At Flyford we are scientists! The children here are encouraged to investigate, discover and gain knowledge of science through creativity and experimentation. We learn practically taking an enquiry approach to science learning whilst developing our skills through meaningful experiences. We are inquisitive and through questioning, prediction, interpretation and concluding are able to develop our understanding of the world. During our science learning, in order to connect with science in the real world and develop our cultural capital, we are introduced to topic linked inspirational scientific figures from the past and present, including cultures different to our own. We discuss science of the future, leading to predictions about the exciting discoveries to come. We inspire our young people to think past science in the laboratory and to think more about science as an exciting way to explain and question the world around us.
In EYFS, our children begin their journey of discovery by predicting and interpreting results through a variety of in-depth discussions before and after experiments. As our young scientists move through KS1, the are able to independently ask questions and describe what they have found during their enquires. Through LKS2 the children’s questioning becomes more relevant and observations become more accurate including the formal presentation of data in various different ways. By the time the children are ready to leave us at the end of KS2, they are able to independently plan different types of scientific enquiry, at times developed from results of previous test outcomes and explain their conclusions including causal relationships between variables. Throughout all ages, we encourage the use of scientific vocabulary and through our modelling and progression of vocabulary, we develop an embedded use of technical language by the time the children leave Flyford.
Science is explored through ‘Understanding the World’ and is closely linked to children’s physical development when talking and learning about the body and how to keep it healthy. Volunteers, parents and members of the local community are invited in to share knowledge and first hand experiences of professions such as vets, doctors, firefighters and police as part of the ‘People Who Help Us’ topic. We also explore key scientists who have changed our lives. This includes Mary Anning as part of the ‘Dinosaur’ topic. Much of the learning is led by children’s interest in change, including changes to themselves, the environment and materials. Pupils discuss the seasons daily, completing the classroom weather chart. We explore how some places around the world have different weather to us and how this can affect their livelihood. The school environment provides children with the opportunity to make observations, collect items of interest and generate discussions which support questioning and prediction skills. The children are taught to care for and respect all living things by building bug hotels and feeding the birds in our forest school. They contribute to their own outside area through the planting of seeds, using the produce and showing care and respect for their immediate environment.
Key Stage One
The children will name, sort, identify and investigate everyday materials by exploring their environment and performing simple experiments such as testing the strength of different materials. They will use their senses to complete investigations and name and label their own body parts. Children will explore which animals are omnivores, carnivores and herbivores and compare animal body parts to their own through practical activities. The children will learn how to classify animals through song and movement. The children will engage in a variety of experiments to develop their observational and investigative skills. They will gather, record and interpret data about local weather patterns and observe changes throughout the seasons through nature walks to the local woods. Through this experience, they will observe and collect samples from common plants and trees. They will learn how to identify the basic structure of a flowering plant through cross curricular links with Art.
The children explore different materials, describe their properties and discuss how suitable they are for use in different everyday situations. They carry out investigations to test how waterproof different materials are. When exploring living things, pupils classify things as living, once alive and never alive. They spend time learning about familiar and unfamiliar habitats, which different animals start life in different forms, some as eggs and some as live births and they look at the needs of the young of different species. They also look at the life cycles of different animals and make detailed observations of how caterpillars metamorphose into butterflies. They extend their knowledge of the diets of different animals to understand about food chains. Pupils learn about plants and the difference between seeds and bulbs, having the opportunity to plant their own in the outdoor area. They plant sunflower seeds and monitor them weekly to investigate what they need for healthy growth. Each term the children explore our school grounds and observe the way that the plants and wildlife change through the seasons.
