At Portland Primary we are now working with the new National Curriculum science scheme. The new curriculum balances the use of science knowledge, skills and understanding and places an emphasis on working scientifically.
An important change is that the range of science enquiry is increased to include much more than fair testing - with children now required to observe over time, identify and classify, seek for patterns, and research using secondary sources in order to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
The introduction of the new curriculum saw Portland employ a 'Learning Challenge' approach, with lessons often starting with a question and learning objectives differentiated, so that all children are stretched and challenged.
In terms of curriculum topics covered a lot of the content is the same, though sometimes changed to a different year group. The main changes are the inclusion of: evolution and inheritance, digestion, fossil formation, the digestive system, gears, levers and pulleys and a greater emphasis on identifying and classifying plants and animals. The topic of Microorganisms has gone from the curriculum as has ‘physical processes’ at KS1. There is more emphasis on identifying and naming living things, especially in KS1 and in Year One the children will be learning about seasonal changes, including variation in day length.
A significant change in Lower Key Stage Two is the introduction of the digestive system topic, whilst Upper Key Stage Two (Year Six) will see the children learning about Evolution and Inheritance for the first time - a topic moved down from Key Stage Three.
A year by year breakdown of topics
Year 1: Working scientifically; Animals, including humans; Plants; Everyday Materials; Seasonal Changes.
Year 2: Working Scientifically; Animals, including Humans; Plants; Everyday Materials; Living Things and their Habitats.
Year 3: Plants; Animals, including Humans; Forces and Magnets; Light; Rocks (new).
Year 4: Animals, including Humans; Living Things and their Habitats; States of Matter; Electricity; Sound.
Year 5: Animals, including Humans; Living Things and their Habitats; Properties and Changes of Materials; Forces; Earth and Space.
Year 6: Animals, including Humans; Living Things and their Habitats; Electricity, Light, Evolution and Inheritance.
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) are taught and assessed against the statements in the non statutory guidance ‘Early Years Outcomes’. Teachers plan according to a child’s age and stage of development. Where a child in EYFS 1 enters with a low baseline they may be taught and assessed against the 22-36 months statements. However typically children in EYFS 1 will be working within the 30-50m age band while children in EYFS 2 will be working within the 40-60+m age band.
Children progress from emerging to developing and then expected in each band before moving into the next. At the end of EYFS 2 children will be assessed against the Early Learning Goals. A child is seen to have a good level of development (GLD) if they reach the Early Leaning Goals in the prime areas (personal, social and emotional development, physical development and communication and language) as well as maths and literacy.
The EYFS has 7 areas of learning-3 prime areas and 4 specific areas:
Prime areas Personal, social and emotional development
Communication and language
Specific areas Literacy
Understanding the world
Expressive arts and design
Understanding the world includes history, geography, science, ICT, RE.