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Science at St Edwards

Our Science Curriculum rationale

provides all pupils with the foundations for understanding the world, developing foundational building blocks within the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The curriculum is rich in key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. It enables children to become natural explorers and provide opportunities to develop thinking, knowledge and positive attitudes to Science. In EYFS, children begin to gain key scientific knowledge that they later build on in the primary years. Children learn to use Science to explain what is occurring and make sense of the world around them, predict how things might behave and analyse cause and effect to better understand why and how things happen. Children are encouraged to develop a natural curiosity and follow well-considered lines of enquiry within the subject. They explore rich content and are able to apply this knowledge to practice, developing a range of scientific skills.

The curriculum has been developed to facilitate an accumulation of knowledge and concepts in a specific order, with a careful and consistent progression of skills and knowledge that allows the pupil to make the necessary connections to piece their learning together throughout their learning journey. It is fundamental that all pupils develop a secure understanding of each block of knowledge in order to progress to the next stage. As children progress through the Science Curriculum, explicit links and connections are made to support pupils to continually build upon the knowledge and skills they have accumulated in previous year groups.

The sequence of learning endeavours to continually build upon pupil starting points and the progression of knowledge and skills acquired. Some of the units follow directly on from others, building on pupils’ prior knowledge and understanding (an example being the Chemistry strand, which starts with common materials in Ks1 and builds up to changing states of matter in upper KS2). Other Units, however, are not directly linked to previous learning, such as many of the units within the Physics strand of Science. The units in this discipline are sequenced so that a pupil’s breadth of knowledge is built upon year after year. The importance of all pupils developing a secure knowledge of concepts taught is important in both of the models listed above; if a child does not understand some of the basic properties of materials they will be at a significant disadvantage when learning about changes in state to those materials. Likewise, the topic of Sound is taught once, if a child completes this unit without a secure understanding of the concepts taught then this will not be retaught again within their Primary education.

Pupils are taught to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language, while using technical terminology accurately and precisely. In turn, this provides pupils with the opportunity to build up an extended specialist vocabulary, deepening knowledge and understanding, and developing the ability to make informed choices when reasoning and explaining their thinking.

As children develop a secure understanding and ability to independently connect their learning they will be able to speak enthusiastically about their knowledge and conduct research that builds on what they have learnt in the classroom and is applied into society and beyond. Pupils demonstrate perseverance and adopt a relentless approach in their quest for knowledge and understanding, forming their own lines of enquiry and opinions, continually shaping their character and personality.