Lower Key Stage Two
For each of their topics, the children in years 3 and 4 are encouraged to learn through enquiry and investigation, they are introduced to their topics through linked texts and explore a key scientist who worked within their area of study. During their two year program of topics, pupils explore push and pull forces, as well as friction, and where these forces appear around them every day. They also describe the properties of a magnet in simple terms and learn about the uses of magnets. They complete fair tests to investigate what every day materials are magnetic and begin to think of reasons for this. The children explore the characteristics of rocks, learn their names and investigate where they see rocks around them. They carry out simple tests on different rocks, explore the composition of soil and think about how soil is made. They learn about the formation of fossils and make their own model fossils. Pupils look at pictures of dinosaur fossils and try to come to some conclusions about the living dinosaurs the fossils came from. They look at different food groups, human dietary requirements and begin to identify different food types and their different uses in the body and link this to their D&T project of designing and making a healthy sandwich. They consider the classification of animals according to diet as carnivores, herbivores or omnivores, researching the diets of animals in more detail and linking this to knowledge of teeth. Pupils learn about external and internal skeletons, making a life size skeleton diagram and studying the names and functions of the major bones in the human skeleton. In addition, the children learn about light and distinguish a light source from reflected light. They learn that light travels in straight lines, study how we see and are taught how to protect their eyes. They then carry out some experiments to find out about shadow formation, linking this to shadows that they may see. Pupils will carry out a long-term investigation each year including, factors that affect the growth of plants, observing and measuring their plants for the course of the investigation. They learn about the main functions of the different parts of a plant and will study the life cycle of a flowering plant, including studying the structure of a flower and the different methods of seed dispersal, put in to context by looking at plants from the nearby locality.
Pupils learn about sounds listening to and identifying sounds around them.
They learn how their ears work to detect sounds and carry out experiments to help them learn about loudness and pitch, using data loggers to investigate the best material for muffling sound. They also make and play musical instruments. Children then investigate states of matter, learning that materials come in three states of matter: solid, liquid or gas. They identify materials as solids, liquids or gases, including some that are harder to classify such as sand or sponge. They investigate changes of state. Pupils learn about electricity and find out that some materials allow electricity through them and others do not. They learn about the history of electricity and they make and test electrical circuits with a variety of components. Pupils will also learn about classification of a variety of living things and how they can be grouped according to shared characteristics. They use and construct keys to identify unfamiliar animals and plants. Pupils also learn about digestion, the structure of the mouth and about how to care for their teeth, investigating which drinks stain teeth the most. They explore a model of the digestive process, identifying and naming the major organs involved in the system. They explore interrelationships in food, constructing food chains and food webs.
Upper Key Stage Two
In Years Five and Six, pupils will continue to deepen their understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas, through exploration and discussions about their ideas; asking questions about scientific phenomena and analysing functions, relationships, and interactions more systematically. They will also be introduced to more abstract concepts and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates, whilst recognising that scientific thinking has changed and developed over time. Through our topics of Materials, Forces, Earth and Space, Living Things, Electricity, Light and Shadows, Keeping Healthy and Evolution and Inheritance, pupils will develop further their techniques and skills to select appropriate ways to answer scientific questions using different scientific enquiries and explore using a wide range of primary and secondary sources of information. Upper Key Stage 2 pupils should draw conclusions based on their data and observations, using evidence through recording data and results of increasing complexity to justify their ideas and use scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.
In our Living Things topic, pupils will explore and describe the differences in life cycles for mammals, amphibians, birds and insects and describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals, whilst noting the changes in human development to old age. They shall also learn to describe classifications of living things into broad groups based on similarities and differences in common, observable characteristics and then to give reasons for other classifications. The children should compare and group everyday materials on the basis of their properties and investigate solubility and recovery of substances through filtration and evaporation as well as demonstrate reversible and non-reversible changes in our Materials topic. We will also investigate and develop our knowledge of solids, liquids and gases and explore reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials.
Through our Earth and Space topic, pupils will describe the movement of the Earth and planets, relative to the Sun in our solar system and describe the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth. We shall explore the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the seasons and the apparent movement of the Sun across the sky. In Forces pupils shall explore the force of gravity, air and water resistance and friction that act between surfaces and how smaller forces such as pulleys can have a greater effect on objects. Light will allow pupils to develop further understanding of the idea that light appears to travel in straight lines and use this to explain in greater depth how objects are seen and why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them. Electricity will also allow the children a chance to further develop understanding in how the voltage of cells in a circuit affects the output of the circuit as well as to compare and explain variations in components functions. They will continue to extend their recognition and use of symbols in simple circuit diagrams.
Our studies of Keeping Healthy shall further embed and develop the knowledge from across their schooling on the importance of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyles on the way their bodies function. Pupils will also identify and name main parts of the circulatory system and describe the functions of blood, the heart and blood vessels. They shall also learn further to describe the way nutrients and water are transported. Pupils will also extend their knowledge and understanding of how living things have changed over time and how fossils provide information about living things on Earth millions of years ago. They will also explore how living things produce offspring of the same kind, but that offspring varies and they are not identical to their parents. Pupils also explore how plants and animals have adapted to their environments and that this adaptation may lead to evolution.