Lower School Curriculum
Children are encouraged to do as much as possible practically and to discuss their findings so that their discoveries lead to ideas for further investigation. Most practical work is done in pairs or small groups.
A large number of skills are included in the syllabus: estimation; measurement; observation; recording; checking; describing; comparing; classifying; predicting and interpreting results; drawing and labelling; and using simple apparatus. Years 4 and 5, where possible, use the laboratories for their lessons and are taught to observe safety procedures.
- Teeth and Eating
- balanced diets; animal diets; shapes and types of teeth; teeth hygiene.
- Characteristics of Materials
- variety of materials; properties of materials; scientific testing; what to change and what to measure in a fair test.
- Rocks and Soils
- differences and similarities in rocks; identification of rocks; rocks turning into soil types; comparison tests; measurement of time; volume.
- Magnets and Springs
- forces between magnets; attraction and repulsion; magnetic materials; uses of magnets; investigations and drawing conclusions; uses of springs; elastic bands and stretching experiments.
- Light and Shadows
- blocking light; shadows and shapes; identifying patterns in the behaviour of the Sun; opaque and transparent materials; sun dials.
- life processes; plants as food; the function of leaves; roots and stems; conditions needed for healthy growth; life cycle of a flowering plant including pollination and seed dispersal; use of keys in identification.
- environments; keys; food chains.
- Moving and Growing
- skeletons; body measurements; muscles; exercise.
- Keeping Warm
- thermometers; use of ICT; thermal insulation.
- Solids and Liquids
- volume; freezing and melting; reversible changes; separating; dissolving.
- units; forcemeters; water resistance; air resistance.
- Circuits and Conductors
- power sources; batteries; electrical conduction and insulation; switches.
- Life Cycles
- fruits and seeds; germination; parts of a flower; pollination; reproduction; life cycles.
- Keeping Healthy
- organs of the human body; the skeleton; pulse rate; blood; muscles; exercise and healthy eating; harmful substances to the body.
- investigation of gases in our everyday life, properties of solids; liquids and gases; evaporation/condensation experiments.
- Changing States
- changes in state of water; condensation; freezing; melting; evaporation; water cycle; soils and drainage.
- Changing States
- use of temperature sensors; water cycle; soils and drainage.
- vibration; materials sound travels through; materials that muffle sound; pitch; musical instruments; sound waves.
- Earth in Space
- the Earth; moon and sun; day and night; shadows.
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Upper School Curriculum
- Interdependence and Adaption
- Plant growth and health, photosynthesis, use of keys, food chains, habitats.
- Micro organisms
- Microbes in food production. Harmful microbes, yeast, food-poisoning.
- Filtering, evaporating, separation techniques.
- Reversible and irreversible changes
- Insolubility, chemical reactions, heating, cooling, burning.
- Gravity, air resistance, forcemeters, elasticity.
- Everyday effects of light, reflection, seeing, shadows.
- Changing circuits, safety with electricity, circuit diagrams, resistance.
- Preparation for end of Key Stage 2 exams.
- Fieldwork studies within the grounds of Belmont.
- Separating substances, distillation, chromatography. Gases in the air.
Oxidation, word equations. Particle theory of matter. The Periodic Table, metals and non-metals, chemical reactions including oxidation and thermal decomposition, metals and their oxides, pH and indicators, salt formation.
- Resources, types of energy, generation of electricity, transfer and storage of energy.
Conservation of energy.
- Different types of force and their effects; forces in balance, springs exerting a force, levers, relationship between speed, distance and time, rotation about a pivot, pressure and its relationship to area.
- Green Plants and Environmental Studies
- Microscopes, cells, photosynthesis, plant growth requirements, plant reproduction, respiration. Variation, classification, inheritance.
Environmental adaptations, food chains and webs, competition for resources.
Estimation of populations and distribution.
- Series and parallel, circuit diagrams, electrical components, AND and OR circuits, Ammeters, Voltmeters, resistors, diodes, SPDT switches, relays, electromagnets.
- Humans as Organisms
- Nutrition, circulation, movement, reproduction, breathing, respiration, health.
- Materials and Patterns of Behaviour
- Metals and their reactions, displacement reactions, reactivity series and subsequent predictions, limestone, corrosion, acid rain.
- Light and Sound
- The behaviour of light - reflection, refraction, dispersal, hearing, vibration and sound, pitch, frequency, amplitude.
- The Earth in Space
- Planets, night and day, seasons, eclipses, satellites, galaxies, gravitational force, light sources and reflected light.
- Preparation for Common Entrance and other entrance exams to Senior Schools.
A revisiting of all the topics taught in Year 7 and Year 8.
Throughout the three years in Upper School the emphasis is on developing the ability to investigate.
There is considerable opportunity to experience experiments and activities, to practice planning fair testing, to learn to evaluate evidence, to present results, and to draw conclusions.
Curriculum enrichment for gifted or talented pupils in Science is provided by extension work to develop their knowledge. The syllabus includes differentiated work to allow able pupils to go into more depth in each topic. For example:
- An able Year 6 pupil studying Biology may also be encouraged to look at basic cell structure; the differences between animal and plant cells; the outline function of parts of a cell.
- An able Year 8 pupil studying Electricity within the Physics syllabus may proceed as far as an investigation of NAND and NOR gates and to look at flip-flop circuits.
- Year 6
- 1 x 30 minutes
- Year 7
- 1 x 45 minutes
- Year 8
- 1 x 45 minutes
Year 6 visit London Zoo, normally during the Summer term in order to develop their understanding of classification. The visit includes a lecture from a Zoologist and requires completion of a worksheet with structured questions.
The Royal Institution provides interesting and valuable scientific lectures suitable for children. We apply for these whenever they coincide with the syllabus.
Potential Science scholars in Year 8 are given extension activities which may include trips to the Science or Natural History museum, and guest lecturers in school.
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