At King Offa Primary Academy, children receive a high-quality Science curriculum. We want our pupils to be knowledgeable, inquisitive and curious about natural ideas and phenomena. Pupils study three main disciplines of knowledge. These are; biology, chemistry and physics. These disciplines are then sub-divided in to smaller strands to help pupils acquire knowledge about the world around them. These are; ‘plants’, ‘living things and their habitats’ and ‘animals including humans’ (encompassing biology); ‘materials’, including rocks, properties of materials and states of matter (encompassing chemistry) and ‘forces’, ‘light and electricity’, ‘sound’, ‘Earth and space’ and ‘seasonal changes’ (encompassing physics). These are taught and learned in units across the year.
Scientific knowledge is an essential element of the Science curriculum – we want our pupils to learn more, know more and remember more about the world and its scientific origins. Our Science curriculum is bespoke, so that teachers can plan and teach lessons that support pupils on building upon previously learned concepts and ideas. This is illustrated in Year 5 for example, where pupils are taught to ‘describe the changes as humans develop to old age’, explaining changes to the skin, bones and hair and builds upon their knowledge in Year 3 where they learn about the skeletal system and helping bones to stay healthy. Links between Science and other curriculum areas are important; for example, in Year 5, in Paragon, pupils learn about civilisations and their great thinkers (ideas about the Earth being flat). An explicit link is made to the Science teaching of the ‘Earth and Space’ study.
Throughout their time at King Offa, pupils will be taught to ‘work scientifically’ – this is a key learning behaviour which is threaded through the entirety of our Science curriculum, so that our pupils are proficient in asking questions about the world in which they live; generating their own ideas and hypotheses; and challenging what they are told, what they read and what they see for themselves. This active approach helps to promote engagement. Pupils are taught how to set up their own investigations and experiments to help prove, or otherwise, their key questions and ideas. Through collaboration, pupils will learn how to predict how things will behave, test ideas appropriately, make careful observations, collect data and information and explain and summarise what they found out. Importantly, children learn that Scientific ideas need to be observed over time, and not in isolation, so that they can see changes and patterns. Pupils continue to work scientifically as they move onto Year 7 and the next steps of their education.
The power of vocabulary is never underestimated – pupils are immersed within the scientific, specific vocabulary. Words and phrases are not held back, assumptions about words are never made and teachers will always provide explanations to help pupils use the vocabulary appropriately in their own work.