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“I am among those who think that Science has great beauty.” Marie Curie


At Essa, we want to inspire, engage and challenge children by equipping them with the knowledge and skills to become curious and knowledgeable scientists of the future. Our curriculum is ambitious and engaging and allows children to develop a deep knowledge of scientific facts and information, alongside the ability to work scientifically and follow lines of scientific enquiry.

As our pupils grow up in an increasingly technologically and scientifically advanced world, we recognise the importance that Science provides for today and out future and continually strive to maintain a high profile for the subject within our school and community. Our desire to enthuse and inspire pupils to develop a life-long love of science and raise their STEM related career aspirations, is embedded in our engaging Science curriculum. We particularly recognise the need to enthuse our girls in Science to open up a world of STEM careers to them.

The curriculum allows them to develop their scientific knowledge and skills across the school from Reception to Year 6. To ensure this progression is embedded, we use the idea of Big Ideas.


The big ideas for Science are:

  • Working Scientifically (runs through all units)

  • Significant Scientists (runs through all units)

  • Physics

  • Chemistry

  • Biology


These golden threads run through our curriculum planning from Reception to Year 6 and allow children to explore common themes across different units of work. Careful consideration is given to building a schema of art knowledge and following a well-sequenced curriculum to allow children to make links over time and between themes.


The children deepen their understanding of Science through learning key knowledge, conceptual understanding, models, laws and theories (substantive knowledge) and developing their practice as scientists through scientific enquiry, working scientifically and thinking like a scientist (disciplinary knowledge). By learning both the knowledge and skills, our children will not only know ‘the science’, they will also understand the evidence for it and can use this knowledge to work scientifically. Working scientifically skills are always taught through, and clearly relate to, the teaching of the substantive science knowledge.


Working scientifically focuses on:


  • Methods used to answer questions (use of models, classification, correlations and patterns, experimentation, fair testing)  

  • Using apparatus and techniques (accurate measurement, collecting and recording data, carrying out   procedures safely and accurately)  

  • Data analysis (processing and presenting data, exploring relationships, communicating results in tables / graphs, identifying correlations)  

  • Using evidence to develop explanations (using evidence / scientific knowledge to draw conclusions, explain laws, models, concepts and findings)  

As part of working scientifically which is embedded throughout all units, pupils will also learn to use a variety of enquiry strategies to answer scientific questions. Different questions lead to different types of enquiry and are not limited to fair testing. By the end of primary school, children will be able to use these enquiry strategies confidently and know that different strategies may be needed at different times.

  • Observing over time: (observing or measuring how one variable changes over time)

  • Identifying and classifying: (identifying and naming materials/living things and making observations or carrying out tests to organise them into groups)

  • Looking for patterns: (making observations or carrying out surveys of variables that cannot be easily controlled and looking for relationships between two sets of data)

  • Comparative and fair testing: (observing or measuring the effect of changing one variable when controlling others)

  • Answering questions using secondary sources of evidence: (answering questions using data or information that they have not collected first hand)


Science Curriculum Implementation


The science curriculum is built on the foundation of the three ‘E’s:


Entitlement/core curriculum


Science is taught weekly and curriculum planning is supported by resources from the ‘Developing Experts’ scheme of work. Pupils develop the scientific attitudes of curiosity, cooperation, creativity, sensitivity to living things and critical reflection through the ‘Understanding the World’ area of the EYFS curriculum, and these form the foundations of their scientific enquiry skills.


Each science topic builds on previous learning and concepts are revisited to further develop children’s understanding and build knowledge over time. Learning is directed towards specifically identified end points and opportunities to systematically assess, revisit and assimilate learning int children’s long term memory are planned for. SOAPs (subjects on a page) define the core knowledge that children need to know and form the basis of low stakes quizzing. Our curriculum is based on a ‘keep up’ model rather than a ’catch up’ model; exit tickets and regular retrieval activities give teachers the opportunity to assess the children’s learning and plan for any closing of the gaps. Our SOAPs lead to ROAPs (reviews on a page) at the end of a topic, which give further information about children’s knowledge and understanding.


We recognise that the curriculum may sometimes need to be adapted to enable some of our learners to access it. This is achieved through specific adaptations, bespoke to the needs of the child:

  • Children are introduced to new vocabulary prior to a lesson; it is revisited afterwards and pictures are used to support understanding.

  • Children are supported with writing/ recording their ideas by having a scribe or a different way of recording their information. This could be sentences to sequence, or match, rather than writing them or matching pictures to sentences.

  • Children have more time or works 1:1 with an adult or in a smaller group.

  • Children have support in using resources, such as thermometers or data loggers, in order to carry out investigations.




Children who demonstrate a love of science are given the opportunity to develop this is in a number of ways:

  • Educational visits

  • Science club

  • STEM activities in the hub at lunchtime




Children who excel in science have the opportunity to pursue their talents in a number of ways:

  • Links with Essa Academy

  • Educational visits

  • Opportunity to be part of the STEM department in pupil parliament




All of our school community (staff, senior leaders, governors and children are involved in measuring the impact of our Science curriculum in different ways. This is planned for through the School Development Plan, and using our annual monitoring cycle and termly development plan to map out monitoring and review over the year.


Impact is measured by:

  • Collecting data from formative assessments (whole-class quizzes, assessment cups, exit tickets)

  • Collecting data from summative assessment (ROAPs)

  • Pupil voice to determine what children have remembered over time

  • Staff voice to determine effectiveness of provided planning and the impact of professional development

  • Parent voice in our annual survey

  • Reviewing learning in books

  • Reviewing progress made against steps to success each lesson and across a sequence of lessons

  • Governor visits to evaluate different areas of Science

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