“The Science of today is the technology of tomorrow”
What we teach
At Mersey Park, we endeavour to provide all children with a purposeful, progressive, language rich science curriculum, which is developed through the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum for Science for Key Stage 1 and 2 and the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. We make sure that our curriculum is engaging and inclusive of all, encouraging children to be inquisitive throughout their time at the school and beyond.
We follow Science Bug as a curriculum start point for our lessons and adapt this to take into account the children’s needs, abilities and interests. We have identified that our children benefit from hands on learning, exposure to a wide range of vocabulary and opportunities for discussion and interaction so we endeavour to keep this at the heart of the development of knowledge within our Science Curriculum.
We ensure all learners, including vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils, develop their scientific knowledge and understanding through providing children with a wealth of high quality, hands on enquiries and by seeking out every opportunity to use our local environment to enhance the curriculum. We have carefully mapped out the Working Scientifically skills to ensure they are built-on and developed throughout children’s time at the school so that they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be inquisitive about their surroundings.
Our pupils know about a range of scientists, who have shaped the world we live in today and their contributions to our modern day lives. Through this, we aim to develop a curiosity and interest in the nature, process and methods of science and as a result create learners who are equipped with the skills and knowledge to help them understand how science can affect our lives today and in the future.
End points are taken from the National Curriculum aims and the Early Learning Goals and are looked at every half term, with some objectives discussed and revisited every lesson.
How we teach it
Starting in the Foundation Stage, our children are given many opportunities to investigate, through first hand exploration. We aim to develop lively, enquiring minds. Topics are carefully planned in sequence to ensure new learning builds upon prior knowledge and experiences.
We design our Science topics to help develop an understanding of the world that we live in and aims to stimulate a child’s curiosity to find out how and why things happen in the way they do. We encourage methods of enquiry and investigation to inspire creative thought. Children learn to ask scientific questions and are encouraged to engage in questioning and discussion about science-based issues which affect their lives, the society in which they live and the world as a whole. Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science.
Each topic starts with the children completing their ‘What do I know?’ bubble. This is an opportunity for the children to think about what they already know about a topic and activate any prior knowledge. This also allows the teacher to assess pupils’ starting knowledge and adapt their teaching as necessary. This is then reviewed and updated with gained knowledge at the end of each unit. Quizzes are used at the start of every lesson to revise prior learning, reinforce key knowledge and concepts and correct misunderstandings. This regular revision of key knowledge allows pupils time to embed this into their long-term memory. Key facts are also revised every science lesson through the use of our carefully created Knowledge Organisers that contain key vocabulary, sticky knowledge and information about significant individuals from that scientific field.
Use of knowledge boxes in each class filled with key questions support repetition and help to embed important knowledge from previous topics. The teaching of key subject specific vocabulary is a high priority across the school. Vocabulary is carefully selected to ensure progression and repetition to endeavor to embed this in to long term memory. It is revisited each lesson and using our ‘we know’, ‘we’ve heard of’ and ‘we don’t know yet’ vocabulary displays the children have an opportunity to revise, secure and develop their subject specific vocabulary knowledge. Vocabulary is modelled throughout the topic to build confidence and children are encouraged to speak like scientists.
Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching and hands on experiences. This is developed through the years, in keeping with the topics. We use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning.
Assessment, linked to Key Learning is used regularly to gauge knowledge retention and understanding. Where there is a particular concern over knowledge retention key questions are added to the knowledge box to be revisited regularly. Each unit ends with a summative assessment to inform whether each child is working at the expected level. Class teachers record assessment outcomes using our tracking grid and the subject leader analyses gaps in knowledge and skills. Actions are identified and followed up. Class teachers record assessment outcomes using our tracking grid and the subject leader analyses gaps in knowledge and skills. Actions are identified and followed up.
Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s knowledge of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with experts. Mersey Park children also get the possibility of learning about careers in science through our close links with Liverpool University Science department, who collaborate with us on our annual Science Week. Activities centre on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in order to promote future careers in this field.
Teachers are provided with regular opportunities to enhance their subject knowledge, share good practice and collaborate on planning. As well as this, teachers are encouraged to share expertise, team teach lessons where appropriate and make use of expert demonstrations, including online.
