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Curriculum Design

at Didsbury CE Primary School

Teachers use their local area to help support the teaching of science as much as possible. Whether it is in KS1 with regular trips to the park to observe the changing seasons, or in KS2 where the children go to Pooles Cavern to look at natural rock formations. Children also have visits from local STEM ambassadors who help instil in them the understanding that scientist can be any age, culture, and even from their local area! Building upon this, the children in KS2 also had regular trips to both the local high school and universities to explore different scientific professions, such as a forensic scientist or a nutritionist.

A broad and balanced curriculum

At Didsbury CE children study science for the equivalent of 60 minutes a week in KS1 and one and a half hours a week in KS2. In science we ensure all children have access to experiencing different environments and have hands on experimental experience, be allowed to ‘get things wrong’ and develop resilience and investigational skills. We have always been committed to providing a broad and balanced curriculum that is not narrowed in end of key stage years.  We passionately believe that the science curriculum builds upon the skills and knowledge of the core subjects. For example, the science curriculum gives opportunity for high level and substantial pieces of writing that contextualise the skills taught in the English curriculum.

Implementation – how we teach what we teach

At Didsbury CE science is taught throughout the school, from Nursery to Year 6. In our EYFS curriculum, science is covered in the Understand the World Early Learning Goals. Children in our Nursery and Reception have a range of different opportunities to explore scientific concepts, both inside the classroom and in the outdoor areas. Continuous provision activities are planned to provide independent learning to support and reinforce whole class teaching.

In KS1 and KS2 science is taught weekly as a discrete lesson, following a particular topic, with ‘working scientifically’ being embedded in all areas. These lessons are taught by the class teacher, who plans lessons based on the national curriculum objectives in biology, chemistry, physics and working scientifically. Science is a core subject and at Didsbury CE we devote approximately two hours of curriculum time to the subject each week.

Impact – how we measure what we teach

The impact of the science curriculum is that the children will have the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics; be able to use science to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes; and finally have an inquisitive mind ready to investigate the world around them. Children at Didsbury CE are thoroughly prepared for the next stage of their educational journey and beyond.

The children’s learning journey in science is assessed each half term using the current assessment framework and reported on formally to parents at the end of each academic year.  The progress of each child will be tracked throughout their time at Didsbury CE Primary.

How Learning is Sequenced

Throughout the science curriculum at Didsbury CE there is an expectation of high academic standards and children at Didsbury CE enjoy the opportunity to be scientists. The design of the curriculum and the opportunities afforded the children mean that high standard of writing in science is the same as it is in the core subjects.  We passionately believe that all children regardless of background can reach those high standards.   Pupil premium is used to ensure that all children have full access to the science curriculum and any enrichment activities.  For children with SEN, our science curriculum and the resources we use are adapted so that they have the opportunity to receive their full educational entitlement.  Our science curriculum is designed so that all may be challenged to fulfil their potential.

Below are the units that children study for Science each half term.

  Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Nursery All about me
Exploring a collection of material with similar properties
The five senses
Hands on exploration of materials
People who help us
Explore push and pull
Properties of materials and wind-up toys
Farm animals
Growing seeds & life cycle of plants
In the garden
Life cycles of animals
Reception Natural world, magnets and materials Seasonal changes and the weather Weather, seasons, habitats, cold and warm, melting, naming baby animals Naming birds and plants, life cycles of butterfly's, micro habitats, vibrations of musical instruments, observing light through materials
Year 1
Human Body & Senses Identifying Animals Materials Plants & Growing a Bean Plant
Year 2 Living things & their habitats Living things & their habitats Use of everyday materials Use of everyday materials Animals including humans (growth & survival) Plants
Year 3 Animals Including Humans Light and Shadows Forces and Magnets Rocks and Fossils Plants, Roots and Shoots Plants - Flowers, Fruits and Seeds
Year 4 Sound Sound States of matter Electricity Animals including Humans Living things and their habitats
Year 5 Earth and Space Forces Changes in Properties of materials Changes in Properties of materials Living things and their habitats Animals including humans
Year 6 Light Electricity Evolution and Inheritance Animals Including Humans Animals Including Humans All Living Things

Working Scientifically

Working Scientifically

At Didsbury CE School we will ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout their school career so that they can use equipment, conduct experiments, build arguments and explain concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.

Consequently, the children will have the opportunity to become increasingly proficient and confident at:

  • Being able to ask why?
  • Following their own line of enquire
  • Developing scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding
  • Implementing a range of investigations
  • Understanding the world around them
  • Developing questioning, reasoning and investigation skills

Enquiry Types

Enquiry Types

The curriculum content and design provide children with the key scientific knowledge, skills and understanding they need to be ready for their next stage of education.  The exploration, enquiry and independent testing opportunities that thread through our curriculum equip our children, whatever their social background, the soft skills such as critical thinking and teamwork that are vital to success in 21st century Britain. 

Discussion and Deeper Thinking

Discussion and Deeper Thinking

Science fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. Through the programmes of study in the National Curriculum science document children will acquire and develop these skills throughout their Primary years and develop their natural curiosity about the world in which they live.

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