Science at Etwall


The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.

                                                      Albert Einstein

Along with English and Maths, Science remains one of the main core subjects in primary school. All science teaching follows the National Curriculum (2014) and covers the three scientific areas: biology, chemistry and physics. During each lesson, children are encouraged to think scientifically by planning fair tests to answer questions, making predictions, observing, measuring, recording results or forming a conclusion.

The National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of Science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  •  are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.



Our aim in Science is to deliver an effective education where children achieve well. To develop children's curiosity about what they observe, experience and explore; promote a desire to ask; answer scientific questions using scientific vocabulary  and a love of the subject. Science lessons endeavour to engage the children and stimulate their learning through a broad and balanced curriculum, which builds both investigative skills and scientific knowledge. Children are encouraged to  predict how things might behave; collect and present findings; apply  scientific knowledge and arrive at conclusions to explain what is occurring. Throughout this process, every child is encouraged to question, appreciate and relate to the universe to which they are a part of. 

  • Lessons are planned to enable all children to access the objectives and make progress building on skills and knowledge. 
  • The full Science curriculum is provided to all children and planned over a two-year cycle due to having mixed age classes.
  • Teachers have a secure knowledge of the curriculum.
  • Sufficient time is allowed for reading so children can access all areas of the curriculum.
  • Medium term planning documents are produced for each unit of work, ensuring clarity of coverage with a strong emphasis on progression of knowledge and skills.
  • Enrichment opportunities are provided to enhance children's learning such as visitors, trips and workshops.
  • Children develop independent learning skills and the ability to design their own investigations and take measurements with increasing accuracy.
  • Children are taught to read, spell and pronounce scientific vocabulary accurately.
  • Children learn through questioning and discussing and teachers take this opportunity to  pick up on misconceptions.
  • Teachers use Assessment for Learning to develop children's confidence, learning and independence through: questioning (What if…? Why...? Explain…? Tell me more about…? How…? Describe…? What would happen if…? What would change if…? Is this always the case…? ), discussing, marking, feedback, self-assessment  and peer- assessment.
  • Science is taught consistently, once a week for up to two hours, but is also taught in many different contexts throughout all areas of the curriculum. For example, through English, i.e. biography of a famous scientist’s life, through maths when learning to record data.
  • We have implemented 'writing at length' where children must complete an extended piece of writing related to the topic currently being learned.   
Children will grow in confidence, independence and develop  knowledge.

Click on link for statutory guidance from the Department of Education:

National Curriculum 2014 Science Programme of Study

Science displays
Due to having mixed year group classes, topics are planned over a two year cycle. Our school has created medium-term science plans based on the National Curriculum Programmes of Study. Teaching and learning is structured around a two-year cycle which ensures there is complete coverage of the National Curriculum, without repeating topics.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

In the EYFS, science is included within the Understanding the World area of learning. As with other learning in Reception, children mainly learn about science through games and play – which objects float and sink during water play, for example. Activities such as these will help  children to develop important skills such as observation, prediction and critical thinking.

Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2) and Key Stage 2 (Year 3-6)

The content of science teaching and learning is set out in the 2014 National Curriculum for primary schools in England. Within this, certain topics and areas are repeated across year groups, meaning that children may revisit a particular topic in each year of primary school but with increasing difficulty and with a different focus each time.

For example, the area of animals, including humans is examined in every single year group, with a very clear progression of knowledge and understanding over the six years:
In Year 1 this involves: looking at the human body, recognising animal groups and sorting these animals.
By Year 6, this will have developed into knowing the internal structure of the human body in relation to circulation, classifying living things based on more complex characteristics and exploring scientific research into this classification.

The more detailed content for each year group is as follows:

Year 1

  • Plants (name a variety of plants and describe the basic structure of plants)
  • Animals including humans (basic knowledge of parts of human body and comparing animals)
  • Everyday materials (identify and name everyday material and describing properties)
  • Seasonal changes.

Year 2

  • Plants (what plants need to grow)
  • Animals including humans (needs for survival, food and hygiene)
  • Use of everyday materials (explore and compare materials for uses)
  • Living things and their habitats (explore variety of habitats, simple food chains).

Year 3

  • Plants (identify and describe parts of a plant, explore the part that flowers play in the life cycle of a flowering plant)
  • Animals including humans (nutrition, skeleton and muscles)
  • Rocks (fossils and soils)
  • Light (reflection and shadows)
  • Forces and magnets (magnetic materials, attracting and repelling).

Year 4

  • Animals including humans (digestive system, teeth and food chains)
  • Living things and habitats (classification keys)
  • States of matter (compare solids, liquids and gases, changes of state, evaporation and condensation)
  • Sound (vibration, pitch and volume)
  • Electricity (simple circuits, insulators and conductors).

Year 5

  • Animals including humans (human development from birth to old age)
  • Living things and their habitats (life cycles and reproduction in humans and plants)
  • Properties and changes of materials (dissolving, separating materials, reversible and irreversible changes)
  • Forces (gravity, air resistance, water resistance, friction)
  • Earth and Space (movement of Earth, moon and planets, the solar system, sun).

Year 6

  • Animals including humans (circulatory system, diet and exercise, healthy living)
  • Living things and their habitat (classification, characteristics of plant and animal groups)
  • Light (how it travels, how we see, shadows)
  • Electricity (voltage and power in circuits, circuit components, symbols and diagrams)
  • Evolution and inheritance (how living things have changed over time, fossils, dinosaurs, adaptation to environment).

Alongside these areas runs the Working Scientifically element. This focuses on the skills the children need to become accurate, careful and confident practical scientists. Children develop certain skills in each year group. For example:
In Year 1 a child may have to ask questions, carry out a simple test, record simple data and then try to answer questions.
By Year 6, they should be able to plan and carry out a fair test by using equipment accurately and taking exact readings or measurements draw conclusions from their results and record them using a range of graphs and charts.