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St Michael With St John Church of England Primary School

Nurture, Inspire, Achieve!

Year 4

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 4 Rationale


Autumn 1

Physics: Electricity


Electricity is everywhere and just like light from Year 3, it is important that children understand the integral part it plays in keeping the world moving and thriving. Children will know common electrical appliances and will be  able to identify plugs, sockets etc. It is paramount that children are given some freedom with this unit in order for them to completely understand what an electrical circuit needs to work, so children will be given the opportunity investigate this using a simple series of electrical circuits. The children will be introduced to each of the basic parts of a circuit and will continue to develop this by attempting to make a bulb light, including using switches.


Autumn 2

Physics: Sound


Sound is a part of everyday life and this unit is to educate the children in how sound is transported from an object into the ear through vibrations. Children will find patterns between objects and the sound they make and categorise them, using this knowledge which will in turn help them make predictions. Sound will be investigated in a variety of ways including volume and distance.


Spring 1 and 2

Biology: Animals including humans


In year 4, pupils will use and build upon their knowledge of the human body by exploring teeth and digestion.  They will know the names of teeth and understand the function they play in helping animals and humans eat as well as knowing how to look after these and what might happen if not. They will explore this by researching types of teeth in carnivores, herbivores and omnivores and explaining how and why they may differ using scientific enquiry. To aid this learning, children will understand how the digestive system works and will explore through practical activities the changes to food after it has been swallowed including the functions of saliva and acids.


Summer 1

Chemistry: States of Matter


Using their knowledge of materials, pupils will explore a variety of everyday materials including categorising states of matter into solids, liquids and gases. They will develop this with the use of temperature and observing how the states of matter may change and use simple predictions. Pupils learn about the water cycle; identifying the part played  by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature.


Summer 2

Biology: Living things and their habitat


Pupils use the local environment throughout the year to raise and answer questions that help them to identify and study plants and animals in their habitat. They will identify how the habitat changes throughout the year; exploring possible ways of grouping a wide selection of living things that include animals and flowering plants and non-flowering plants. Through working scientifically, they explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment. Through research and observations, pupils will recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things. They explore examples of human impact (both positive and negative) on environments, for example, the positive effects of nature reserves, ecologically planned parks, or garden ponds, and the negative effects of population and development, litter or deforestation.