Mr T Last – Science Lead

At Hillfort, we strongly believe that the learning opportunities we provide for our pupils must be meaningful. For this reason, we strive to deliver a science curriculum that is not only progressive in nature; building step-by-step upon firm foundations of prior knowledge, but that also provides our pupils with an understanding of its context in relation to the wider world.

We believe that as well as developing a strong scientific body of knowledge, it is equally important for our children to develop other aspects of their ‘science capital’. We particularly understand the importance of ‘tacit knowledge’ and for this reason, base our curriculum on the belief that learning should be practical and ‘first hand’ whenever it is possible for it to be so.

In order to nurture future scientists, we know that our children must be allowed to develop the attributes required for them to succeed. These attributes are reflected by our school values: challenge, aspiration, resilience, courage and kindness. Through our science curriculum, we endeavour to send pupils forward on their education journey, with the enthusiasm and tools required to follow a career in science.

Long Term Planning

Hillfort Specific

Embody the school’s values
Kindness, resilience, challenge, courage, aspiration.
Understanding how successful scientists have had to show these core values.
Cultural isolation
Embracing multiculturalism and fighting the corrosive effects of intolerance.
Understanding how the work of scientists from around the world positively impact our everyday lives.
Closing the vocabulary gap
Plan for reading to improve tier 2 words.
Introducing key scientific vocabulary (tier 3 words) through RADAR model, Knowledge organisers and working walls.
Developing Oracy
Asking and answering questions.
Articulating scientific concepts clearly and precisely.
Being able to explain what we have learnt rather than what we have done.

Key Concepts

Science within a context
Use of real life context to maximise pupil’s engagement and learning. The context of our learning should be linked to current events both locally and around the world e.g. cleaning water for children in a third world country.
Consequences and impact
How science has changed our lives in the past and how it will influence our future. Build in teaching of significant scientific discoveries of the past. How did these change thinking and understanding at the time? How did these discoveries drive society forwards?
Local vs Global
Understanding of whether the observations we make or results we see are likely to be similar or different in other parts of the country or in other parts of the world.
Concrete vs Abstract
Producing scientists who understand the difference between science that we are able to observe or experience in our own classroom or the local environment and science that requires children to think in a more abstract way.

Scientific Concepts – Types of enquiry

Observation over time
Observing changes that can take place over seconds, minutes, hours, days or longer (seasons).
Pattern Seeking
Looking for patterns between two sets of measurements or variables.
Identifying, Classifying and Grouping
Children use observational skills to look for similarities and differences. Children make links and organise things into groups.
Comparative and Fair testing
Children testing outcomes based on changing specific variables.
Children use a range of secondary sources to find evidence. Children need to decide upon the validity of a source. Excellent opportunity to practice reading and oracy (explanation) skills.

Scientific Skills (enquiry)

PlanAsking questions and planning an enquiry
Making predictions
Setting up an enquiry
DoObserve and measure
Interpret and report

Scientific Skills (wider)

DoUsing equipment accurately
Application of Maths skills
Skills of a scientist: problem solving, trial and error, systematic thinking, systematic working.

Curriculum Maps:

Year 1
4 weeks
Seasonal Changes (Autumn)
Observe changes across the four seasons.
Identify deciduous trees.
6 weeks
Everyday Materials
Distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made.
Identify and name a variety of everyday materials, including wood, plastic, glass, metal, water and rock.
Describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials.
Compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of their simple physical properties.
7 weeks
Identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
Identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores.
Describe and compare the structure of a variety of common animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including pets).
2 weeks
Seasonal Changes (Winter)
Observe changes across the four seasons.
Observe and describe weather associated with the seasons and how day length varies.
Identify evergreen trees.
2 weeks
Describe and compare the structure of a variety of common animals (tusks, trunks, claws, tails, feathers etc.)
8 weeks
Identify, name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body.
Say which part of the body is associated with each sense.
6 weeks
Plants (planting in week 1)
Identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees.
Identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants as well as deciduous trees.
2 weeks
Seasonal Changes (Spring)
Observe changes across the four seasons.
Observe and describe weather associated with the seasons and how day length varies.
Year 2
7 weeks
Uses of everyday materials
Identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses.
Find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.
3 weeks
Everyday Electricity
Identify common appliances that run on electricity.
Group materials according to whether they run on mains or batteries.
Investigate static electricity.
6 weeks
Animals, including humans
Find out about and describe the basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival (water, food and air).
Describe the importance for humans of exercise, eating the right amounts of different types of food, and hygiene.
2 weeksForces and movement.
7 weeks
Plants (including planting)
Observe and describe how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants.
Find out and describe how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and stay healthy.
3 weeks
Animals, including humans
Notice that animals, including humans, have offspring which grow into adults.
11 weeks
Living things and their habitats
Explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive.
Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants (recap), and how they depend on each other.
Identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including microhabitats.
Describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain.
Identify and name different sources of food.
Year 3
7 weeks
Forces and Magnets
Compare how things move on different surfaces.
Notice that some forces need contact between two objects, but magnetic forces can act at a distance.
Observe how magnets attract or repel each other and attract some materials and not others.
Compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of whether they are attracted to a magnet, and identify some magnetic materials.
Describe magnets as having two poles.
Predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, depending on which poles are facing.
8 weeks
Recognise that they need light in order to see things and that dark is the absence of light.
Notice that light is reflected from surfaces.
Recognise that light from the sun can be dangerous and that there are way to protect their eyes.
Recognise that shadows are formed when the light from a light source is blocked by an opaque object.
Find patterns in the way that the size of shadows change.
6 weeks
Animals including humans
Identify that animals, including humans, need the right types and amount of nutrition, and that they cannot make their own food; they get nutrition from what they eat.
Identify that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement.
10 weeks
Identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots, stem/trunk, leaves and flowers.
Explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant.
Investigate the way in which water is transported within plants.
Explore the part that flowers play in the life cycle of flowering plants, including pollination, seed formation and seed dispersal.
8 weeks
Compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basic of their appearance and simple physical properties.
Describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock.
Recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter.
Year 4
8 weeks
Identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating.
Recognise that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear.
Find patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it.
Find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it.
Recognise that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases.
7 weeks
Construct a simple series electrical circuit, identifying and naming its basic parts, including cells, wires, bulbs, switches and buzzers.
Identify whether or not a lamp will light in a simple series circuit, based on whether or not the lamp is part of a complete loop with a battery.
Recognise that a switch opens and closes a circuit and associate this with whether or not a lamp lights in a simple series circuit.
Recognise some common conductors and insulators, and associate metals with being good conductors.
3 weeks
Environment science
Recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things.
8 weeks
Animals including humans
Describe the simple functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans.
Identify the different types of teeth in humans and their simple functions.
Construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey.
8 weeks
States of Matter
Compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases.
Observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (°C).
Identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature.
5 weeks
Living things and their Habitats
Recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways.
Explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment.
Recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things.
Year 5
8 weeks
Explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object.
Identify the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction that act between moving surfaces.
Recognise that some mechanisms, including levers, pulleys and gears, allow a smaller force to have a greater effect.
8 weeks
Earth and Space
Describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system.
Describe the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth.
Describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies.
Use the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky.
6 weeks
Changes of materials
Know that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution, and describe how to recover a substance from a solution.
Use knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated, including through filtering, sieving and evaporating.
Demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes.
Explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this king of change is not usually reversible, including changes associated with burning and the action of acid on bicarbonate of soda.
7 weeks
Properties of materials
Compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties, including their hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity (electrical and thermal), and response to magnets.
Give reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials, including metals, wood and plastic.
7 weeks
Living things and their Habitats
Describe the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird.
Describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals.
4 weeks
Animals including humans
Describe the changes as humans develop to old age.
Year 6
8 weeks
Associate the brightness of a lamp or the volume of a buzzer with the number and voltage of cells used in the circuit.
Compare and give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches.
Use recognised symbols when representing a simple circuit in a diagram.
6 weeks
Recognise that light appears to travel in straight lines.
Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye.
Explain that we see things because light travels from light sources to our eyes or from light sources to objects and then to our eyes.
Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them.
9 weeks
Animals including humans
Identify and name the main parts of the human circulatory system, and describe the functions of the heart, blood vessels and blood.
Recognise the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way their bodies function.
Describe the ways in which nutrients and water are transported within animals, including humans.
6 weeks
Living things and their habitats
Describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including microorganisms, plants and animals.
Give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics.
7 weeks
Evolution and Inheritance
Recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.
Recognise that living things produce offspring of the same king, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents.
Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may head to evolution.