SMSC through Science
We use scientific evidence and investigations to support children’s spiritual understanding. This is achieved by exploring our relationship with the world, looking for meaning in natural and physical phenomena, and reflecting on our experiences so that they may inform our perspective on life. In doing so, we hope that all learners develop a sense of awe and wonder at the complexities of the natural world.
We encourage children to consider the moral decisions which underpin many aspects of modern day Science. e.g threats to our natural world through ‘Living Things and our Habitats’.
Children work collaboratively, share ideas and take responsibility for their own and others’ learning. In lesson time, children are also encouraged to consider both the positive and negative impact scientific discoveries can have on society such as the development of single use plastic.
Children learn to appreciate how Science permeates modern day culture and recognise that scientific advancements occur all over the world, from people of all backgrounds and cultures. Through conducting research, we challenge beliefs that progress comes largely from the UK or America and celebrate developments that take place in many different cultures.
The successful approach at Mersey Park results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world.
Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them. Frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom is embedded throughout the science curriculum. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts, children have the knowledge that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Children learn the possibilities for careers in science, as a result of our community links and connection with national agencies ensuring that children have access to positive role models within the field of science from the immediate and wider local community. Children at Mersey Park overwhelmingly enjoy science and this results in motivated learners with sound scientific understanding.
By the end of KS2, we aim for our mini scientists to have developed inquisitive minds, critical thinking skills and a thirst for knowledge. They should have problem solving skills to a variety of situations with increasing proficiency, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios. They should have a passion for the conservation of our local area and feel confident in using scientific knowledge and vocabulary to discuss significant scientific issues, which affect our lives today and in the future.
Here is a copy of our Long Term Overview for science.
Click below to view the curriculum expectations across the year groups for Science:
Click below to view our Scientists Overview for all year groups:
Science at Mersey Park
In Foundation 1 the children investigate how they can help their nursery rhyme friends. They investigate how they can help Humpty Dumpty to stop him from cracking if he falls off the wall again. They look at different materials to help protect him and predict which ones will protect him best. They conduct experiments to see which material might save him from another fall.
In Foundation 2 the children have the opportunity to plant seeds and bulbs and watch them grow. They water them daily and measure their growth. They find out what seeds and bulbs need to grow healthily. The children look for signs of Autumn. They enjoy exploring the natural world around them, touching and smelling the things which they find.
In Year 1 the children investigate parts of the human body and their five senses as part of their Animals, including Humans topic. They partake in experiments to explore these senses such as a listening walk, feely bags, taste test and even a smelly sock challenge! They explore the animal groups, features of these and what animals eat, including the vocabulary of carnivore, herbivore and omnivore. The children also prepare questions for a visit from a Zoo Keeper. They find out all about how animals are looked after in the zoo and what animals need.
In Year 2 the children start the year investigating materials. They look at the different properties of materials and the scientific vocabulary they use to describe them. They discuss the forces we can apply to different materials to change their state. They learn about gravity and the effect this has on objects.
In Year 3 the children learn about healthy eating and the five different food groups. They discuss what it means to have a balanced diet and how much of each food group you should eat. They learn about how our muscles work and the names of the bones in our body. The children revise the idea of forces from Year 2 and investigating further about how gravity works and how friction, air and water resistance act upon an object to affect their movement. They sort objects into Venn Diagrams based on which forces we can use on them.
In Year 4 the children learn about their teeth and how we need to look after our teeth. they complete an investigation to look at tooth decay. They create their own models of their teeth and learn the different names for our teeth. They also learn about the digestive system and how our bodies absorb food to give us energy. They also learn about electricity. They learn about the different components in a circuit and create simple circuits.
In Year 5 we learn about the wonders of space. The children research all of the planets and begin to understand what makes each one unique. The gain an understanding of the Earth’s rotation and how it moves through space. We look at night and day and the different phases of the moon. In the second half-term we look at different types of forces and how each one is impacts our world.
In Year 6 the children learn about electricity. They recap the knowledge they have from their Year 4 topic of the different components in a circuit and how to create a simple circuit and they begin to look at how the number of cells within a circuit can affect other components such as light bulbs and buzzers. They also learn about light and how light travels and how we see objects building on their knowledge of sight from Year 1. They also investigate why we see shadows and how to create them. They learn about reflection and what makes a good reflective surface.
