Science at Abbott Primary School:
At Abbott Community Primary School, we strive to deliver a high-quality science curriculum which allows our pupils to recognise the significance of science in their everyday lives. We explicitly teach pupils the skills and knowledge they need to become methodical, analytical and inquisitive scientists.
Our curriculum has science enquiry at its heart. We encourage our pupils to be enquiry-based learners; our science teaching ensures our pupils develop the necessary disciplinary knowledge as they progress through the school, enabling them to become the scientists of the future.
As scientists, pupils work collaboratively to develop their research, communication and critical-thinking skills. We encourage curiosity about natural phenomena and encourage our pupils to ask questions about the world around them.
We ensure all children are exposed to high-quality science teaching and a range of learning experiences. Science teaching is carefully sequenced to ensure a clear progression of substantive knowledge and disciplinary knowledge. Each lesson is designed to explore and build on children’s prior knowledge, allowing for misconceptions to be addressed effectively.
The substantive knowledge builds progressively to develop children’s understanding of concepts, models, laws and theories.
The disciplinary knowledge builds progressively to enable children to work scientifically and covers the following aspects:
- Methods used to answer questions
- Using apparatus and techniques
- Data analysis
- Using evidence to develop explanations
We deliver a broad and balanced science curriculum which stimulates and maintains children’s natural curiosity. Key scientists, significant discoveries and theories are studied, to give the children a real-life understanding of concepts taught. Where possible, real-life examples are used in lessons to give our children a deeper understanding of these concepts.
At Abbott, we use the Plymouth Science scheme of work from EYFS to Year 6 to ensure careful sequencing and delivery of a full and robust knowledge-based content of the Primary National Curriculum. We selected this scheme as we feel that it gives us the best sequencing of learning and allows a greater focus on supporting learning through practical activities. The clear progression ensures that children are continually building on their prior learning as they systematically develop their understanding of key ideas and their scientific skills. Pupils have opportunities to ask their own questions and consider which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best way of answering them. Our pupils draw conclusions and use scientific vocabulary to discuss and present their findings in a range of different ways.
The scheme of work includes:
Pre-learning, from previous year groups and lessons.
Cross-curricular links across modules
Detailed lesson plans with knowledge, working scientifically and scientific enquiry objectives.
Embedded working scientifically assessment.
Hands-on learning in each lesson with easy-to-follow slides.
Metacognitive approaches include mini quizzes, recapping, and revisiting knowledge.
Knowledge quizzes at the end of each unit.
Full resources included with differentiation in working scientifically skills.
Across the year, we explore different types of enquiry approaches and build pupils’ enquiry skills and knowledge in each aspect as they progress through school.
- Observation over time: (observe changes that occur over a period of time ranging from minutes to months)
- Identifying, grouping and classifying: (identifying and naming materials/living things and making observations or carrying out tests to organise them into groups)
- Pattern-seeking: (identify patterns and look for relationships in enquiries where variables are difficult to control)
- Comparative and fair testing: (observing or measuring the effect of changing one variable when controlling others)
- Research: (use secondary sources of information to answer scientific questions)
- Problem-solving: (apply prior scientific knowledge to find answers to problems)
- Asking questions: (ask questions that can be answered using a scientific enquiry)
- Making predictions: (use prior knowledge to suggest what will happen in an enquiry)
- Setting up tests: (decide on the method and equipment to use to carry out an enquiry)
- Observing and measuring: (use senses and measuring equipment to make observations about the enquiry)
- Recording data: (use tables, drawings and other means to note observations and measurements)
- Interpreting and communicating Results: (use information from the data to say what you found out)
- Evaluating: (reflect on the success of the enquiry approach and identify further questions for enquiry)
To expose the children to a wider range of career opportunities, every half term, each class will learn about a scientist and their job, which is linked to the topic they are learning about. This is adapted from the PSTT 'Scientist Like Me' document.
The successful, collaborative approach to the teaching of science across the school results in an engaging, high-quality education that allows pupils to understand the world around them and encourages them to explore science further as they leave primary school.
By the end of their primary school education, pupils will:
- Have an understanding of the key domains of knowledge and can use key concepts to make links between domains
- Ask questions and make observations about the world around them using scientific knowledge
- Analyse data and articulate evidenced conclusions
- Follow and design scientific enquiries
- Have an understanding of some of the major issues facing our planet and an appreciation of the importance of science to wider society
See below for our science long-term plans, our progression maps and year group-specific curriculum content, which show how we sequence and organise our curriculum. This also includes how we differentiate to meet the needs of pupils with SEND.