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St Louis Catholic Primary School

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Science at St Louis Catholic Primary School


Intent: The knowledge and skills that pupils will gain at each stage of the curriculum


At St Louis Catholic Primary School, it is our aim to foster a love for science in every aspect of daily life. It is our intent that all pupils leave our school as driven scientists where hands on activities are led by rich questions that involve predicting, investigating, experimenting, observing, measuring, recording and displaying results. Students will transform and become confident in asking questions and recognising and seeking opportunities to apply what they have learnt to the real world.


We have high ambitions for all our pupils. For pupils with SEND, additional support and strategies will be incorporated into lessons. These are based on Teacher Handbook: SEND and more detail can be found in the implementation section.


As it states in the National Curriculum, 2014, “high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.” This has, therefore, formed the foundations for how we teach science at our school.


EYFS: Building Good Habits


In the Early Years curriculum, the most relevant statements for Science come under the area of Understanding the World. The children will explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants. They will begin to understand some important processes and changes, including the seasons and changing states of matter.


KS1: Journey of Discovery


KS1 children will be taught through science units of work focused on the teaching of specific concepts.


Skills of working and thinking scientifically will be developed throughout these two years. They will develop their understanding of using different types of enquiry, ask simple scientific questions and, with support, recognise how they can be answered in different ways, observe closely using simple equipment, perform simple tests and gather and record data to answer questions, use observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.


Children will be introduced to the three key science types through topics based around particular strands.


Biology - pupils will develop and strengthen their understanding of:


  • the structure of plants
  • grouping living things using observable features
  • what living things need to survive
  • the difference between living things which are alive and dead


Chemistry - pupils will develop and strengthen their understanding of:


  • identifying properties of and naming different materials
  • sorting materials according to their observable properties
  • how solid materials can be changed through contact force

Physics - pupils will develop and strengthen their understanding of:


  • how we can recognise things around us with our senses
  • how temperatures, day lengths, weather and seasons are linked and change throughout the year


Key terminology and vocabulary for each topic will be taught in context with regular opportunities to apply learning within units of work.


KS2: Broadening Horizons 


In KS2, pupils will continue to deepen their understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas, which build upon learning in previous years.


Skills of working and thinking scientifically will be strengthened throughout engaging and hands-on lessons. In the final stage of school they will be encouraged to become more independent in their application of enquiry skills, asking relevant scientific questions, planning and using different types of scientific enquiry, recognising and controlling variables, using a variety of scientific equipment accurately, gathering and recording data and using scientific diagrams and labelling with increasing complexity, presenting findings and identifying scientific evidence to support their ideas and arguments. 


Children will continue to be taught through topics based around particular strands which stem from the three key science types:


Biology - pupils will develop and strengthen their understanding of:


  • the function of different plant parts
  • classification of living things based on similarities and differences
  • specific structures, their functions and subsequent processes within the human body, including digestive, muscular and circulatory
  • life cycles and processes of reproduction in organisms


Chemistry - pupils will develop and strengthen their understanding of:


  • describing the differing properties of and organising materials
  • creating and separating mixtures of materials
  • recognising changes of states within materials
  • recognising the functionality of materials within the everyday world.


Physics - pupils will develop and strengthen their understanding of:


  • the nature of light, sound, forces and electricity
  • the impact that different materials can have on these various elements
  • earth, its placement in and relation to other features within the solar system


Key terminology and vocabulary for each topic will continue to be revisited and extended in context with regular opportunities to apply learning within units of work.


As pupils progress through KS2, they will continue to encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand how the world operates.


For more details about the milestones expected of children at each stage and topics covered within each branch of science, see our long-term overview and progression documents for science.


Implementation: How the curriculum is taught and assessed


At St Louis, we follow the National Curriculum for Science and facilitate this through the use of the ‘Snap Science’ scheme. This framework allows for effective teaching and access to learning across the school through:


  • its implementation of scientific questioning as the basis of each lesson, which links to common natural phenomena, thus contextualising learning
  • its provision of meaningful resources alongside differentiation of activities within each lesson
  • its logical flow of stages within each lesson which match our school’s Meet, Know, Apply, Asses, Celebrate framework
  • its focus on hands-on activities, which allow for experiential learning
  • its link to the five key enquiry skills, which stem from the working scientifically skills
  • its provision of ‘module introductions’, which outline common misconceptions within students that may need to be addressed
  • its clear progression of skills and knowledge across topics and year groups


Children use investigation planning frameworks to help them gain the confidence to plan their own investigations independently. Additional opportunities for enrichment of the curriculum across the school include celebration of important events such as British Science Week, planting of our own school trees, and taking part in Earth Hour and Science Competitions.


Impact: The outcomes that pupils achieve


The impact of the teaching of science can be ascertained in a number of ways.


Firstly, the work in pupils’ books should reflect the learning that has taken place over the course of a unit, and from year group to year group, demonstrating progress and a deepening knowledge over time. Mind maps at the end of a unit should contain more information than at the start, as pupils are able to recall the learning they have accumulated over the course of the unit. Students will be able to plan their own scientific enquiries through the use of planning frameworks. This will become an increasingly independent task as they move through the school.


Secondly, pupils’ should be able to talk with confidence about their learning, and use scientific vocabulary where appropriate. As pupils progress through the school, they should become increasing confident at making links with prior learning.


Finally, lesson visits and discussion with pupils should demonstrate the learning that is taking place. This would include pupils’ being able to answer questions based on their knowledge organisers and their ability to recall prior learning and apply it in their work.