In Foundation 1 the children continue to take note of changes to the weather and looks for clues as to which season it is. They use their senses to explore the natural environment and find spider webs in the outdoor area.
In Foundation 2 the children enjoy spending time in their outdoor areas, noticing the changes to the trees and also to the bulbs they planted in the Autumn.
In Year 1 the children describe the physical properties of a variety of everyday materials. They compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of their simple properties. They name, identify and describe the properties of different materials, for example wood, metal, plastic, rubber, fur, towelling, nylon, wool, sponge, cotton wool, paper, card, brick, ceramics and rock. They label, collect and group together objects made from the same material. They state that different objects can be manufactured from the same materials. They say why some materials are unsuitable for some objects.
In Year 2 the children learn about what humans and animals need to survive and the importance of looking after our bodies. They also learn about how animals, including humans, have babies which grow into adults and some of the changes which happen to our bodies as we grow.
In Year 3 in the Spring term the children learn about Light. They learn about different light sources and simple properties of light including how shadows are made and how light can be reflected off certain surfaces. They will also learn about how light from the sun can be dangerous and the ways in which we can protect our eyes and skin from the sun.
In Year 4 in the Spring term the children learn about Living Things and Their Habitats. They learn how to use classification keys to group living things based on their characteristics. They also will learn about the features of different environments and how environments can change and how this can pose dangers to living things.
This term the children learn the processes involved with combining and separating mixtures. They will explore reversible and non-reversible changes. they will also compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties, including hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity and responce to magnets.
In Year 6, we have learnt all about how living things have evolved over time to adapt to their surroundings. We studied fossils and looked for clues about the creatures that created them. We also learnt about character traits that have been inherited from relatives and also how plants and animals adapt to their environment.
In Foundation 1 the children investigate the life cycle of a caterpillar.
In Foundation 2 the children enjoy a visit to St. Catherine’s church where they listen to the story of Creation from the Bible. They have fun exploring the gardens looking at all of the wonderful things that Christians believe God has created. In the classroom they plant a range of seasonal fruit and vegetables including sweetcorn, tomatoes and strawberries. They enjoy looking after them, watching them grow and change and always look forward to tasting them too. After reading the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, the children are always keen to grow beanstalks of their own. They wonder if the Giant might use them to climb back up to his castle.
In Year 1 the children explore what grows in our local environment by hunting around the school grounds. They use all their senses to complete this hunt as many plants give off lovely scents. They also enjoy investigating plants in the classroom, identifying the different parts of the plant and growing plants of their own.
In Year 2 the children learn about the habitats many animals live in and explore the micro-habitats within the school grounds. When they move on to their plants topic they investigate different conditions in which to grow plants in the classroom and the effect on plants in different temperature and light conditions. They also grow a range of mystery seeds to see if they grow to different heights and into different plants.
In Year 3 the children investigate different leaves and the tress they come from. They learn about the importance of roots and their function.
In Year 4 the children explore sound and make their own instruments; a shrieking balloon, a straw oboe, a comb saxophone and a bottle orchestra. They then explore how to change the pitch of their instruments. In their states of matter work they compare and group materials according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases. They observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled.
In Year 5 the children look at animal life cycles. They compare and contrast the cycles of different types of animals, including complete and incomplete metamorphosis. They also take their own true or false questions on life cycles which they then revisit at the end of the topic to see if they have learnt anything new.
During the living things and their habitats topic in Year 6 the children classify plants and animals based on their characteristics. They sort leaves using Venn diagrams and branching diagrams and classify buttercups that they find in the school grounds. They learn how to use a classification table and use it to group living things.
Our children have the opportunity to attend a science club where they investigate more into the fun side of science. They investigate how the viscosity of a liquid can affect how they mix. They discover the world of chromatography to create their own colourful flowers. They investigate forces by creating their own rocket racers and sticky slime.
Year 2 Creepy Crawly Show
In Year 2 the children raise money for the Creepy Crawly show to visit. They learn about the different needs of mini beats and tropical animals.
British Science Week
As part of British Science Week all year groups undertook an adventurous investigation or exploration. Have a browse at the galleries below to see some of the work we did:
DNA Science Workshop delivered by Liverpool University students
SCIENCE REPORT TO GOVERNORS