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Science at Ferham Primary School


We believe that Science is an integral part of understanding the world around us. As such, children are exposed to Science concepts both in discrete lessons as well as through other subjects such as Reading and Writing.  Through our Science curriculum, children will explore the world as and of scientists. Taught science weekly through exciting, engaging and challenging lessons, children learn about how the physical and natural world works. They are encouraged to ask questions that may arise from their natural curiosity and growing knowledge and understanding of the world around them.

Curriculum Intent  


At Ferham, we follow the National Curriculum within Ark Curriculum+ Science Mastery which ensures that there is clear progression and cohesion in both substantive and disciplinary knowledge throughout  KS1 & 2 . This is clearly shown in our progression documents. 


The AC+ Science Mastery curriculum is fully aligned to the National Curriculum. The knowledge builds sequentially in the three disciplines with pupils often revisiting an idea or concept in a later unit. There are three clear end points for working scientifically; end of KS1 (focusing on experience, observation and exploration of the world around them), end of lower KS2 (scaffolded enquiry) and end of KS2 (investigating with more precision and planning scientific enquiry). The unit order is built in a way which ensures pupils have the knowledge they need to work scientifically in a meaningful way. Rather than pupils learning solely from practical work, they will gain knowledge of the scientific concept first before deepening it through ‘working scientifically’. The different types of scientific enquiry have been incorporated across the units and as a result pupils encounter opportunities to take part in observing over time, pattern seeking, identifying, classifying and grouping, comparative and fair testing and researching using secondary sources. 


At Ferham, we recognise that children come to our school with varying amounts of science capital (knowledge, experiences, skills and attitudes). We therefore follow the ‘science capital teaching approach’ in order to help address this inequality (Kings College London, 2015). Subject specific vocabulary is used in all lessons, with explicit teaching of tier 2 and 3 vocabulary (Alex Quigley, 2018). With the right support and adaptations, we expect that all children will be able to master the Science curriculum. 


AC+ resources are adapted as needed to make them accessible to SEND and EAL pupils. We supplement the AC+ Science curriculum with learning about scientists of a wide range of nationalities and genders to reflect and empower our diverse community. 


Curriculum Implementation  


According to Sherrington (2020), the experience of doing is more likely to build schema and make it stick as children are able to make links to what they have seen or done. Using the enquiry-based approach to learning in science, children will be supported in making connections between the ‘smaller ideas’ from prior learning and ‘bigger ideas’ they are currently studying (Harlen and Qualter,  2018).  


In EYFS, the children learn about science through ‘Understanding the World’. They benefit from observing changes over time in the world around them and in different materials. They explore their own environment as well as the animals and plants that live there.  Understanding the World is taught cross-curricularly to whole class groups as well as in smaller focus groups and within classroom provision. 


Usually taught weekly as a discrete session, in KS1 and KS2, science lessons begin with a recall of previous learning, whether this be from the last lesson, last topic or when the topic was last studied in a previous year group. Instant feedback is provided and a mental note made by the teacher to go over prior learning that has not yet been embedded until children retrieve it fluently. The AC+ workbooks support this as low-stakes knowledge-based retrieval quizzes are included at the start of each lesson. 


Before delivering a Science unit, teachers benefit from a detailed Unit Planning Guide which recaps prior learning, summarises each lesson and offers helpful guidance to engage pupils in science using hooks thus building their subject and pedagogical knowledge. To further build their subject knowledge in order to meet the requirements of the teaching standards and successfully teach the unit, bespoke support is available. As such, teachers are confident in their subject knowledge to ensure delivery is accurate and that misconceptions are anticipated and addressed. 


At the beginning of a unit teachers assess children’s prior knowledge through practical activities which stimulate discussion. We also revisit substantive knowledge from previous learning to unlock pupils’ long-term memories and ensure that any gaps in knowledge are identified and plugged. Equally, this ensures that time is not wasted overlearning areas of knowledge in which children already have significant background knowledge. This revision is also important given the high mobility of our school.  


Within Science lessons, teachers present subject knowledge in small chunks and make explicit links to prior learning. Carefully crafted questions are used to check for understanding in order to gain more awareness of the learning in the classroom. All science lessons include the teaching of subject specific vocabulary which is also displayed in the classroom where children are able to see it and use it. Child-friendly definitions support children to understand new vocabulary.  See examples of working walls below.  

















Science is made accessible to SEND  and EAL children by the use of first-hand experiences of scientific concepts where appropriate. Teachers ensure that, where used, practical demonstrations and/or investigations support and deepen children’s understanding of the science and make the science more visible. SEND and EAL children also benefit from working alongside their peers as language is introduced and built upon both through pre-teaching, being used in context and over-learning. Lessons are adapted through the use of visuals, pre-teaching, practical hands-on experiences and opportunities to practice and verbalise their learning to ensure that learners with SEND retain at least one key piece of ‘sticky knowledge’ in each lesson. For example, in a Y3 lesson on the different properties of rocks, pupils with SEND may focus on rough and smooth using magnifying glasses, touch and Venn Diagrams to sort them practically, whilst using a word mat made with Communicate in Print to support and reinforce key vocabulary and language structures. 


Children are encouraged to read, research and extend their science knowledge by accessing the many inviting Science books linked to each unit that we have available in classrooms and in visits to our local library. 










Curriculum Impact  


Assessment in Science takes three forms: assessment for learning; assessment as learning; and assessment of learning.  

Assessment for learning in Science is continuous as teachers adapt their teaching according to learners’ needs during lessons. This may include remodelling, additional adaptations such as word mats or written steps to follow or extra challenge such as independent research.  

Assessment as learning is at the beginning of each lesson. Pupils complete a retrieval exercise to recall and embed important learning into their long-term memories. The teacher then uses this knowledge to determine if any subject knowledge needs to be retaught or reinforced. 

In science, assessment of learning is focused on our curriculum. Pupils complete an end-of-unit substantive knowledge quiz to enable teachers and the subject leader to check that pupils know more and remember more.   


In EYFS, children are assessed using the Early Learning Goals through ‘Understanding the World’.  


Children’s work will be used as a way of securing and showing learning and not as simply a record of activities done in class as this does not necessarily evidence the learning that has taken place. 


The subject leader measures impact through termly book scrutiny, alongside talking to teachers and pupils. Pupils are asked what they know now that they didn’t know before. The subject leader carries out interviews with pupils using the knowledge organiser to identify if the knowledge has been understood and transferred to the long-term memory. They also talk to children about their experience of scientific enquiry and the disciplinary knowledge they have learned. The subject leader then feeds back to staff on which areas of learning children were secure. If there are found to be gaps in knowledge, class teachers address this by adding retrieval questions into subsequent lessons or where necessary re-teaching.  


Children’s attainment in Science is reported to parents annually in their end of year report.  

Science Topic Overview

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Science Progression 


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