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Primary and Nursery School


"Science is simply common sense at its best" Thomas Huxley

Intent- Why do we teach Science?

At Downsview, we aim to develop a child’s curiosity, encourage respect for all living things and a greater understanding of how and why processes occur. We strive to develop children’s natural curiosity about the world and encourage them to develop their understanding through inquisitive questioning. We equip children with an extensive range of scientific skills such as: asking questions and making predictions; setting up tests; observing and measuring; recording data; interpreting and communicating results and critically evaluating results. Through practical experiments, and using the Plymouth Science resources, children are able to nurture their passion for science as part of a team, whilst also developing their own scientific skills. We provide opportunities for all children to enhance their knowledge through our 'live it to learn it' ethos. 


To learn how to solve problems and make informed decisions, our scientific enquiries follow a structured method: 1. Combining a scientific question with research (the how and why), 2. Conducting experiments to test the hypothesis and 3. Evaluating the results to draw conclusions. 


To develop and maintain curiosity, we believe that studying science will help to spark imagination, fuel curiosity and nurture inspired and confident young scientists. Without curiosity and wonder, children lose their natural inclination to observe the world, ask questions of it and investigate to find answers.



Implementation- What do we teach?

Our Science curriculum covers the three main areas of learning as set out in the national curriculum:  life & living processes (biology); materials (chemistry) and physical processes (physics). We want to give the children the opportunity to explore for themselves, develop their own curiosity and ability to question the world around them. At Downsview, we focus on the working scientifically skills and therefore much of our science learning is undertaken through investigations. To support the children's learning, we use Plymouth Science as a resource.


We have designed a knowledge organiser for each unit of study, which gives the children and teachers the 'bigger picture' of the topic they are learning about.

Content of learning in Science:


Reception and Nursery:


Y1:  Everyday materials; Plants & Animals-including humans; Seasonal changes


Y2:  Use of everyday materials; Plants & Animals-including humans, living things and their habitats


Y3: Light; Rocks; Forces and magnets; Plants & Animals-including humans


Y4: Electricity; Sound; States of matter; Plants & Animals-including humans, living things and their habitats


Y5:  Forces; Earth & Space; Properties of changing materials; Plants & Animals-including humans, living things and their habitats


Y6:  Light; Electricity; Evolution & inheritance; Plants & Animals-including humans, living things and their habitats

Impact- Our Expectations

At Downsview, children develop a love of science that promotes children’s ability to continually explore the world around them. We start each unit with a diagnostic assessment, which gives teachers an idea of where the children are in their learning and what prior knowledge they have. Then, at the end of the unit we use an 'end-of-unit-quiz' to assess the children's knowledge and understanding in relation to the content of learning.


Through eager observation and questioning, children develop a curiosity about the world and its processes. A robust, fun, differentiated curriculum sparks students’ imagination in lessons and during whole school initiatives. Using scientific language, they discuss topics and explain how to use the scientific method to investigate. Drawing conclusions from data (graphs and tables which students sometimes construct), allows for opportunities to notice patterns and design further investigations based on results. Teamwork is fostered during group work challenges and communication skills also developed during these rich tasks. Students’ engagement and dedication to science ensures they will be lifelong learners, who have an understanding of the world around them and allow them to make positive contributions to the planet.

See attached working scientifically skills, breakdown of science enquiries and expectations by year group: