Curriculum - Science


At St Stephen’s Church of England Primary School, we want our pupils to develop their understanding of the wider world: noticing trends, changes, patterns, similarities and differences. We want to promote pupils’ inquisitiveness and interest in Science, using a carefully structured curriculum that allows pupils to take part in discussions to ask and answer questions. Each topic allows the harnessing of knowledge and the embedding of skills which pupils will take with them as they move into different year groups, and adulthood. Pupils use frequent practical investigations to help generate these skills and knowledge, using observation skills and scientific enquiry to unravel misconceptions, solve problems and promote a love of learning.  Children are encouraged to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings and a love of science is nurtured through a whole school ethos and a varied science curriculum, learning opportunities for our children take place both in and outside of the classroom.

As part of our Intent, we want our pupils to discover new learning and facts, not just taught it. Or science

  • Develop secure understanding
  • Prepare pupils for transition between year groups and secondary school
  • First hand practical experiences
  • Address misconceptions
  • Develop their ability to work scientifically, asking questions and finding the answers.
  • Working towards open ended testing with children deciding on variables
  • Understand how learning can link to different career


Our programme of study, long term planning is carefully prepared to ensure that coverage of each topic is implemented during the appropriate time. This is to minimise the duration of time between pupil’s learning of a particular topic of study, as they progress through year groups and classes. These include topics such as Living Things and their Habitats and Animals, including Humans which are taught each year, so that pupils can continuously build upon prior knowledge and maintain a high level of attainment.  Furthermore, we have also taken careful consideration to other topics that require observations over time, such as Seasonal changes, Plants, and Living Things and their Habitats. Pupils will have the opportunity to draw on a range of different clues throughout the year, learning how weather changes and how this affects living things, be it animals and their habitats, or plant changes and appearance.

Where appropriate and as frequently as possible, teachers provide a wide range of hands-on activities for pupils to engage in. Through first-hand experiences, we believe pupils will become:

  • greatly enthused and immersed in the learning process
  • develop a love of science that could last a lifetime
  • begin to develop critical thinking to find answers

Each topic in Science contains a Knowledge Organisers which show how key concepts for each unit has been broken down. These documents show the lesson sequence alongside the content that is taught. Furthermore, we believe that pupils should be familiar and build up an extended specialist vocabulary accurately, which is included with our knowledge organiser. Each topic contains ‘rocket’ words, which contain the key vocabulary used throughout a topic of study. These words are introduced during each lesson, and then consolidated on at the end of each lesson through the use of a ‘rocket’ word quiz.

To help embed knowledge and key learning, we begin lessons by recapping on prior learning through the use of ‘flash backs’ which include 3 retrieval questions. These ‘flash backs’ include one question from the prior lesson, one lesson from the prior topic, and one questions from the prior year group. These questions are discussed with pupils, and then answered orally – the aim of these are to help our pupils retain knowledge from different periods in their learning, and help to tie these in (where available) to their current learning. Furthermore, each lesson also contains clear links to their prior learning to help consolidate and form building blocks of knowledge.

Units and lessons are sequenced so that new knowledge is built upon prior learning. Our long term planning has a teaching order which ensures that knowledge is built upon gradually and cumulatively, with recall questions embedded throughout. Expert films are embedded within every lesson to demonstrate how the lesson’s knowledge is relevant to the wider world. These experts show the application of the scientific topic within their workplace and showcase potential employment opportunities. The videos that we use for Science make clear links between education and the workplace. This is reflected in our relationships with industry partners who sponsor, create and support each and every lesson provided.

Lessons are structured to give all pupils multiple opportunities to recap on previous learning. This structure is particularly effective in supporting lower attaining pupils and bettering their chances to succeed, as substantive knowledge is reinforced by frequently recalling information through pictures, videos and vocabulary. Or curriculum is constructed so that it gradually builds on prior learning, embedding new knowledge into larger concepts. Substantive knowledge is sequenced so that pupils can establish links between concepts from different topics

Lessons include ‘mini’ experiments to find out how the wider world works and find patterns / changes / comparisons and results. We also include focussed experiments which run across a series of lessons, with emphasis on those on upper Key Stage 2 choosing their own variables and open ended experiments.


  • Giving our children an understanding of scientific processes.
  • Helping our children to acquire practical scientific skills.
  • Developing the skills of investigation – including observing, measuring, predicting, hypothesising, experimenting, communicating, interpreting, explaining and evaluating.
  • Developing the use of scientific language, recording and techniques.


Impact Through the teaching of Science, children gain a knowledge and awareness of the world around them. By regularly timetabling Science each week, the pupils’ achievement and progress can be regularly monitored and assessed. Impact can be measured through end of unit tests provided through ‘Developing Experts’ and Teacher Evaluations. Science Week also helps to raise the subject’s profile within the School.

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