Curriculum Intent: Science




Our Curriculum Drivers

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Characteristics of a Scientist

  • The ability to think independently and raise questions about working scientifically and the knowledge and skills that it brings. 
  • Confidence and competence in the full range of practical skills, taking the initiative in, for example, planning and carrying out scientific investigations. 
  • Excellent scientific knowledge and understanding which is demonstrated in written and verbal explanations, solving challenging problems and reporting scientific findings.
  • High levels of originality, imagination or innovation in the application of skills.
  • The ability to undertake practical work in a variety of contexts.
  • A passion for science and its application in past, present and future technologies.

Science Symbols

We use symbols across the school to help us recognise and use different scientific enquiry skills.

For example:

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Prediction and Fair Test

Scientific Enquiry Mats

To find an example of our enquiry mats, please click here.


Our pupils should be able to organise their knowledge, skills and understanding around the following learning hooks:

Work scientifically


  • Understand plants
  • Understand animals and humans
  • Investigate living things
  • Understand evolution and inheritance


  • Investigate materials


  • Understand movement, forces and magnets
  • Understand the Earth’s movement in space
  • Investigate light and seeing
  • Investigate sound and hearing
  • Understand electrical circuits

These key concepts or as we like to explain them to children – learning hooks, underpin learning in each milestone. This enables pupils to reinforce and build upon prior learning, make connections and develop subject specific language. 

A copy of our Science progression can be found here.

The vertical accumulation of knowledge and skills from Years 1 to 6 is mapped as follows:

Threshold Concept

Key Skills

Milestone 1

Years 1 and 2

Milestone 2

Years 3 and 4

Milestone 3

Years 5 and 6

Work scientifically

  • Ask simple questions.
  • Observe closely, using simple equipment.
  • Use observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
  • Identify and classify, suggesting ideas for groups.
  • Perform simple comparative tests.
  • Be able to suggest what to change and keep the same for a fair test.
  • Gather and record simple data to help in answering questions.
  • To be able to identify and verbalize skills used when completing Science Passports at the end of each topic.


Ask relevant questions.

• Set up simple, practical enquiries and comparative and fair tests.

• Make accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, e.g. thermometers and data loggers.

• Gather, record, classify and present data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions.

• Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, bar charts and tables.

• Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions.

• Use results to draw simple conclusions and suggest improvements, new questions and predictions for setting up further tests.

• Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple, scientific ideas and processes.

• Use straightforward, scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.

• Plan enquiries, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.

• Use appropriate techniques, apparatus, and materials during fieldwork and laboratory work.

• Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision.

• Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, bar and line graphs, and models.

• Report findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations of results, explanations involving causal relationships, and conclusions.

• Present findings in written form, displays and other presentations.

• Use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests.

• Use simple models to describe scientific ideas, identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

Biology: Understand plants 

Identify and name a variety of common plants, including garden plants, wild plants and trees and those classified as deciduous and evergreen.

• Identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including roots, stem/trunk, leaves and flowers.

• Observe and describe how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants.

• Find out and describe how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and stay healthy.


• Identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots, stem, leaves and flowers.

• Explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant.

• Investigate the way in which water is transported within plants.

• Explore the role of flowers in the life cycle of flowering plants, including pollination, seed formation and seed dispersal.


  • Relate knowledge of plants to studies of evolution and inheritance.

• Relate knowledge of plants to studies of all living things


Biology: Understand animals and humans

Identify and name a variety of common animals that are birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and invertebrates.

• Identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores.

• Describe and compare the structure of a variety of common animals (birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and invertebrates, including pets).

• Identify name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body and say which part of the body is associated with each sense.

• Notice that animals, including humans, have offspring which grow into adults.

• Investigate and describe the basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival (water, food and air).

• Describe the importance for humans of exercise, eating the right amounts of different types of food and hygiene.


• Identify that animals, including humans, need the right types and amounts of nutrition, that they cannot make their own food and they get nutrition from what they eat.

• Construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey.

• Identify that humans and some animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement.

• Describe the simple functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans.

• Identify the different types of teeth in humans and their simple functions.


• Describe the changes as humans develop to old age.

• Identify and name the main parts of the human circulatory system, and describe the functions of the heart, blood vessels and blood.

• Recognise the importance of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way the human body functions. 

• Describe the ways in which nutrients and water are transported within animals, including humans.


Biology: Investigate living things

• Explore and compare the differences between things that are living, that are dead and that have never been alive.

• Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants and how they depend on each other.

• Identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including micro-habitats.

• Describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food.


• Recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways.

• Explore and use classification keys.

• Recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to specific habitats.


• Describe the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird.

• Describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals.

• Describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics.

• Give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics.


Biology: Understand evolution and inheritance

•Identify how humans resemble their parents in many features.







• Identify how plants and animals, including humans, resemble their parents in many features.

• Recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.

• Identify how animals and plants are suited to and adapt to their environment in different ways.


• Recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.

• Recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents.

• Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.


Chemistry: Investigate materials

Distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made.

• Identify and name a variety of everyday materials, including wood, plastic, glass, metal, water and rock.

• Describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials.

• Compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of their simple physical properties.

• Find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.

• Identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick/rock, and paper/cardboard for particular uses.


Rocks and Soils

• Compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their simple, physical properties.

• Relate the simple physical properties of some rocks to their formation (igneous or sedimentary).

• Describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within sedimentary rock.

• Recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter.

States of Matter

• Compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases.

• Observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (°C), building on their teaching in mathematics.

• Identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature.


• Compare and group together everyday materials based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, including their hardness, solubility, conductivity (electrical and thermal), and response to magnets.

• Understand how some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution and describe how to recover a substance from a solution.

• Use knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated, including through filtering, sieving and evaporating.

• Give reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials, including metals, wood and plastic.

• Demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes.

• Explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible, including changes associated with burning, oxidisation and the action of acid on bicarbonate of soda

Physics: Understand movement, forces and magnets

• Notice and describe how things move, using simple comparisons such as faster and slower.

• Compare how different things move.


• Compare how things move on different surfaces.

• Notice that some forces need contact between two objects, but magnetic forces can act at a distance.

• Observe how magnets attract or repel each other and attract some materials and not others.

• Compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of whether they are attracted to a magnet, and identify some magnetic materials.

• Describe magnets as having two poles.

• Predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, depending on which poles are facing.



• Describe magnets as having two poles.

• Predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, depending on which poles are facing.


• Explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object.

• Identify the effect of drag forces, such as air resistance, water resistance and friction that act between moving surfaces.

• Describe, in terms of drag forces, why moving objects that are not driven tend to slow down.

• Understand that force and motion can be transferred through mechanical devices such as gears, pulleys, levers and springs.

• Understand that some mechanisms including levers, pulleys and gears, allow a smaller force to have a greater effect.

Physics: Understand light and seeing

• Observe and name a variety of sources of light, including electric lights, flames and the Sun, explaining that we see things because light travels from them to our eyes.

• Recognise that they need light in order to see things and that dark is the absence of light.

• Notice that light is reflected from surfaces.

• Recognise that light from the sun can be dangerous and that there are ways to protect their eyes.

• Recognise that shadows are formed when the light from a light source is blocked by a solid object.

• Find patterns in the way that the size of shadows change.


• Understand that light appears to travel in straight lines.

• Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eyes.

• Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them, and to predict the size of shadows when the position of the light source changes. 

• Explain that we see things because light travels from light sources to our eyes or from light sources to objects and then to our eyes.

Physics: Investigate sound and hearing

• Observe and name a variety of sources of sound, noticing that we hear with our ears.

• Identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating.

• Recognise that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear


• Find patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it.

• Find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it.

• Recognise that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases.

Physics: Understand electrical circuits

• Identify common appliances that run on electricity.

