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Locking Primary School Science Rationale

The Science Curriculum

Our Vision

At Locking Primary School our science curriculum is rooted in exploration, enquiry and investigation, fostering a healthy curiosity of our universe and stimulating creative thought. Exploring everyday phenomena, will provide children with the foundations for understanding the world around them and an appreciation for the awe and wonder that science holds. They will understand the fundamental importance of science: how science has changed our lives and our world, and how it is essential to our future prosperity.

The Science curriculum at Locking Primary School will:

  • embed powerful knowledge via tailored schemes of work
  • encompass the acquisition of knowledge, skills, concepts and a positive attitude so the children have a secure understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science
  • promote curiosity, encouraging children to ask their own questions
  • be underpinned by the skills of working scientifically, which will be progressively built on each year
  • plan for high-quality opportunities to apply English and maths knowledge (e.g. to collect present and analyse data)
  • encourage children to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes
  • focus on children communicating scientifically, with accurate and precise terminology
  • allow children to appreciate the implications of science in the past, present and future

Science teaching at Locking Primary School will:

  • be progressively sequenced drawing and building upon prior knowledge provide children with varied and first hand experiences
  • allow children to use their initiative both when working independently and collaboratively
  • make explicit links across the curriculum and to ‘real life’
  • ensure children have a regard for their own safety and the safety of others
  • be creative and engaging with practical elements whenever possible making memorable experiences and creating a sense of excitement
  • immerse children in the accurate spoken, written and visual ‘language’ of science
  • draw on local institutions/exhibits, experts and role models that take children beyond everyday experiences and allow them to appreciate their accomplishments, seeing themselves as scientists

Assessment of Science at Locking Primary School will:

  • be formative, informing planning and how to best deliver further teaching
  • focus on ensuring the learning of the National Curriculum statements through children’s responses to retrieval tasks and in books
  • draw on planning and knowledge organisers to understand the progress that has been made by children
  • provide quality responses (verbally and written, if required) to children, ensuring all knowledge is firmly embedded
  • identify children who require additional support and those who excel in the knowledge, skills and understanding required of a scientist (through identifying these children it is assumed that all others – the vast majority – have achieved the objectives at the level expected of their year group)



Curriculum Rationale: Science

The choices we have made within our science curriculum will allow children to explore everyday phenomena so that they lay the foundations for understanding the world around them and an appreciation for the fascination that science holds.


Children will know science (biology, chemistry and physics) both as a discipline to be studied and as a field of knowledge that can shape their outlook now and in the future. In addition, they will understand the role of scientists (biologists, chemists and physicists), appreciating their contributions, knowing that they could, should they wish to, have a career as either in the future. They will recognise and appreciate how science will affect the future on a personal, national and global level.


The sequencing of the curriculum has been specifically designed to build upon previous knowledge. Links between subjects and across year groups have been made explicit and will be referred to with the children.


Programme: We follow the National Curriculum and have sequenced the subject content meticulously to best suit the needs of our children and to compliment effective learning strategies. Alongside this, we have developed a progression of skills to support teaching and learning


Timetabling: each unit lasts 6 weeks at the most (regardless of the length of the term); double units last a maximum of 12 weeks. Lessons may be blocked with one longer session in a week or with several shorter sessions across a week, as needed. In addition, specific ‘sticky tasks’ are planned throughout the learning sequence to promote retrieval of important, useful and powerful knowledge.


Science Rationale

The focus of our science curriculum is to provide the foundations for understanding the world (the essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science) through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics as well as an appreciation for how science has and will continue to change our lives. Children will reason, predict and think logically, working systematically and with increasing accuracy. They will be encouraged to recognise the power of evidence-based explanation and develop curiosity and excitement about natural phenomena.


Our science curriculum begins with concepts that will be most familiar to the child and become increasingly abstract as the child becomes more confident and competent in scientific knowledge, concepts and skills.


The science coverage at Locking Primary School covers all of the primary National Curriculum, without straying into the Key Stage 3 programme of study. It develops a solid understanding of the key scientific concepts as well as progressively building on fundamental scientific skills. The progressive development of subject specific skills e.g. enquire, analyse, evaluate within the context of the subject will hold them in good stead as they move on to secondary school and the next step in their education. The children will leave Locking Primary School with the knowledge of science as a discipline (including the difference between biology, chemistry and physics) and what it means to be a scientist (biologist, chemist physicist).


