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Science Curriculum Overview

Year Group Autumn Term Spring Term Summer term


Can we fix it?

Exploring range of materials

Who has feathers and who has fur?

Body parts – owls, humans linked to… Senses - exploring

How does your garden grow?

Plants: Growing and caring for them


Which materials could the Three Little Pigs use to build their house?

Sorting and classifying materials and the use of everyday materials Season: Autumn/ Winter

Why are humans not like tigers?

Differences and similarities between different animals. Seasons: Spring

What grows in our garden?

Identifying plants Evergreen and deciduous trees Seasons: Summer


Are you attractive enough?


Who would live in house like this?

Animal Variation, habitats and food chains

How did that blossom become an apple?

Plants – seeds/bulbs, need water/light/temp to grow and stay healthy


How do the parts of a plant work?

Plants –function of parts, requirements for growth, investigate way water is transported, life cycle of flowering plant

How do we stay alive?

Human Body – skeleton, muscles Basic needs for survival, nutrition, digestion, exercise and hygiene

What makes the Earth angry?

Rocks and Soils 

How do we see and hear the world?

Light and Sound


What happens when we heat something up or cool something down?

States of matter – solids/ liquids/gases, temperature change, water cycle

What happens if the electricity goes off?

Electricity (circuit building) and alternative energy forms

Who’s walking in our woods?

Animal habitats and Classification


Would you like to live on the moon?  

Space and Light

Can you feel the force?

Air Resistance, water Resistance Friction, Gears, Pulleys, Levers and Springs

Does it all start with an egg?

Life cycles of plants and animals/Birth, growth, development, and reproduction Changes to humans over time


How do we light up the world?



Can we make potions and lotions?

Properties and changes of materials

What makes us unique?

Classification, Evolution and Inheritance


Rationale for teaching science

‘Must we always teach our children with books? ​Let them look at the mountains and the stars above. ​Let them look at the beauty of the waters and the trees and flowers on earth. They will then begin to think, and thinking is the beginning of a real education.​’ David Pollis, 2007

‘Children are naturally curious. Science at primary school should nurture this curiosity and allow them to ask questions and develop the skills they need to answer those questions.’ Wellcome Trust

Science in our own words

At Carlton Hill Primary School, children are inspired to embrace their inner scientist. We aim to foster their innate curiosity and give them the confidence and skills to better understand their place in the world and how they can make the world a better place. Our method is simple: ‘we ask questions about the world around us… and answer these questions by doing.’

We believe that all children should have equal access and opportunity to experience the awe and wonder that science can reveal and by providing them with a solid foundation in science, we aim to empower them to become lifelong learners and active contributors to a rapidly changing world.

How is our science curriculum organised?

Our learning starts with a key scientific question which then leads to an immersive practical investigation and ends with a considered conclusion that can be supported with results and evidence. This approach of posing a question, conducting investigations, and drawing conclusions is integrated into both the structure of individual lessons and the broader design of our six-week learning units. For instance, in a unit centred around a significant scientific inquiry like "How do we stay alive?" children engage in a series of lessons where they explore different aspects of the question through hands-on investigations before wrapping up with well-thought-out conclusions based on what was discovered and the evidence gathered. We strive to nurture this curiosity-driven scientific process in our pupils, fostering their ability to think critically and creatively. Through this approach, they learn to analyse situations, propose solutions, plan and conduct inquiries, and reflect on their findings to draw insightful conclusions. Ultimately, this enables them to tackle challenges with confidence and innovation, preparing them for future endeavours.

The scientific process – taught through a lesson or over a series of lessons

  1. Recap – revisit prior learning
  2. Question – what exactly will we investigate? Why are we investigating it? What prediction do you have about the investigation? 
  3. Investigation/Doing – What will we do to answer the question? (create a model, observe, test, sort and classify, find patterns…) 
  4. Conclusion – What was the answer to the question? Was it what we expected? What is the science behind what we’ve done? 

