We use Curriculum with Unity Schools Partnership (CUSP) to deliver science in KS1 and KS2. It is ambitious and supported by the latest evidence-informed research and practice. It pays close attention to guidance provided by the National Curriculum sequence and content. It is infused with evidence-led practice and enriched with retrieval studies to ensure long-term retention of foundational knowledge. The foundations of CUSP science are cemented in the EYFS through learning within the Natural World, and People, Culture and Communities.
CUSP's ambitious interpretation of the National Curriculum places knowledge, vocabulary, working and thinking scientifically at the heart of their principles, structure and practice. It precisely follows the units outlined in the National Curriculum. Through studying CUSP science, pupils become more expert as they progress through the curriculum, accumulating, connecting and making sense of the rich substantive and disciplinary knowledge.
1. Substantive knowledge - this is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used to learn about the content. Common misconceptions are explicitly revealed as non-examples and positioned against known and accurate content. In CUSP science, an extensive and connected knowledge base is constructed so that pupils can use these foundations and integrate it with what they already know. Misconceptions are challenged carefully and in the context of the substantive and disciplinary knowledge. In CUSP Science, it is recommended that misconceptions are not introduced too early, as pupils need to construct a mental model in which to position that new knowledge.
2. Disciplinary knowledge – this is knowing how to collect, use, interpret, understand and evaluate the evidence from scientific processes. This is taught. It is not assumed that pupils will acquire these skills by luck or hope. Pupils construct understanding by applying substantive knowledge to questioning and planning, observing, performing a range of tests, accurately measuring, comparing through identifying and classifying, using observations and gathering data to help answer questions, explaining and reporting, predicting, concluding, improving, and seeking patterns. We call it ‘Working Scientifically.’ Scientific analysis is developed through IPROF criteria. We call it ‘Thinking Scientifically.’
- identifying and classifying
- pattern seeking
- observing over time
- fair and comparative testing
3. Substantive concepts include concrete examples, such as ‘plant’ or more abstract ideas, such as ‘biodiversity’. Concepts are taught through explicit vocabulary instruction as well as through the direct content and context of the study.
The long-term whole school sequence for science can be seen below. This gives an indication of which modules of science are taught each year, building on prior knowledge as children move up the school.