawing and labelling the basic parts of the human body and saying which part of the body is associated with each sense.
  • Learning about the four different seasons and observing what Grays is like during autumn. We will also observe and describe the weather associated with the seasons and how the day length varies.
  • Identifying and naming a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Identifying and naming a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores and describing and comparing the structure of a variety of common animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including pets).

 

  • Asking simple questions and performing simple tests
  • Using observations and ideas to inform our scientific thinking
  • Gathering and recording data using simple tables and bar charts
  • Observing changes across the four seasons, focusing on spring.
  • Observing and describing weather associated with the seasons and how the length of the days varies.
  • Comparing and grouping together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of simple physical properties
  • Identifying and naming a variety of everyday materials such as wood, plastic, glass, metal, water and rock
  • Distinguishing between an object and the material from which it is made

 

  • Observing using simple equipment
  • Performing simple tests
  • Gathering and recording data using simple tables and bar charts
  • Using observations and ideas to inform our scientific thinking
  • Observing changes across the four seasons; observing and describing weather associated with the seasons and saying how day length varies
  • Identifying and naming a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees.
  • Identifying and describing the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees.
  • Identifying, naming and describing a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Identifying and naming a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores and describing and comparing the structure of a variety of common animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including pets).

 

 

Year 2

Autumn

Spring

Summer

Grouping and changing materials.

 

  • Observe using simple equipment.
  • Plan and perform simple tests.
  • Discuss and evaluate the use of everyday 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.
  • Find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.
  • Identify naturally occurring materials.
  • Predict and describe how materials can be changed and used and become familiar with the terms reversible and irreversible change.

 

Living things and their habitats including plants and animals in the local environment

  • Identifying 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, knowing how they depend on each other.
  • Identifying and naming a variety of plants and animals in their habitats.
  • Describing how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, introducing the idea of a simple food chain.
  • Identifying and naming different food sources.

 

Animals, including humans

  • Exploring and comparing the differences between things that are living, dead and things that have never been alive.
  • Finding out about and describing the basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival.
  • Discussing the importance for humans to exercise, understanding about eating the right amounts of different food types and hygiene.
  • Using ‘Mrs Nerg’ – to help to recognise similarities and differences between animals and plants, and group them according to their characteristics. 
  • Knowing that animals (including humans) have offspring that grow into adults.
  • Understanding the importance of a healthy and balanced diet and lifestyle.

Plants

  •     Completing growing investigations.
  •     Observing and describing how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants.
  •     Finding out how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and  stay healthy.
  •     Recording and measuring the growth of a plant.

 

 

Year 3

Autumn

Spring

Summer

Magnets – we will:

  • Explore that forces need contact with two objects but magnets attract or repel at a distance.
  • Explore everyday materials and identify their properties.
  • Describe magnets as having two poles and predict whether two magnets will attract or repel.

Rocks and Soils- we will:

  • Compare and group together different types of rock based on their properties.
  • We will learn how fossils are formed and be able to recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter.
  • Ask relevant questions.
  • Set up simple, practical enquiries (fair tests).
  • Make systematic and careful observations.
  • Gather, record, classify and present data.
  • Record findings (bar charts and graphs).
  • Report on findings.
  • Use results to draw simple conclusions.
  • Identify differences and similarities.

Use scientific evidence to answer questions.

Light and shadows

  • We will explore the wonders of light focusing on how reflections and shadows are created.
  • We will explore mirrors, their history and their uses.
  • We will work scientifically to record observations of light and try to make sense of them.

Plants: How does your garden grow?

  • Building upon previous learning we will identify and name the key parts of a plant and explore their functions.
  • We will explore the requirements of plants for life and growth
  • We will work scientifically to observe, record and evaluate how plants transport water.
  • We will explore the part that flowers play in the life cycle of flowering plants (pollination, seed dispersal.

Scientific practical investigations

  • We will ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  • We will look at what makes a fair test and learn how to select equipment and materials to make it so.
  • We will work scientifically to predict and create a fair investigation and report our findings from these enquiries.

 

Skeletons

  • We will explore and identify the different types of skeletons that humans and animals have.
  • We will identify the functions and purposes of the bones and muscles for support, protection and movement.
  • We will identify that animals need the right amounts of nutrition for health and cannot make their own food; that they get nutrition from what they eat.

