The Sunday Times Top Primary Schools in UK 2023 We are delighted to have been awarded 7th best school in the South West Region and 138th Nationally.



Science at St Joseph's
"Praised be you, my Lord through our Sister, Mother Earth,
who sustains us and directs us,
bringing forth all kinds of fruits,
and coloured flowers and herbs."
Saint Francis of Assisi: The Canticle of the Creatures
Our vision
At St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, we believe that effective science teaching and learning is vital to ensure that our children become scientifically literate adults who are equipped to cope in a world increasingly shaped by science and technology.
We believe effective Primary Science Education encourages aspiration and curiosity; allowing children the chance to ask questions and explore with confidence. It develops enquiring minds, deep-thinking skills and offers our children a chance to make choices, be resilient when investigations go in a different direction, form opinions and work collaboratively and with empathy. 
What does Science look like at St Joseph's Catholic Primary School?
We provide engaging, hands-on, open ended activities which builds on previous experiences and knowledge. Our learning is centred in real and relevant contexts with our REACH values at the heart. From EYFS (ELG) to Year 6 becoming Secondary ready, we ensure our lessons are accessible for all children, including SEND, and engaging for all by proving support or challenge as appropriate.
Our weekly science learning provides moments of wonder and excitement, with classrooms coming alive with the exciting buzz of investigations!
Children in Key Stages 1 and 2 are taught the key objectives as outlined in the National Curriculum for England:

At St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms, and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high expectations in Science.
Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves carefully planned lessons for each area of the sciences. This allows for progression and depths; as well as adaptations for SEND, to ensure science is achievable for all.
Our Science Curriculum is high quality; well thought out; with opportunities to embed our REACH values; and is planned to demonstrate progression. If our children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. Planning will ensure there is regular pupil conferencing and assessment opportunities to address misconceptions and gaps in understanding so that all children can keep up - not catch up.
British Science week 2024
British Science week was back with a BANG and better than ever! This year's theme was "Time" and the children were so lucky to have been supported by volunteers in industry to experience STEM activities all week!
The biggest supporter of Science Week at St Joseph's was Mrs Shipton- who has orchestrated a partnership between the STEM division at her workplace and our school. This year, the division donated several STEM resource packs to us which allowed the children to experience STEM activities in every year group! We were also lucky to have Mrs Shipton leading some of the activities and sharing her passion for STEM with the children.
In EYFS, the children made card boats which shot across the water trays when washing up liquid was added behind them. The children thought this was AMAZING and had great fun exploring why this happened!
In Year 1, the children looked at colour wheels. When the wheels were added to a motor- something very peculiar happened! Can you guess what it was?
In Year 2, the children made CD racers! The children had great fun racing their racers along the hall to see how fast and far they could go.
In Year 3 and Year 4, the children made vibrating brush monsters to race along the desks. This is a firm favourite of the children and was very much enjoyed!
In Year 5 and Year 6, the children made fan boats. This was a highly complicated piece of engineering and absolutely not possible without the support of the STEM division and Mrs Shipton's expertise! The children had to construct boats out of polystyrene (a skill in itself!) and then race them across water.
In addition to this, Mrs Shipton also managed to find two senior engineers to come and talk to the children about what they do. One engineer spoke about how decommissioning of a nuclear power plant worked, and the other spoke about the importance of engineering in day-to-day life.
Finally, we had a visit from Mr Carr, who is a food scientist for Kerry foods. He did a demonstration about how a popular fizzy drink is made using natural products that he designs and manufactures.
On top of ALL of that, KS2 had the opportunity to participate in a BBC live lesson on invertebrates and take part in some of the Official Science Week activities about brains, shadows, living thing and time-travel coding.
We are so fortunate to have been blessed with the most incredible support from the volunteers this year and we are all SO grateful! It really was a Science week to remember for a VERY LONG TIME!
Science club is back!
Over this academic year we have had TWO science clubs! 
We started with KS2, and had a busy club of young scientists who had a go at a huge range of activities! From spinning colour wheels, to a guest speaker and all the amazing science experiments in-between! A particular favourite was seeing which toothpaste worked the best to remove stains off whiteboards! The children worked hard to achieve their CREST award which should be heading to them soon!
Then, for the first time EVER, we ran a science club for KS1 and Reception! It was a very very full club and the children enjoyed learning about different experiments. We looked at unfolding flowers with water, which sugar cube makes a stronger tower (white or brown sugar), how far "sneezes" travel and all other fun science experiments to get the children thinking about Working Scientifically. The children have also achieved their CREST award which should be heading to them very soon too!
As ever, all the children who attend Science club learn so much about Catholic Social Teaching and our REACH values as they make sense of the world around them. It is always such a pleasure to welcome so many young and excited scientists!