This scientific method threads throughout science learning in school, building in complexity through the progressive and specific skills within asking questions, investigating, concluding and evaluating. For example, under investigating, in Year One and Two children are taught to perform simple tests and observe closely, using simple equipment. This then progresses in Year Three and Four to making systematic and careful observations and recording findings using simple scientific language and is then extended in Year Five and Six to taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment with increasing accuracy and recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables as well as scatter, bar and line graphs. The progressive development of these skills from year group to year group is fundamental to and underpins all the learning and teaching at Carlton Hill.

The content of our Science Long Term Plan is based around the units laid out in the National Curriculum, which have been organised at Carlton Hill, where possible, to build on previous knowledge and learning, for example the progression of understanding of Botany from Reception’s unit ‘Where does your garden grow?’ to Year One’s ‘What grows in our garden?’ To Year Two’s ‘How did that blossom become an apple?’

How have you made your curriculum accessible for children with additional needs (including SEND) and children with complex needs?

Our curriculum is crafted with inclusivity at its core. We begin by asking ourselves, "How can I teach this concept in a way that everyone can understand?" This proactive mindset ensures that instructional materials and methods are accessible to all pupils, regardless of their learning needs or abilities. We promote the empowerment of all children in science by exposing them to a diverse array of scientists and professionals working in science-related fields, including those with additional needs themselves.

We recognise the importance of pre-teaching key vocabulary to facilitate comprehension for all learners. By introducing these words, breaking down their meaning and adding visuals before lessons begin, we lay a strong foundation for understanding. Additionally, we reinforce vocabulary through engaging activities like games and songs, making learning memorable and enjoyable for everyone.

We break down lessons into manageable chunks and scaffold instruction to provide additional support as needed. By presenting information in smaller steps and offering guidance through each stage of learning, we help children with additional needs navigate complex concepts with confidence and success. Each lesson is thoughtfully connected to prior learning experiences, allowing pupils to build upon existing knowledge and skills. By reinforcing connections between concepts and revisiting familiar topics, we create a cohesive learning journey that supports retention and deepens understanding for all learners.

In our science lessons, we don't just stick to recording information in books. We believe in hands-on learning experiences, so we often take our lessons outside to explore and experiment in the real world. This allows us to see science in action and understand how it applies to our surroundings. We also encourage discussions and group work, where students can share their observations, ask questions, and collaborate. This fosters a deeper understanding of scientific concepts and encourages critical thinking and communication skills. Additionally, we make use of technology to enhance our learning. Whether it's using apps for virtual experiments, researching topics online, or creating multimedia presentations, technology helps us to explore science in engaging and interactive ways.


What is the impact of our science curriculum?

The impact of our science curriculum is assessed in a variety of ways.

  1. Knowledge

At the start of a unit children are given an opportunity to show off their current understanding of the unit through a mind map task and key vocabulary sort, and in some cases, a practical investigation. For example, using a whiteboard, whiteboard pen and playdoh to show how the Sun, Earth and Moon interact. The investigations encompass all the areas of learning to be covered in that unit. These practical investigations are then revisited at the end of the unit to show progress in understanding and knowledge.

  1. Skills

During a unit, scientific skills are explicitly taught, and children are given the opportunity to acquire and embed them. In order to assess pupil’s use of these skills, children are then given the opportunity to use and apply this skill independently in a variety of investigations.

  1. Pupil voice and book look

The Science Coordinator meets with pupils to look at and celebrate recorded work in books and discuss their experience of teaching and learning in science.

  1. Planning review and teacher feedback

The Science Coordinator routinely reviews planning and meets teachers to discuss their experience of teaching and learning in science and provide feedback on evidence in books, pupil voice and planning. This is a critical dialogue about successes, areas for development and identifying how best to support teachers with ideas, resources or CPD.

What are the inspirations for our science curriculum?

Our curriculum is enriched by incorporating the exceptional resources and expertise offered by STEM Learning, Explorify and the Primary Science Teaching Trust.

What do our pupils have to say about science?

Coming soon…

Progression of knowledge and skills

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