Scientific practical investigations

  • We will ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  • We will look at what makes a fair test and learn how to select equipment and materials to make it so.

We will work scientifically to predict and create a fair investigation and report our findings from these enquiries.

 

Year 4

Autumn

Spring

Summer

  • Setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests.
  • Make systematic and careful observations and take accurate measurements using standard units.
  • Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables.
  • Use results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions.

Through the topic of Changing States, we will be:

  • Comparing and grouping materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases. 
  • Identifying the properties of water – solid, liquid and a gas.
  • Observing that some materials change state when they are heated.  Measure and research the temperature at which this happens.

Through the topic of Electricity, we will be:

  • Identifying common appliances that run on electricity.
  • Constructing a simple series electrical circuit, identifying and naming its basic parts, including cells, wires, bulbs, switches and buzzers.
  • Recognising that a switch opens and closes a circuit and associate this with whether or not a lamp lights in a simple series circuit.
  • Recognising some common conductors and insulators, and associate metals with being good conductors.

 

  • Setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests.
  • Make systematic and careful observations and take accurate measurements using standard units.
  • Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables.
  • Use results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions.

In the topic of Sound and Hearing, we will be learning:

  • How sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating.
  • How vibrations reaching your ear drum are heard as sound.
  • How vibrations travel better through some materials than others.
  • How vibrations travel faster through solids than gases.
  • That vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear.
  • That sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases.
  • How to find patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it.
  • How to find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it.

 

Our topic is ‘Living Things’ which will focus specifically on African animals and their habitats. We will learn to:

  • Describe the functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans.
  • Recognise that animals can be grouped in a variety of ways.
  • Identify the different types of teeth in humans and their simple functions.
  • Construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying predators, producers and prey.
  • 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 to living things

 

Year 5

Autumn

Spring

Summer

  • Planning own investigations while understanding the components (variables, hypothesis, fair test, organising data, conclusions).
  • Using accurate scientific vocabulary.

We will develop these while learning about:

 

Earth and Space

  • Describing the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies.
  • Describing the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system.
  • Describing the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth.
  • Using the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky.

Force

  • Explaining that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object.
  • Identifying the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction, that act between moving surfaces.
  • Planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  • Taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
  • Recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.
  • Using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests.
  • Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, casual relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results.
  • Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

Recognising some mechanisms, including levers, pulleys and gears.

Force

  • Explaining that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object.
  • Identifying the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction, that act between moving surfaces.
  • Planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  • Taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
  • Recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.
  • Using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests.
  • Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, casual relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results.
  • Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.
  • Recognising some mechanisms, including levers, pulleys and gears.

 

Properties and changes of 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.
  • Know 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.

Animals including humans

  • Describe the changes as humans develop to old age.
  • Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.      
  • Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

 

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.

 

 

Year 6

Autumn

Spring

Summer

Investigative science

  • Planning different types of scientific enquiry to answer questions.
  • Taking measurements using scientific equipment.
  • Recording data, using test results to make predictions, reporting and presenting findings, identifying scientific evidence.

 

Light and shadows

  • Recognising that light appears to travel in straight lines.
  • Using the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye.
  • Explaining that we see things because light travels from light sources to our eyes or from light sources to objects and then to our eyes.
  • Using the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them.

 

 

Electricity

  • Associating the brightness of a lamp or the volume of a buzzer with the number and voltage of cells used in the circuit.
  • Comparing and giving reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches.

Using recognised symbols when representing a simple circuit in a diagram.

Evolution and Inheritance

  • Recognising that all living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.
  • Recognising that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents.

 

Interdependence and Adaptation

  • Identifying how plants and animals are adapted to their environment in different ways.
  • Describing how living things are classified into plants and animals and giving reasons for classification.

Describing ways in which nutrients and water are transported within animals, including humans.

Understanding how our bodies function

  • Understanding the use of micro-organisms.
  • Identifying and naming the main parts of the human circulatory system.
  • Describing the functions of the heart, blood vessels and blood.
  • Recognising the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way our bodies function.
  • Learning the importance of keeping ourselves clean.
  • Appreciation of the changes we are going to experience throughout puberty and to discuss any worries.

 

 

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