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Science Curriculum

To contact Ms Murphy or Ms Ashby (Assistant Head Teachers with responsibility for Science), please use the contact form below.

At Gascoigne Primary School, teachers use a range of schemes and resources to plan for Science, ensuring we deliver the full range of the Primary National Curriculum 2014.

The Collins 'Snap Science' is the main scheme of work being used across the school to support teachers planning of Science.  However, also in line with our cross curricular theme approach, 'Switched on Science' resources are also being used. 

Please see some sample medium term overviews below.

Snap Science Lesson Plans

'Switched on Science' sample medium term plans

The Cornerstones curriculum also has a range of scientific ideas and provides discrete investigative units to ensure children plan, carry out and perform regular investigations.
Science Policy

Please open up the Word document below which will provide you with an insight into all the key developments that we are aiming to achieve during the academic year 2016-17.

Picture 1

Foundation Stage Science


Science at Foundation Stage is introduced indirectly through activities that encourage your child to explore, problem solve, observe, predict, think, make decisions and talk about the world around them. It is called ‘knowledge and understanding of the world’.

Children explore creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments. They observe and manipulate objects and materials in order to identify similarities and differences. For example, they may look at an egg whisk, sand, paper and water to learn about things that are natural and manmade and their different functions. Children also learn to use their senses through, for example, feeling dough or listening to a variety of different sounds in the environment.

Children, in school, are always encouraged to ask questions about why things happen and how something works. Through their own physical development, children also learn to recognise the effects that exercise has on the body. Children also learn about the importance of keeping themselves healthy through other activities such as cooking. Through their creative development, children are also able to explore shape, texture, colour and space.



Handy Home Learning Tips for EYFS

  • Use your five senses. For example, create a ‘feely bag’ to describe an object and encourage your child to use correct vocabulary.

  • Ask your child if they can identify things around the house which require a push or a pull. This is an early introduction to Forces which children will encounter more formally later on.

  • Make an ice lolly and talk about changes in simple terms.

  • Listen to music and introduce simple words such as high, low, loud and quiet.

  • Plant some seeds and watch them develop over weeks. Sunflowers are very visual and you could even bring in some measuring skills which would also help develop your child’s Maths skills.

  • Talk about the dangers of electricity around the home.

  • Talk about how the body works through exercise, digestion etc.



During Years 1 and 2, pupils are taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:

  • asking simple questions and recognizing that they can be answered in different ways

  • observing closely, using simple equipment

  • performing simple tests

  • identifying and classifying

  • using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions

  • gathering and recording data to help in answering questions


Year 1

Under the new 2014 National Curriculum, children in Year 1 learn about:

  • Plants-identifying, naming and looking at their basic structure

  • Animals, including humans-identifying and naming a range of animals and understanding how and why they are grouped (eg mammals, amphibians, birds etc)

  • Everyday materials-looking at their properties

  • Seasonal changes-observing changes across the four seasons and looking at different types of weather


Year 2

In Year 2, children are taught about:

  • Living things and their habitats-including dependence within habitats and micro-habitats

  • Plants-observing how seeds and bulbs grow into plants and what plants need to stay healthy

  • Animals including humans-focusing on reproduction, nutrition and exercise

  • Everyday materials-comparing their uses and looking at how they can be changed by exerting force


Handy Home Learning Tips for KS1

  • Plant seeds at home. Encourage your child to keep a ‘seed diary ’to observe changes over a period of time. Talk about the things plants need to grow eg soil, light, air and water.

  • Conduct a ‘light’ survey in order to identify sources of light around the home/ environment.

  • Talk to your child about the differences between animals and humans. If you own a pet, link to real-life examples when talking about features and basic daily requirements eg water, sleep and food.

  • Link Science to real life. Show your child how things have changed over the years and how scientific advances have been made. For example, share books that show non-electrical or old household appliances.

  • Provide your child with a collection of items made from a variety of different materials eg paper, plastic, cardboard and metal. Ask your child to find different ways of grouping them eg rough, smooth and shiny.

  • Talk to your child about natural materials eg wood, bone. Go out for a walk together to find twigs, rocks, pebbles and sort together.

  • Science can encourage reading-share a book together and talk about the main content.


The principal focus of Science teaching in lower Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them Pupils should read and spell scientific vocabulary correctly and with confidence, using their growing word reading and spelling knowledge.


Years 3 and 4

During Years 3 and 4, children are taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:

  • asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them

  • setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests

  • making systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate , taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers

  • gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions

  • recording findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts and tables

  • reporting on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions

  • identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes

  • using results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions

  • using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings


Year 3

In Year 3, children are taught about:

  • Plants-including parts of plants, their needs and the life cycle.

  • Animals, including humans-focusing on nutrition, skeletons and muscles.

  • Rocks-including comparing rocks, looking at fossils and understanding how soil is made.

  • Light-looking at how light is reflected, how shadows are formed and can change.

  • Forces and magnets-focusing on attraction and repulsion of magnets, magnetic materials and the two poles of a magnet.


Year 4

In Year 4, children are taught about:

  • Living things and their habitats-including classifying living things and looking at changes to environments.

  • Animals, including humans-focusing on eating: teeth, the digestive system and food chains.

  • States of matter-including grouping materials, changing state, evaporation and condensation.

  • Sound-looking at the creation of sound through vibration and changes in pitch and volume.

  • Electricity-including constructing a circuit and understanding conductors and insulators.



The principal focus of Science in Upper Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. Pupils also encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. Pupils should read, spell and pronounce scientific vocabulary correctly.


