Science is a core subject of the National Curriculum and pupils undertake some science activity every week at both key stages. The work covered in Key Stage 1 builds on the nationally recognised curriculum for pupils aged under five. Pupils in Reception develop their knowledge, understanding and skills through play activities and direct teaching from which the pupils undertake planned tasks.
Science is allocated ten per cent of the taught time at both key stages and this amounts to about 80 hours per year at Key Stage 1 and about 90 hours per year at Key Stage 2.
Planning takes into account that the school places a high emphasis on the development of pupils’ skills of scientific enquiry (Sc1). In the substantial majority of lessons the skills for Sc1 are taught alongside the knowledge and understanding in life processes and living things (Sc2), materials and their properties (Sc3) and physical processes (Sc4). In this way there is an equivalent emphasis on Sc1 as there is on Sc2/3/4 together.
At Key Stage 1
Pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and physical phenomena. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas. They begin to evaluate evidence and consider whether tests or comparisons are fair. They use reference materials to find out more about scientific ideas. They share ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables with the help of ICT if it is appropriate.
At Key Stage 2
Pupils learn about a wider range of living things, materials and physical phenomena. They make links between ideas and explain things using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things and their personal health. They think about the effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They carry out more systematic investigations, working on their own and with others. They use a range of reference sources in their work. They talk about their work and its significance, using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts, graphs and ICT to communicate their ideas.