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.


















Here at Usworth Colliery we promote the basic components of Science outlined in the National Curriculum:  


  • Animals including Humans 
  • Living Things and Their Habitats 
  • Plants 
  • Seasonal Change 
  • Evolution and Inheritance 


  • Materials and States of Matter 
  • Rocks and Soil 


  • Sound 
  • Light 
  • Earth and Space 
  • Electricity 
  • Forces and Magnets 

We ensure that all children gain deep substantive knowledge in these topics by focusing on key facts and planning lessons in a progressive order to build on prior learning. This supports children to remember more as clear links can be made to past lessons and it provides children with multiple opportunities to regularly recap their knowledge. In each lesson we also focus on ‘working scientifically’ skills so that pupils understand how they are being scientists and are able to use a variety of approaches to support their learning. Scientific skills broadly include: observing over time; finding patterns; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparing and fair testing (investigations); and independent research. We believe, is vital to focus on these working scientifically objectives as it allows our children to learn skills that can be used not only in science but across the curriculum. As a result, we are providing opportunities for our children to be lifelong learners as they are able seek and find answers to questions in a number of ways.


In the Early Years Foundation Stage, science forms part of the learning pupils acquires under the ‘Understanding the World’ branch of the Early Years Framework. Pupils are given the opportunity to explore their world through a variety of teacher and child-led activities. These include:  


  • looking for signs of the seasons in Forest School sessions 
  • Making observations on eggs hatching in class and basic lifecycles 
  • Beginning to look at which animals are found in different habitats around the world 
  • Planting seeds and watching them grow.   Chemistry  
  • Observing changes of states with ice and cooking activities 

Our EYFS topics have been carefully chosen to prepare children for their transition to the ‘Primary National Curriculum’. These topics provide pupils with a base knowledge for areas they will also study, in more depth, in KS1. The focus of each topic is very child-led and their questions and interests will lead the topic with any misconceptions that arise being addressed. Furthermore, pupils are given the opportunity to learn primarily through first-hand experiences and are encouraged to explore the indoor and outdoor environment (particularly Forest School). EYFS, also begin to introduce our children to some working scientifically skills. For example: children exploring what they see, hear and feel; promoting the importance of asking questions; and focusing on introducing and developing vocabulary to explain.

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-