Years 5 and 6

During Years 5 and 6, pupils are taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills throughout the teaching of the programme of study content:

  • Planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary

  • Taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate

  • Recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs

  • Using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests

  • Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations

  • Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments


Year 5

In Year 5, children are taught about:

  • Living things and their habitats-including the life cycles of a mammal, amphibian, insect and bird.

  • Animals, including humans-focusing on changes from birth to old age.

  • Properties and changes of materials-including dissolving, separating and reversible changes.

  • Earth and Space- looking at the movement of the sun, earth and moon.

  • Forces-including gravity, air resistance, water resistance and friction.


Year 6

In Year 6, children are taught about:

  • Living things and their habitats-including classifying micro-organisms, plants and animals.

  • Animals, including humans-focusing mainly on diet and exercise.

  • Evolution and inheritance-looking at fossils, reproduction and adaptation.

  • Light-looking closely at how it travels and how shadows are made.

  • Electricity-analysing the function of lamps, buzzers, cells and switches.

  • Weekly SATS revision.



Handy Home Learning Tips for KS2

As children progress through their school years, home learning becomes more formal. From Year 3, your child will encounter more formal Science home learning. This does not have to be a chore, but exciting and challenging for all!!

It is a well- known fact that children are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their home learning. It shows children that what they do IS IMPORTANT. Helping with home learning should not mean spending hours hunched over a desk. Parents can be supportive by demonstrating study and organisational skills, explaining a tricky problem, or just encouraging their child to take a break.

Here are some tips to guide the way:

  • Get to know the teachers and what the expectations are. Parent-teacher conferences so you are aware of standards.

  • Set up a home learning friendly area. Make sure it is a well-lit place to complete home learning. Keep supplies eg pencils, pen etc within easy reach.

  • Schedule a regular home learning time so there is consistency.

  • Help your child to make a plan, especially if home learning is ‘heavy’ on a particular night. Encourage your child to break up the work into manageable steps.

  • Keep distractions to a minimum. This should mean no T.V, loud music or phone calls.

  • Please ensure that children complete their own work. Children do not learn if they don’t think for themselves and make their own mistakes. Parents can make suggestions and help their child with the direction in which the home learning is going.

  • Motivate and monitor your child. Ask your child about their home learning and provide encouragement. Parents can make themselves available in order to answer any questions or concerns.

  • Praise your child’s work and efforts.

  • If your child experiences continuing problems with their home learning, please talk to your child’s teacher. Some children may have trouble reading print and may require glasses or there could be a learning problem/ attention disorder that requires addressing. School is here to help.

Examples of Home Learning

  • Look at books together on the life cycle stages and talk about them.

  • Show your child how to change a plug.

  • Talk about the dangers of electricity in the home/ around the local environment.

  • Make your child aware of the many famous scientists who have contributed to the science world.

  • Look up information about different types of food required for a balanced diet. Why are they needed?

  • When out completing the weekly shopping, plan a balanced meal together.

  • Plant mustard and cress seeds in soil/ on a shallow dish using cotton wool and place them in different environments eg light, dark, wet and dry. After a determined period of time, look at them and note the differences. Draw the differences of take photographs. Use books/ the Internet to research information about what causes these variations.

  • Talk about reversible/ irreversible changes eg water/ ice.

  • Talk about forces around the home/ in the environment- relate to the world on a wider scale.

  • Discuss simple food chains.

  • Try simple experiments with your child. Make observations such as, “When I put a seed in a wet environment it grows” or “If I place a round object on a flat surface it rolls”, or ask questions such as, “What happens if I put sugar in a full cup of water at room temperature?” “What will happen if I continue to add sugar?”


Please see below individual grids for each Year Group which provide you with information regarding pupils' Key Learning across an academic year from the beginning of Key Stage 1 to the end of Key Stage 2. 

Parents/ Pupils:


The Science Leads for this academic year (2016-17) are Ms Murphy (based at The Shaftesburys site) and Ms Ashby ( based at the Gascoigne Road site). Please do not hesitate to contact either of us should there be any questions/ queries regarding our Science curriculum. We are here to help and it is really important that pupils at Gascoigne enjoy their learning and make FANTASTIC progress !!! We are also aiming for our attainment to be closer to national averages this year.

Science Sampling - end of KS2

Biennial science sampling tests for pupils at the end of KS2 take place from June 2016. The tests will not be taken by whole cohorts. Instead, a sample of approximately 9,500 pupils will be randomly selected, based on five pupils from 1,900 schools.


In addition, of the 1,900 schools selected, a sample will be selected to participate in the pre-test trialling of the 2018 science sampling tests. Five additional pupils from each school will take these tests.


Schools that are selected have a statutory obligation to participate.


The science sampling tests will cover the aspects of the curriculum that lend themselves to paper-based, externally marked testing. Pupils usually sit these tests at the beginning of June within a two week period. The tests consist of three papers. Each paper takes no longer than 25 minutes to complete and these tests are overseen by external administrators although a member of school staff is always present in such cases.

The document below is designed to give teachers an indication of how the new curriculum is assessed from 2016.


It is important for parents and pupils to fully understand that the new tests are increasingly challenging and to remember that, at Gascoigne, we still view Science as a core subject. Parents and pupils can view some of the questions together. Let us know what you think !!!

Science Visits 

In January 2017 Reception children went to The Science Museum to find out more about our topic on Reflection. We visited the Pattern Pod and Garden. We explored a range of patterns such as visual, sound, time, movement and texture. In the Garden we investigated floating, sinking, shadows and reflections.

We had lots of fun, it was a fantastic day!