Our curriculum progression begins in EYFS with a focus on exploration through play and the development of effective learning characteristics. Activities in EYFS will provide opportunities for children to begin to make predictions, make predictions, test out ideas, and persist with an activity when challenges arise, as well as many other skills that are the very first steps in working scientifically. In the ELGs, science makes a significant contribution to developing a child’s knowledge and understanding of the world and children will be begin to ask and answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions. Scientific knowledge will be centred upon the child and what they observe in their immediate surroundings: they will make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes; they will know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe.


In Key Stage 1, children will continue to focus on environments, organisms and materials that are most familiar to them or part of their everyday world. Teaching will promote respect for the natural world, living and non-living. They will begin to recognise the relationships between living things and familiar environments. Spoken language will be fundamental in children to communicating their ideas, wondering and posing questions. There will be a focus on children beginning to use scientific terminology and articulating their ideas with increasing clarity. In Year 1, when children first meet science as a ‘subject’ the curriculum has been organised to allow for plenty of revisiting.


In Lower Key Stage 2 children will begin to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. Through exploring, natural curiosity, observation and discussion, children will test and develop ideas about everyday, natural phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments. They will also begin to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions.


In Upper Key Stage 2, children will develop deeper knowledge and understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas and an appreciation for the accomplishments within the field of science. They will achieve this through exploring and talking about their ideas, posing their own questions about scientific phenomena and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. In years 5 and 6, the children will encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates.


Specific choices:

Units of study are placed within certain periods of the year to support children’s understanding and aid them in making links across subjects. In Year 1, Everyday Materials is studied alongside the history unit ‘Toys’ to allow children the opportunity to apply their knowledge of the names of different materials. In Year 3, Forces are studied alongside ‘The Ancient Egyptians’ as connections can be made for how forces were used to construct the pyramids and collect water from the Nile.  

Units are spaced alongside the humanities curriculum and this is considered within the planning. In Year 4, the Water Cycle is taught in the autumn term. This follows the Year 3 geography summer unit ‘The World of Water’ and is taught alongside the Year 4 geography unit ‘Extreme Weather’.  This progression supports children’s long term understanding of these concepts and give children the opportunity to explore how they are connected. 


Seasonal Changes:

  • In Year 1, this unit is spread across the academic year, allowing for ongoing observations and discussions across the 4 seasons. This mimics the geography overview in Year (Ge1/1.3a identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom) allowing close links to be made between the two subjects. In Term 6, there is additional time to pull together these observations, reflect and make conclusions. This sits alongside a revisit of the plants unit so that links can be made to how plants have changes between the autumn/ winter season and the summer season.



  • Year 1 – A revisit of plants in Term 6 will allow children to make comparisons between their observations in Term 1, identifying how plants change during the year (deciduous and evergreen) as well as being able to identify plants through a wider selection of leaves and flowers.
  • Year 4 – The Year 3 Plants unit has been moved to Year 4. ‘Plants’ is a significant focus of the Key Stage 1 science curriculum but, in the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum, once it is studied in Year 3, children will not revisit this area until they are in secondary school where ‘plants’ appears across multiple strands of the biology programme of study. By moving this unit to later in Key Stage 2, we aim to bridge this gap a little. It also provides a stepping stone for the Year 6 unit ‘Living Things and their Habitats’ where children will begin to look at the formal classification of living things, including plants, for the first time by keeping some of the fundamental knowledge and understanding of plants a little fresher in their minds.
  • In addition, across our curriculum, particularly through science, art and geography which lend themselves to close observation of plants, we will continue to build upon children’s knowledge of plants in their surroundings (Sc1/2.1a identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees). This is powerful knowledge which is becoming increasingly lost to children.



  • This unit only appears once in Key Stage 2. By moving the unit from Year 4 to Year 3 children will gain the fundamental knowledge and understanding of ‘Sound’ earlier. In addition, as the Key Stage 2 curriculum is more abstract than Key Stage 1, this unit offers younger children the opportunity to explore an abstract concept through a multitude of hands-on experiences and observations.


Evolution and Inheritance

  • In Year 6, children meet this area of knowledge for the first time. By allowing time across 2 terms, children will have an opportunity to gain a deeper level of understanding. This unit also follows directly on from ‘climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts in geography’ (Ge2/1.3a describe and understand key aspects of physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts), allowing children to investigate some of the places focused on in this unit greater depth. For example, by revisiting places such as Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands and the animals and plants within them, they will be able to see evolution and Inheritance in action. The additional time also creates space for children to learn about Charles Darwin and other prominent scientists who were responsible for the ground-breaking research and exploration in this field of science