Pear Tree Mead aims to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically, to gain an understanding of scientific processes and also an understanding of the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future.
What learning opportunities are given to the children?
Throughout the year, we encourage children to take part in many outdoor science lessons. At Pear Tree Mead we are extremely lucky to have a wonderful forest area, pond and a large field. This lends itself to make areas of science such as plants, habitats and living things come alive and have real life relevance. Children are able to see that science is all around us and that everyone has the opportunity to experience science first hand. It also means that we have space to complete outdoor experiments and take learning outside of the classroom. Each year we take part in British Science week and hold a whole school science day. We have visits from STEM ambassadors. Our school is closely linked to Ogden Trust and they provide us with many workshops, science experiment loan boxes and a variety of exciting learning opportunities. During the year there are several science after school clubs that run. This year there will be a KS2 astronomy club and a KS1 science club, these clubs help to develop awe and wonder in science.
How is the subject ‘implemented’ and taught?
The national curriculum forms the basis of teaching and learning at Pear Tree Mead. The National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all children:
- Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding – through the specific disciplines of biology, physics and chemistry.
- Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiry that help children to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
- Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Enquiry strategies include those recommended in the new National Curriculum are embedded in teaching and learning at Pear Tree Mead:
- Observing over time – when children observe or measure how one variable changes over time
- Identifying and classifying – when children identify and name materials and living things and make observations or carry out tests to organise them into groups
- Looking for patterns – when children make observations or carry out surveys of variables that cannot be easily controlled and look for relationships between two sets of data
- Comparative and fair testing – when children observe or measure the effect of changing one variable when controlling others as far as possible
- Answering questions using secondary sources of evidence – when children answer questions using data or information that they have not collected first hand
The teachers use SNAP science scheme to plan and teach science. Children have weekly lessons in Science throughout Key Stage 1 and 2 and in Early years, science is taught through the children learning about the world around them in their learning through play.
This allows for a progression of skills across each year group. 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. This model allows children to build upon their prior knowledge and increases their enthusiasm for the topics whilst embedding this procedural knowledge into the long-term memory. Staff at Pear Tree Mead make sure science is taught in an interactive and enriching way. This grasps the children’s imagination and engages them in science.
How is the subject assessed?
We assess science in many ways at Pear Tree mead, these are as follows:
- Science/topic books
- Discussions with children and staff
- End of topic “big question” assessment opportunities
- Children are tracked on science grids for topic based knowledge and target tracker for working scientifically
- Internal and external moderation to confirm judgements
How do we overcome PTM learning barriers in this subject?
Quality first teaching supports all children to develop their knowledge in science. All teachers plan highly focussed lessons that have clear objectives. This engages and supports all learners to make progress. Teachers model scientific language and ideas and explain clearly new concepts and constantly revisit previous learning to embed it securely. Teachers will also differentiate according to the needs of the individual and identify misconceptions before and during lessons so they are dealt with straight away or quickly afterwards. Additional adults are used to support the teaching of science when necessary and some children will complete work in small groups under the direct supervision and guidance of the teacher.
What is briefly taught in each key stage?
- I can identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees.
- I can identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees.
|Animals including humans
- I can identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals
- I can identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores
- I can describe and compare the structure of a variety of common animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including pets)
- I can identify, name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body and say which part of the body is associated with each sense
- I can distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made
- I can identify and name a variety of everyday materials, including wood, plastic, glass, metal, water, and rock
- I can describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials
- I can compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of their simple physical properties.
- I can observe changes across the four seasons
- I can observe and describe weather associated with the seasons and how day length varies.
|All living things and their habitats
- I can explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive
- I can identify 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, and how they depend on each other
- I can identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including micro-habitats
- I can describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food.
- I can observe and describe how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants
- I can find out and describe how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and stay healthy.
|Animals, including humans
- I can notice that animals, including humans, have offspring which grow into adults
- I can find out about and describe the basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival (water, food and air)
- I can describe the importance for humans of exercise, eating the right amounts of different types of food, and hygiene.
|Uses of everyday materials
- I can identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses
- I can find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.
- I can identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots, stem/trunk, leaves and flowers
- I can explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant
- I can investigate the way in which water is transported within plants
- I can explore the part that flowers play in the life cycle of flowering plants, including pollination, seed formation and seed dispersal.
|Animals, including humans
- I can identify that animals, including humans, need the right types and amount of nutrition, and that they cannot make their own food; they get nutrition from what they eat
- I can identify that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement.
