Science Curriculum Intent


Enjoy achieving together … by being the best that we can be!

Our pupils learn best through experiential learning and the science curriculum is built around this. Our pupils learn science through real-life, hands-on experiences that broaden and raise aspirations as well as support acquisition of new science knowledge and skills. We provide the pupils with experiences and opportunities they may not otherwise access. In the classroom, this primarily occurs through a child-led approach to lessons, where children’s questions are investigated through practical enquiry. Outside the classroom, this occurs through a range of science trips, STEM weeks, STEM competitions and a range of science experts visiting and delivering workshops. Through this approach, pupils are offered a curriculum which is exciting, engaging and ambitiously designed to deepen their understanding of an ever-changing world and the science within it. It also develops key skills that will prepare them for their future beyond school. Science fosters many key skills such as developing children’s natural curiosity, independence, confidence, resilience and adaptability, all key skills for citizens of the future. The science curriculum through these experiences, in and out of the classroom, widens the aspirations of our young learners and allows them to understand that the sciences could be a possibility for them in their future.

To promote resilience and independence our curriculum encourages pupils to adopt a growth mind-set in order to learn from mistakes and develop as learners. Children are encouraged and empowered to develop their own lines of enquiry, working as part of a team or working independently to ask and answer their own scientific questions about the topic they are studying. We therefore want our children to be curious and in turn be resilient when trying to seek answers. In science, it is important that children learn the benefits of making mistakes when carrying out enquiries or the benefits of not giving up if an enquiry does not work as they hoped; this reflects how they too are like real-life scientists.

Our curriculum is based on the expectations of the national curriculum and is designed to be both progressive and matched to the needs and interests of our pupils. It starts with what the pupils already know and what they would like to know, added to this is what they need to know and from this a bespoke and flexible science curriculum is created. Long term plans are designed to be developmental and progressive and each new topic or learning experience builds on the skills, knowledge and understanding previously taught.

To support the unique needs of our pupils the curriculum has vocabulary and reading at its core. As pupils progress through school, children’s vocabulary is improved through consistent exposure to subject specific vocabulary. Teaching builds on previously learnt vocabulary and is explicitly taught, displayed in the classroom and revisited during Bright Ideas Time.  The acquisition of this scientific terminology allows the children to communicate their understanding effectively and reason about scientific concepts with greater confidence. Pupils also access a wide variety of high-quality written sources to develop their reading skills, promote the use of secondary sources in science and spark their interest and enthusiasm for learning.


















Science is a body of knowledge built up through experimental testing of ideas. Science is also methodology, a practical way of finding reliable answers to questions we may ask about the world around us.The subject also teaches an understanding of natural phenomena. It aims to stimulate a child’s curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way that they do. It teaches methods of enquiry and investigation to stimulate creative thought. Children learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way in which science will affect the future on a personal, national and global level.

Here at Usworth Colliery we promote these basic components of Science ensuring children have the opportunity to ask questions, follow their interests and are taught to work scientifically using technical vocabulary in a range of experiments and research based on the following curriculum areas:

  • Animals including Humans
  • Living Things and Their Habitats
  • Plants
  • Materials and States of Matter
  • Forces and Magnets
  • Rocks and Soil
  • Evolution and Inheritance
  • Light
  • Earth and Space
  • Electricity
  • Seasonal Change
  • Sound

In each of these areas we focus on scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions.

At Usworth Colliery Primary School, Science is taught through a learning challenge curriculum producing a separate learning challenge grid.


Science in the Early Years Foundation Stage

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, science forms part of the learning pupils acquire under the ‘Understanding the World’ branch of the Early Years Curriculum. Pupils are given the opportunity to explore their world through a variety of teacher-led and independent activities. Furthermore, pupils learn through first-hand experiences and are encouraged to explore the indoor and outdoor environment; observe things closely through a variety of means including magnifiers and photographs and ask questions and speculate on the reasons why things happen or how things work. Pupils are given the opportunities to record findings by drawing, writing and model making. Additionally, pupils are supported in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world. Opportunities are planned so that pupils encounter creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments and in real-life situations, so they can use and extend their scientific vocabulary.

Science Events in School

In June of this year, we have out annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Week, please return to the website to see all of the exciting things that your children will be doing.

Science in the Local Area

In the North East we have many excellent places to visit which can enrich your child’s science learning experiences. Many of these places children will visit on educational visits in school, but they all make fun trips at weekends or in school holidays. Tweet us at @UCPrimary if you visit any of these places we would love to see your Science learning outside of the classroom.

If you want to find out more about the scientific words your child should know in primary school please look at our SCIENCE-GLOSSARY-

Useful Science Websites

There are many great educational science websites for you and your child to explore further at home, playing games, doing experiments or to use as homework help: