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St Michael With St John Church of England Primary School

Nurture, Inspire, Achieve!

Year 3

Years 3 and 4 : Working Scientifically


Our vision for working scientifically in lower key stage 2 is to build on and broaden their knowledge from KS1. This is carried out in a variety of ways including, exploring, discussing, investigating and developing ideas about the world around them and everyday phenomena. They will develop their understanding of observing and classifying by understanding functions, relationships and interactions between living and non living things. They are encouraged to ask their own questions and determine the scientific enquiry that is suitable as well as carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. Once they have collected this information, children will be encouraged to draw simple conclusions, including some scientific vocabulary, to discuss and write about in a structured way. Our aim is for children to be confident in using this vocabulary and for them to take chances to find out the best method of scientific learning to which will instil confidence and understanding of science.


Year 3 Rationale


Autumn 1

Physics: Light


To introduce the world of physics to pupils, they will begin with understanding how light works and why it is so important to us and to understand that darkness means the absence of light. The children will carry out investigations practically to introduce this unit and for them to understand that light should not be taken for granted and has an integral part of how it affects our daily life. As part of this unit, we will look at reflection and research how this is used to make our world a safer place. We will investigate the sun including advantages and disadvantages of it as well as understanding and investigating how shadows are made and how they can be manipulated.


Autumn 2

Biology: Animals including humans


In this unit pupils will build upon what they have learnt in Year 2 and begin to investigate foods further including looking at the different food groups and understanding how they each have a role to play in keeping animals including humans healthy. They will begin to understand that unlike plants, animals including humans cannot make their own food  but source food in order to meet their nutritional needs. Year 3 will look at the skeleton to understand its function as well as how muscles play and integral part in how animals and humans are protected kept healthy.


Spring 1

Chemistry: Rocks


To introduce the unit of rocks and soils,  the children will carry out physical investigations in our surrounding area to identify any rocks that are used as well as types of soils that are familiar to them. We will work scientifically to broaden their understanding of this unit by exploring various types of rocks and soils using a variety of methods , including microscopes, to categorise and simply describe their properties. We will link our stone age topic to exploring fossils are formed by living things being trapped in rocks. The children will understand how soil is made by rubbing rocks together mixed with organic matter. Oracy is an integral part of this unit and children will be encouraged to describe and give their opinions on the new learning that has taken place throughout.


Spring 2

Physics: Forces and Magnets


Moving on from their knowledge of pushing and pulls in EYFS and KS1, pupils will investigate how different surfaces can affect the movement  and compare and contrast these using a variety of observations. They will develop their understanding of forces by understanding that some forces will happen when two objects have contact, however some magnetic forces happen with a distance. We will move onto investigate this further observing how magnets attract and repel and use oracy to make predictions and give reasoning for these. The children will carry out investigations of different materials using this new knowledge to give reasonable accounts to what they think will happen when we use other materials too. The children will know that a magnet has two poles.


Summer 1 and 2

Biology: Plants


As the pupils have some basic knowledge of plants, we will take this further by adding the functions of each part of the plant which will be described using scientific terminology and will understand that each plant is unique and their requirements to grow may differ. We will look further into how water is transported in the plant and what affect this has. As they have previously completed with animals, children will begin to understand that plants also have life cycles and children will compare and contrast this through practical and research opportunities. We will build upon their knowledge of seeds in Year 2, and look at seed formation and dispersal in order for the life cycles to continue each year.