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Science at Red Hill

Purpose of study:

A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Our subject leader for Science is

Mrs K Stephens 



Children at Red Hill Primary School will work scientifically:


  • To understand plants, animals and humans.
  • To investigate living things.
  • To understand evolution and inheritance.


  • To investigate materials.


  • To understand movement, forces and magnets.
  • To understand the Earth’s movement in space.
  • To investigate light and seeing, sound and hearing.
  • To understand electrical circuits.

In KS1 working scientifically will involve:

  • Asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
  • Observing closely, using simple equipment
  • Performing simple tests
  • Identifying and classifying
  • Using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
  • Gathering and recording data to help in answering questions

Year 1


As part of our ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ topic children will be learning to identify, name and describe a variety of everyday materials. They will be describing  properties and using this to compare and group them, learning to distinguish between the object and the material it is made from.


As part of our topic on ‘China’ children will be learning about light sources and shadows. They will learn that it is not safe to ever look directly at the sun. The second topic ‘Plant Power’ will teach the children to identify and name a variety of plants. We will be identifying, classifying and naming the basic structures of common flowering plants and trees. We will be using our fantastic school and local outdoor learning environment to observe and describe the conditions plants need to grow, including plants that we will plant ourselves and think about how they change over time. We will be observing and describing the weather and thinking about weather associated with the seasons and how this effects how plants grow.


In the final part of the year we will be identifying, naming, describing and comparing a variety of common animals including fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. We hope there are lots of pets that can visit school, in person or through photos or video clips. We will also be learning more about ourselves and our senses and how these help us find out about the world. We will be enjoying some taste tests and some hearing games!

Year 2


As part of ‘Our families’ topic we will carry on the work about ourselves and learn more about older and younger people in our families. We will be finding out about, and describing things that people (and our pets) need to survive, including water, food and air. We will learn about eating the right amounts of different types of food, keeping clean and linking with our PE, the importance of exercise.

As part of our ‘Shipwrecked’ topic we will be identifying and comparing the suitability of a variety of everyday materials to help us survive as we are shipwrecked on our island. We will find out how the shapes of some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.


As part of our London topic, we will continue to think about materials, especially everyday materials such as wood, metal, plastic, glass and brick that are used to create buildings. We will be talking about, and comparing their suitability. We will also be thinking about electricity by looking at appliances and simple circuits. We will also learn about electrical safety.

Later, as part of our ‘Favourite Stories’ topic we will be observing and describing how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants (Jack and the Beanstalk). We will also be finding out and describing how plants need water, the right temperature and light to stay healthy.


During our ‘At the Seaside’ and ‘Rainforest’ topics we will be exploring and comparing the differences between the things that are living, dead and things that have never been alive. We will be finding out about habitats. How living things are suited to the habitats they live in, and how different habitats provide for the different needs of different animals and plants. We will be looking at interdependence between plant and animal species, including the idea of a simple food chain.

Working scientifically in Years 3 and 4 will involve:

  • Asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them
  • Setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests
  • Making systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers
  • Gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions
  • Recording findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables
  • Reporting on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions
  • Using results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions
  • Identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes
  • Using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.

Year 3


Our first topic in year 3 is

Our topic is ‘Footprints in the Past. We will be comparing and grouping different types of rocks based on what they look like and their properties. We will be learning about fossils, how they are formed and what they once were. We will be experimenting with soils and learning about what they are made from, including rocks and organic matter.

Our second topic is ‘Forces and Magnets’. We will be comparing how things move on different surfaces. We will learn that some forces need contact between two objects, but magnetic forces can act at a distance. We will observe how magnets attract and repel each other and some materials but not others, grouping materials on whether they are magnetic or not. Children will describe magnets as having two poles and predict whether they will attract or repel each other.



Light and Dark’. Children will learn they need light in order to see things and how light is reflected from surfaces. We will learn about sun safety. We will be exploring shadows, how they are formed and finding patterns in the way the sizes of shadows change.



Living and Growing’. We will be using the local environment to explore the requirements of plants for life and growth and how they vary from plant to plant. We will be investigating the way water is transported in plants. We will learn to identify and describe in more detail the functions of different parts of flowering plants. We will also be exploring the part that flowers play in the lifecycle of flowering plants.

We will link this to learning about animals and humans and how they need the right types of nutrition.

Year 4


As part of our ‘Fire and Ice’ topic children will be learning about solids, liquids and gasses. They will be observing how some materials can change state when they are heated or cooled and they will be researching the temperature at which this happens. We will looking at the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and learning how evaporation is linked to temperature.


In our topic ‘Marvellous Me’ we will be learning more about our bodies and how they work. We will be describing and learning about what happens as we eat, starting from identifying the different types of teeth in humans and their functions, then moving on to learn about the basic parts of the digestive system. We will also be constructing and interpreting food chains, learning about producers, predators and prey. We will also be learning about sound. We will be identifying how sounds are made how these vibrations travel through a medium to the ear. We will be looking for patterns between the pitch of a sound and the volume of the sound. We will learn that sound gets fainter or louder due to distance from the sound source.


‘Bright Sparks’ has an electrical scientific focus. We will be learning toidentify common appliances that run on electricity, to construct and draw a simple series electrical circuit and identify and name its basic parts, including cells, wires, bulbs, switches and buzzers. We will be making predictions about whether or circuits will work. We will learn to recognise some common conductors and insulators, and which metals are good conductors.

In the last part of year 4 our science work in our ‘Home and Away’ topic will involve exploring and using classification keys to group, identify and name living things in our local environment and further afield. We will be looking at environmental change and how this can sometimes pose dangers.

Working scientifically in Years 5 and 6 will involve:

  • Planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary
  • Taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate
  • Recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs
  • Using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests
  • Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations
  • Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

Year 5


During our topic on WWII we will be taking elements from different scientific units such as air resistance, the force of gravity and components of the solids, liquids and gasses unit to learn about particular features of WWII in a scientific context.


Science learning during our topic on the Vikings will be based on forces. Children will learn the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction that act between moving surfaces. They will be learning to explain how objects fall to the Earth because of the force of gravity. They will also experiment with mechanisms, including leavers, pulleys and gears to allow a smaller force to have a greater effect. During this topic, the children will learn about properties and changes of materials, how some materials will dissolve to form a solution and how to recover that solution. They will develop their knowledge of solids, liquids and gasses and decide how these mixtures may be separated. They will experiment with dissolving and mixing to learn how changes of state can be reversible and how some changes are permanent. We will expect the children to use evidence from comparative and fair tests to support their reasoning during this unit of work.


Linking with the PSHE curriculum, the children will be learning to describe changes in the human body as they grow and develop. There will be an emphasis on the physical changes of puberty. They will be describing the differences of lifecycles of different creatures and learning about and describing the process of reproduction in some animals.

There is a major scientific topic in the summer term (‘Ground Control to Major Tom’), a topic about Earth and Space. Children will be learning about our solar system and the movement of the Earth and other planets in relation to the sun. They will be learning to describe the sun and the planets of the solar system. They will also learn about the moon’s orbit of Earth and how the rotation of the Earth explains day and night.

Year 6


Our first topic in Year 6 is the Victorians. We will be learning about evolution and inheritance. The children will recognise how living things have changed over time and how fossils provide information about living things that previously inhabited the Earth. Children will learn to recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind but offspring may vary and are not identical to their parents. We will return to look at habitats and environments but expand this to explore how adaptation may lead to evolution. We will learn about the lives and work of Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace. Also, during their work on the Victorians, children will revise their learning on electricity and extend this learning to include knowledge of voltage of cells, variations in how components in an electrical circuit function and use recognised symbols when drawing a circuit diagram.


During our topic ‘Inside Out’ we will revise Year 3 and 4 learning about the human body. We will identify and name the main features and functions of the human circulatory system. Linked to our PSHE work, we will learn about the effects of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way our bodies function. We will revise work on the digestive system and how water and nutrients are transported within animals, including humans.

In the second topic in the spring term called ‘Where in the World’ we will return to living things and their habitats. We will revise classification and give reasons based on specific characteristics. We will look at the work of Carl Linnaeus, a pioneer of classification. Children will complete their own research topic on an environment of their choice, analysing habitats and classifying plants and animals. They will be expected to show an understanding of all they have learnt.


During the topic ‘The Greeks’ the children will revise learning about materials, forces and magnets, focusing on fair test experiments linked to their topic. They will also revise learning about the Earth and space, linking it to Greek knowledge and understanding at the time.