Saint Andrew's Orthodox Church School

Foundations in Science Curriculum

Foundations is a multi-disciplinary subject giving foundational knowledge in the natural sciences and social sciences. It is taught using a three year cycle. Children in primary 1-3 are introduced to the subjects and these are studied again for a second time in more depth in primary 4-6. Items in the list below marked with an asterisk are only taught to children from primary 4 onwards.

Primary 7 children study a third round of one of the three years of the curriculum cycle. During this year they will have the opportunity to study the subjects that their younger classmates are covering with more autonomy. P7s will have opportunities to look up information on the subjects studied from books that the teacher makes available to them (occasionally they will also use the internet to find data). They will be asked to gather the information on their own or in small groups directly from the original material (books/internet) and compose short presentations for the benefit of their younger classmates.

This method of original research allows children to acquire practice important study skills, to deepen their knowledge/understanding of the Foundations curriculum by following their own interest, to develop the skill of composing information and presenting it. Primary 4-6 children benefit from learning something interesting from the work that the P7s have done, and P7 enjoy enriching the class through their own concentrated work.

Foundations is divided into 3 thematic areas relating to ‘Humans and their World’. These are: (a) nature, (b) understanding science and (c) the human person and his health.

Foundations runs in parallel with CfE’s curriculum areas: ‘health and wellbeing’, ‘sciences’ and parts of the ‘social studies’. Foundations covers all the benchmarks for the subject of science defined by CfE and some of the benchmarks for social studies and health and wellbeing.

Foundations is taught alongside Nature Studies and Geography. These subjects complement one another and together make up our school’s science curriculum.

The table below shows: Foundations Content Areas and Capabilities by the End of Primary 7. Each is covered within the three year cycle with the exception of competencies marked with an asterisk.

Subject Area Main Topics Subtopics
Nature Substances and their properties
  • Classification, properties, comparisons, and changes of substances

  • Properties of materials, use of appropriate materials to solve problems

  • Changes of state in matter

  • Measuring quantities

  • Working with units of measurement

  • Changing the characteristics of substances to produce other substances, investigating conditions that increase the amount of substance that will dissolve/speed of dissolving and apply findings to world

  • Chemical reactions*

  • Substances that make up the world’s surface and their function*

Water and air
  • Distribution, properties, importance, and forms of water

  • The water cycle

  • How water is cleaned for use/preserved*

  • Characteristics, composition, and importance of air

  • Air circulation

Minerals, rocks, and soil
  • Economically important rocks and minerals, weathering, and the origin and importance of soil

  • Meaning and types of energy, energy uses in the home and in society, sources of energy and sustainability, renewable technologies*

  • Force and motion, friction, air resistance, acceleration, gravity, buoyancy*

  • Magnetism

  • Electricity and safety, electrical circuits, batteries, symbolic representation of circuts

Light and Sound
  • Vibrations, pitch and sound; electromagnetic radiation, waves, colours, properties of light, rainbows.

Earth and the universe
  • The solar system, day and night, and the seasons

Plants, fungi, and animals
  • Living/non-living distinction

  • What living things need to survive and characteristics that help them survive in particular environments

  • Life cycles, nutrition, and the body structure and importance of familiar species

Living conditions
  • Diversity of the conditions for life on Earth

  • Importance of the atmosphere, water, soil, fauna, and

  • Climate and weather

  • Extreme events and handling extreme events

The balance of nature
  • Relationships among organisms, and ecosystems. Biodiversity and interdependence, importance of microorganisms in producing and breaking down materials*

Our Use of Nature
  • Agriculture, where does our food come from

Conservation and protection
  • Human responsibility toward the environment, conservation, and protection of the environment

  • Waste disposal

  • Natural and ecological disasters

Understanding Science
  • The role of science, fields of science and their subject of study, scientific method

  • The use and abuse of technology*

The Human Person and his Health The human body
  • Introduction to the human body. Skin, teeth, bones, muscles, vital organs (Basic structures and functions in humans), the senses

  • Diversity of physical characteristics, relation to climate, inheritance

  • What humans need to survive and characteristics that help them survive in particular environments

  • Human physical development

  • Respect for my body