Coppice Valley Primary School

Learners for Life



At Coppice Valley we recognise the importance of our pupils acquiring a wide range of scientific enquiry skills, together with scientific knowledge. We are guided by the National Curriculum for Science (2014). The National curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all pupils develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Pupils will develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them. Pupils will be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

Our Science curriculum allows every child to access lessons through quality first teaching and scaffolding of learning to meet pupils’ needs. All pupils expand their vocabularies as they learn, adding Scientific words to their expressive vocabulary. Science offers all pupils the opportunity to expand their spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding as they consider the role of Science in the world today and in the past. The history of Science expands pupils’ understanding of how Science has shaped the world. Children have opportunity to consider how Scientific discoveries have impacted on the world and the ethical codes Scientists follow.

Our Science learning is topic linked, as far as possible, so that meaningful connections can be made to other subjects e.g. history and maths. Cornerstones topics provide high quality knowledge and skills-based learning. We also use Cornerstones Love to Investigate Science investigations for additional opportunities to develop Scientific enquiry skills. Wherever possible we integrate outdoor and real life learning into our Science work e.g. using our grounds to study animals and habitats, visiting the aquarium and local horticultural society garden.

Values Led-Learning

Brave: Children will gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of biology, chemistry and physics. Children will be challenged to learn the key scientific facts and to develop accurate scientific skills. They will show resilience, resourcefulness and independence as they research, theorise and draw conclusions.

Curious: Children will be unendingly curious and eager to learn about Science. They will be inspired by the great Scientists of the past and current times to know more and seek answers to their questions. Children will ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement, through their History lessons.

Kind: Through the teaching of Science we endeavour to teach children to respect nature, the world and the power of Science to change our lives. Children will consider questions of morality within the world of Science and the role it plays in changing lives.

Curriculum at each phase

In EYFS, children are taught to make sense of the world around them. They will learn to develop their skills of observation, prediction, critical thinking and discussion. The children will conduct experiments, be encouraged to explore different methods of discovery, and they will start to use drawings and charts to present their findings. Children will work with a range of materials both inside and out of the classroom.

In KS1, children learn to ask questions (for example, what would happen if I didn't give a plant water? What would happen if I tried to bend some plastic?). They learn to observe closely, using simple equipment and identify and classify things. Using their observations and ideas, children learn to suggest answers to questions they may have. Pupils learn to gather and record data to help in answering these questions. The National Curriculum topics covered are:

  • Living things and their habitats - compare things that are living, dead and things that have never been alive, describe how different habitats provide needs for different kinds of animals, name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including micro-habitats, describe simple food chains
  • Plants - observe and describe how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants, describe how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and stay healthy
  • Animals, including humans - understand that animals have offspring which grow into adults, find out about the basic needs of animals (water, food, air), describe the importance of good diet, exercise and hygiene
  • Use of everyday materials - identify and compare suitability of a variety of everyday materials for particular uses, find out how shapes of solid objects can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching


In KS2 children first learn, in Years 3 and 4, what a 'fair test' is, take measurements using a range of equipment, gather and record data, report their findings orally and in writing. They progress, in Year 5 and 6, by understanding what variables are and how to control them, take measurements from a range of equipment, understanding the need for repeated measures to increase accuracy, gather and record data using labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs, use test results to make further predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests and make conclusions on the test carried out, orally and in writing.

In Years 3 and 4 children build on their learning in KS1 by learning:

  • Plants - identifying the functions of parts of plants, understanding what plants need to grow, investigating transportation of water within plants, exploring the life cycle of plants.
  • Animals, including humans - understanding that animals need nutrition to survive, identifying the function of skeletons and muscles.
  • Rocks - comparing and grouping rocks, investigating fossils, recognising how soil is made.
  • Light - understanding that dark is the absence of light, investigating light reflection from surfaces, looking at how shadows are formed and how they change.
  • Forces and magnets - understanding magnetic attraction and repulsion, determining which materials are magnetic, understanding that magnets have two poles.
  • Living things and their habitats - use classification keys to group living things, recognise that environments can change and this can pose dangers.
  • Animals, including humans - describe the functions of the digestive system in humans, identify types of teeth in humans and their simple functions, interpret food chains, naming producers, predators and prey.
  • States of matter - classify materials as solids, liquids or gases, observe that materials change state when they are heated or cooled, understand evaporation and condensation as part of the water cycle.
  • Sound - understand how sounds are made through vibrations, look at how pitch and volume can be altered.
  • Electricity - understand how a circuit is made up of cells, wires, bulbs, switches and buzzers, recognise some common conductors and insulators.

In Years 5 and 6 pupils progress by revisiting key scientific knowledge and skills and adding to them. This includes:

  • Living things and their habitats - describe how living things are classified into groups including micro-organisms, plants and animals, give reasons for classifying plants and animals
  • Animals, including humans - identify and name parts and functions of the human circulatory system, recognise the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way the body functions, describe how nutrients and water are transported within animals
  • Evolution and inheritance - learn how fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth in the past, recognise that living things produce offspring that are not identical to their parents, identify how plants and animals are adapted to suit their environment and that adaptation may lead to evolution
  • Light - understand that light appears to travel in straight lines and is necessary for us to see objects, understand how shadows are formed
  • Electricity - investigate how the brightness of a lamp and the volume of a buzzer changes with the number and voltage of cells used in a circuit, give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on / off positions of switches, use recognised symbols when representing a circuit in a diagram