THE NEW PRIMARY CURRICULUM FOR SCIENCE
In keeping with the shift from a skills based curriculum to a knowledge-based one, the new programme of study for science puts a greater focus on acquiring scientific knowledge, and less emphasis on developing scientific skills and understanding.
The scientific enquiry strand, now called working scientifically, is set out on a two-yearly basis. As before, this aspect is not taught separately, but is embedded throughout the subject. Despite the yearly layout, it is only compulsory to teach the content by the end of the relevant key stage.
There is greater progression in the skills of scientific enquiry.
In Key Stage 1, pupils are expected to do less than before – they no longer need to make
predictions, recognise unfair tests or compare results with predictions. In Upper Key Stage 2, pupils are expected to do more
– to work more independently, make more accurate measurements, and keep more complex records.
There is greater emphasis on learning scientific vocabulary.
Throughout the new programme of study, pupils are required to read and spell scientific vocabulary. However, a vocabulary list is not provided.
Habitats and food chains are now introduced in Key Stage 1.
In Year 2, pupils learn how different habitats provide for the needs of different living things, and represent feeding relationships within a habitat using a simple food chain.
Evolution and inheritance is a new area of study in Year 6.
By studying fossils, pupils learn that living things change over time – a process called evolution. They learn that although characteristics are passed from one generation to the next, offspring vary from their parents. Gradually this variation, acted on by the process of natural selection (survival of the fittest), makes living things more suited to their environment – they evolve.
Other additions to the programme of study include:
in Year 1, seasonal changes;
in Year 3, the transportation of water in plants;
in Year 4, the human digestive system;
in Year 5, the solar system;
Science is all about finding new things out, discovering how things work and investigating what we can do with this new knowledge. I love it!