Awe and Wonder: Judaism- February 2024
Our second Awe and Wonder Science was looking at Jewish Scientists!
In Reception, the children were asked about why they thought leaves were green. This is linked to Richard Willstatter who did ground-breaking work on Chlorophyll. The children got to look at leaves really closely with a magnifying glass to explore!
In Year 1, the children delved into Richard Willstatter's discovery a little more. They went out and about to find different leaves in order to see if all leaves had green in them (green is the chlorophyll that plants need to photosynthesise). The children then wrote a sentence explaining why leaves are green.
In Year 2, the children recreated a similar test that Richard Willstatter would have done to prove why leaves are green. The children took squares of linen, and a leaf, and scrubbed the leaf between the linen. The chlorophyll stained the linen green!
In Year 3, the children started an experiment (thank you Mr Carr for providing all the materials!) to show photosynthesis in plants. This was replicating the work of Melvin Calvin who discovered how plants photosynthesise. Miss Drury poured a light pink litmas solution over pond weed, and as the pond weed photosynthesises, the pink solution will eventually turn blue. The children are still watching this experiment carefully, understanding that Science isn't always immediate and building resilience.
In Year 4, the children looked at a Nobel prize winning scientist, Karl Landsteiner, who is considered the Father of Blood types. The children learned about the different blood types and drew a bar chart to show the most common blood type in the UK. The children also explored why Karl Landsteiner's work was SO important.
In Year 5, the children delved into the work of Karl Landsteiner a little more by writing a research report about his life and work. The children used a range of sources to write the report and focused on the importance of giving the right blood type to the right person!
In Year 6, the children studied Rosalind Franklin. Rosalind Franklin did a lot of research into DNA and viruses, helping pave the way to understanding how DNA works, as well as researching what viruses look like and behave like. The children made Origami DNA models to help them understand this tricky concept a bit more. 
Awe and Wonder week 1: 23rd October 2023
Our first Awe and Wonder unit was Hinduism. We looked at influential Hindu Scientists who had made a contribution to our understanding of the world throughout history. 
EYFS/KS1: Varahamihira
Alive in around 500 AD (CE), Varahamihira was an astrologer, meaning he studied the stars. He lived in Madhya Pradesh in India. Not much is particularly known about the extent of his work as it was thousands of years ago, but what little that does remain shows that he was able to explain how a solar and lunar eclipse happened.
In Year 1, the children explored the solar eclipse; which is where the moon passes between the sun and the earth, blocking the sun.
In Year 2, the children explored the lunar eclipse which is where the earth gets between the sun and the moon and the moon turns red!
Both classes decided that if people had seen these phenomenon without Varahamihira's explanation, they would have been really afraid. Thanks to Varahamihira's empathy, and his discovery, we can now look at these events with scientific understanding!
Year 3: Jagadish Chandra Bose
Born 1858 in Bangladesh, India (and died 1937), Jagadish Chandra Bose was a pioneer in microwaves, radio waves and the extensive study of plants. There was so much that he had discovered and achieved, that in 2004- he was ranked 7th in a BBC poll of most influential Bengali people!
Year 3 looked at his work on radio waves and what uses radio waves. They reflected on why we are so grateful for the hard work of Jagadish Chandra Bose and how his work has shaped our world today. 
Year 4: Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman
A more modern scientist (1888-1970) from Tamil Nadu, India, Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was a physicist known for his work on light scattering. He won the Nobel prize for Physics in 1930 and is best known for the Raman effect- which is how molecules can disrupt light waves. 
Year 4 looked at the basics of the Raman effect by using triangular prisms to split the light into the coloured waves (which looked like rainbows!). Initially, the experiment didn't work at first but Year 4 used the value of resilience to try again! Just like true scientists, it worked eventually and the children were rewarded with beautiful rainbows around the classroom!
Year 5:  Vikram Sarabhai
Born 1919 in Gujarat, India (and died 19871), Vikram Sarabhai was a key figure in launching India's first satellite into space! He also helped India use Nuclear power.
Year 5 did an investigation on designing their own rockets and tested to see how far they would fly! Maybe some of Year 5 may have the aspiration to study space too!
Year 6: Meghnad Saha
Born in Bangladesh (1893-1956), Meghnad Saha created the Saha equation: a mathematical formula for calculating the temperatures of stars. This helps astrologers to classify what type of stars they are! 
Year 6 had to predict which stars would be the hottest before researching the real temperatures and answering questions about their research. It was a fantastic opportunity for Year 6 to apply their real life knowledge of heat and temperatures and they clearly set High expectations of themselves because the links that were made were fantastic!