St. Thomas More Primary Science Curriculum

Science allows pupils to make sense of the world around them through building up a body of key knowledge and developing an understanding of the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. It provides first hand experiences and support for children to develop enquiring minds, learning how to question and discuss science through collaboration. A planned range of practical experiences set in meaningful contexts helps to develop a range of investigative skills and allows children to take risks and learn from their mistakes, developing them into independent learners. Through exploring and asking questions, observing, testing and developing ideas. Whilst engaging in practical science experiences, children discover and make links to scientific concepts. They can use key foundational knowledge to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave and analyse causes.

We want to harness children’s natural excitement and curiosity, inspiring them to pursue scientific enquiry skills and investigate the world around them.

At St Thomas More, our teaching and learning of Science aims to:

  • Build on our children’s natural curiosity and develop a scientific approach to problems.
  • Ensure pupils acquire the key scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
  • Develop a strong understanding of the world around them at an age-appropriate level and in line with the National Curriculum.
  • Help our children acquire a growing understanding of the nature, processes and methods of scientific ideas through scientific enquiries that help them answer questions about the world around them.
  • Encourage pupils to think scientifically and develop an understanding of the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future.
  • Equip pupils with the scientific knowledge and prepare pupils for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world both today and in the future.
  • Create scientists who can apply their knowledge of science when making predictions, conducting experiments, solving problems and explaining concepts confidently as they continue be curious about their surroundings.
  • Provide a broad and balanced progressive science curriculum, allowing children to build on and develop their scientific enquiry skills throughout their time at our school.
  • Develop the ability to solve problems through decision-making and reasoning in a range of contexts.
  • Promote enjoyment and enthusiasm for learning through practical, hands on learning, exploration and discussion.

At St Thomas More we provide children with a rich progressive Science curriculum where children can systemically build on their understanding of key ideas and their scientific skills. We follow the National Curriculum programmes of study for Science 2014 which describes the sequence of knowledge and concepts that are to be taught. Key elements of physical science disciplines such as sound, light and electricity are non-statutory in Key Stage 1 but taught to introduce these areas of study and ensure progression of skills and knowledge across both key stages.

Science is planned and arranged in topic blocks by the class teacher and they ensure coverage of the  objectives outlined for their year group. This ensures progression between year groups and key stages and guarantees the full coverage of ‘The National Curriculum programmes of study’ and ‘Understanding the world’ area of development in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following:

  • Weekly science lessons which carefully plan for progression, depth and the use of scientific vocabulary. Allowing pupils to articulate their understanding of taught scientific concepts.
  • Teachers use and refer to scientific vocabulary throughout lessons with the expectation for pupils to use scientific vocabulary in the oral and written form.
  • Lessons promote the acquisition and application of scientific enquiry skills. These include observing, measuring, predicting, hypothesising, experimenting, communicating, recording, interpreting, explaining and evaluating
  • The sequencing of lessons provide opportunities for pupils to revisit scientific skills from the previous lessons and from the previous years
  • The disciplines of physics, chemistry and biology are taught across the year making links with other subjects and global goals where possible
  • Lessons are well planned and taught so that both scientific knowledge and scientifically enquiry skills are developed in each lesson.
  • Children being offered a range of extra-curricular activities, visits, trips and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class
  • Science investigation days and British Science Week allow pupils to come off-timetable, providing broader provision and the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills.

EYFS- During the Early Years Foundation Stage, science is included in one of the seven areas of learning known as ‘Understanding the world’. Skills such as exploration and investigation are developed.  Scientific learning occurs through accessing a range of developmentally appropriate practical activities based on first hand exploratory experiences. For example, a nature walk, magnifiers to explore natural objects, manipulating wet/dry sand etc. Enthusiastic and meaningful interaction with adults, who provide opportunities to develop communication skills, use correct scientific language and carefully framed open-ended questioning techniques to help develop thinking skills. Adults encourage the exploration of both indoor and outdoor environments linking all areas of learning.

KS1 and KS2- The National Curriculum statutory requirements are taught and assessed in each year group. Key elements of physical science disciplines such as sound, light and electricity are non-statutory in Key Stage 1 but taught to introduce these areas of study and ensure progression of skills and knowledge across both key stages. Working scientifically is an integral part of the science curriculum and is taught alongside key scientific knowledge and concepts. This enables pupils to make links and  develop a wide range of skills including observing, pattern seeking, identifying, classifying and grouping, comparative and fair testing and researching using secondary sources. Pupils can seek answers to questions through collecting, analysing and presenting data. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results. Children also become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.

The skills and knowledge progression map shows how children can systematically build on their understanding of key ideas and their scientific skills across the year groups.

Progression of skills document

Our Science curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

Pupils developing a wider range of skills linked to both scientific knowledge and scientific enquiry/investigative skills.

Children develop skills, which equip them to progress from their starting points, and within their everyday lives.

Children achieving age related expectations in Science at the end of their cohort year.

Pupils have a richer vocabulary, which will enable them to articulate their understanding of taught concepts.

Pupils discussion about their learning

Pupils have high aspirations, which will see them through to further study, work and a successful adult life.

Useful website links

Links for Children and Parents

KS1 Science guides and clips

KS2 Science guides and clips

NASA kids

Games and Apps

The children’s university of Manchester

Ideas for investigations- ask an adult’s permission for guidance!

Royal institution of Science

Science Sparks investigations

Science fun investigations

More fun science investigations