- I can compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties
- I can describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock
- I can recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter.
- I can recognise that they need light in order to see things and that dark is the absence of light
- I can notice that light is reflected from surfaces
- I can recognise that light from the sun can be dangerous and that there are ways to protect their eyes
- I can recognise that shadows are formed when the light from a light source is blocked by a solid object
- I can find patterns in the way that the size of shadows change.
|Forces and magnets
- I can compare how things move on different surfaces
- I can notice that some forces need contact between two objects, but magnetic forces can act at a distance
- I can observe how magnets attract or repel each other and attract some materials and not others describe magnets as having two poles
- I can predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, depending on which poles are facing.
- I can compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of whether they are attracted to a magnet, and identify some magnetic materials
|Living things and their habitats
- I can recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways
- I can explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment
- I can recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things.
|Animals, including humans
- I can describe the simple functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans
- I can identify the different types of teeth in humans and their simple functions
- I can construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey.
|States of matter
- I can compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases
- I can observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (°C)
- I can identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature.
- I can identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating
- I can recognise that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear
- I can find patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it
- I can find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it
- I can recognise that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases.
- I can identify common appliances that run on electricity
- I can construct a simple series electrical circuit, identifying and naming its basic parts, including cells, wires, bulbs, switches and buzzers
- I can identify whether or not a lamp will light in a simple series circuit, based on whether or not the lamp is part of a complete loop with a battery
- I can recognise that a switch opens and closes a circuit and associate this with whether or not a lamp lights in a simple series circuit
- I can recognise some common conductors and insulators, and associate metals with being good conductors.
|Living things and their habitats
- I can describe the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird
- I can describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals.
|Animals, including humans
- I can describe the changes as humans develop to old age.
|Properties and changes of materials
- I can 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
- I know that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution, and describe how to recover a substance from a solution
- I can use knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated, including through filtering, sieving and evaporating
- I can give reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials, including metals, wood and plastic
- I can demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes
- I can explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible.
|Earth and Space
- I can describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system
- I can describe the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth
- I can describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies
- I can use the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky.
- I can explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object
- I can identify the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction, that act between moving surfaces
- I can recognise that some mechanisms, including levers, pulleys and gears, allow a smaller force to have a greater effect.
|Living things and their habitats
- I can describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including micro-organisms, plants and animals
- I can give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics.
|Animals, including humans
- I can identify and name the main parts of the human circulatory system, and describe the functions of the heart, blood vessels and blood
- I can recognise the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way their bodies function
- I can describe the ways in which nutrients and water are transported within animals, including humans.
|Evolution and inheritance
- I can recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago
- I can recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents
- I can identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.
- I can use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye
- I can explain that we see things because light travels from light sources to our eyes or from light sources to objects and then to our eyes
- I can use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them.
- I can associate the brightness of a lamp or the volume of a buzzer with the number and voltage of cells used in the circuit
- I can compare and give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches
- I can use recognised symbols when representing a simple circuit in a diagram.
How can parents assist with this subject?
At Pear Tree Mead we believe that great parental involvement is key. Each half term, we hold a science selfie competition and encourage families to take part in science at home and record it in a fun and exciting way. We ask these to be bought to school and handed to the science leader. Children who take part all receive a small prize and a winner is drawn from each class. Each half term the science display board is updated with new science experiments that have been completed outside of school. We have supported parents in engaging in science through providing them with information about outside opportunities such as an Astronomy club that ran at Stewards Academy.
Here are some additional tips:
See science everywhere.
Parents can take opportunities to ask “What would happen if …?” questions to encourage children to be inquisitive and seek out answers. Children need to know that science isn’t just a subject, but it is a way of understanding the world around them.
Lead family discussions on science-related topics. Discuss news stories that are science based, like space shuttle missions, severe weather conditions, or new medical breakthroughs. Movies and TV shows with science-related storylines are also great topics for discussion. For example: After watching Jurassic Park, you might want to discuss with your children the significance of the name of the movie or how human involvement in natural processes can cause drastic consequences.
Do science together. Children, learn better by investigating and experimenting. Simple investigations done together in the home can bolster what your child is learning in the classroom. Check your child’s curriculum newsletter to find out what they are currently learning in class and what activities you can explore at home.