• Construct a simple series electrical circuit.


• Identify common appliances that run on electricity.

• Construct a simple series electrical circuit, identifying and naming its basic parts, including cells, wires, bulbs, switches and buzzers.

• Identify whether or not a lamp will light in a simple series circuit, based on whether or not the lamp is 

part of a complete loop with a battery.

• Recognise that a switch opens and closes a circuit and associate this with whether or not a lamp lights in a simple series circuit. 

• Recognise some common conductors and insulators, and associate metals with being good conductors.


• Associate the brightness of a lamp or the volume of a buzzer with the number and voltage of cells used in the circuit.

• Compare and give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches.

• Use recognised symbols when representing a simple circuit in a diagram.


Physics: Understand the Earth’s movement in space

• Observe the apparent movement of the Sun during the day.

• Observe changes across the four seasons.

• Observe and describe weather associated with the seasons and how day length varies.


• Describe the movement of the Earth relative to the Sun in the solar system.

• Describe the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth.


• Describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system.

• Describe the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth.

• Describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies.

• Use the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky.

Note: Items in italics are not statutory in the Science National Curriculum.

Aspirations For The Future

Pupils develop an understanding of how subjects and specific skills are linked to future jobs. Here are some of the jobs you could aspire to do in the future as a Scientist:
  • Aquatic vet
  • Astronaut
  • Animal researcher
  • Marine biologist
  • Helicopter mission control
  • Weather presenter

For more careers, please visit First Careers and Career Stem.




Through the explicit teaching of Science skills, both the teachers and the pupils assess their learning continuously throughout the lesson. At the end of the unit, pupils use their Learning Passports to reflect on their knowledge and understanding. Our assessment systems enable teachers to make informed judgements about the depth of their learning and the progress they have made over time.   

Pupil Voice


Freya – “We get to investigate and make links to the past. We also get to learn new things even our parents don’t know sometimes! Our Science display helps us do things step by step. We have sheets and vocabulary on the board to help us so we know which words to use. Science mats also help us understand and write like a conclusion.”

Charlie – “It will help us when we are older and we will know what to do and how to use things. Science is useful in lots of different jobs.”

Alfie – “Science helps me understand scientific language. If you want to be a good scientist, it helps you know what to do and how to be safe. It’s so you know how to act like a scientist. We get to make our own choices like which materials to use or how to do something. When we get to high school we won’t know how to do things properly if we are not independent.”

Zachary B – “Our science mats help us because they order things and explain what they mean so you know what to do.”


Teddy – “It’s fun how we learn. I like asking questions then we get to do it.”Josie – “We get to find things like lots of different flowers and do so many different things, it’s fun.”

Archie – “I like Science because you learn different subjects about science. We can make things then test if they work in real life.”

Science Club

In Science Club, children are able to develop a love of Science as well as build up their understanding of what it means to work scientifically. It is a very practical club in which we carry out a wide range of investigations across the scientific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. As part of this, we work towards achieving the Crest ‘Star’ and ‘Superstar Awards’ which provide science enrichment activities to inspire and engage children in real life contexts. Here are some of the activities we have done:

Testing Timers

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Keeping Warm

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We have taken part in Science workshops which have involved applying our scientific knowledge and understanding as well as using our problem-solving skills:

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Science brought to life:

We always think about the importance of science in the real world and try to bring this to life as much as possible:
Snake Visitor
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Fascinating Fish
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GreenPower Goblin Cars:

Working in colaboration with Madeley School, we took part in this challenge to design, build and race our own electric kit car. We had to use all of our STEM (Science, technology, engineering and Maths) skills and had a fantastic time at every stage of this project!

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Class Trips

Chester Zoo
The whole school had a fantastic day visiting Chester Zoo. Each class took part in workshops and we enjoyed seeing many of the animals and finding out about them. 
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Here is what Science looks like at The Meadows:

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Disclaimer: This has been developed with reflection upon the National Curriculum (2014) and Chris Quigley’s Essential Curriculum.