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St Mary’s Catholic Primary School ‘Faith in Education’


Science at St Mary's


At St Mary’s we want our children to be naturally curious about the world around them. We want to embrace their sense of wonder about natural phenomena and to support them to become enquiry-based learners.  We endeavour to provide children with the skills to be independent scientific learners; to research, investigate, evaluate and create new hypotheses.

We want our children to develop an understanding of the uses and implications of Science.  To recognise how it has changed and shaped our lives and how vital it is to the future and it’s importance in a range of jobs

We aim to develop children’s scientific enquiry skills and to embed these in each topic the children study. Topics are revisited and developed across the key stages.  Topics, such as Plants, are taught in Key Stage One and studied again in further detail throughout Key Stage Two. This allows the children to grow in their understanding, building upon their prior knowledge and increasing their enthusiasm for the topics whilst embedding this procedural knowledge into the long-term memory. 



Children will receive high quality science teaching, taught in an interactive, progressive and engaging way.

We aim to create excitement about natural phenomenon and develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning.

Lessons begin with a last year, last topic, last week flashback to ensure prior learning is revisited and therefore able to be applied to current learning.

Substantive science teaching builds on existing knowledge from previous years and is progressive. Knowledge builds on prior learning and progresses through the school. This is taught through topics which are split into year group units and are rooted in biology, chemistry and physics.

Disciplinary knowledge, or ‘working scientifically’ skills, are embedded through all topics taught and teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, they become more proficient in selecting and using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results. They become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence. New vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching to enable the children to become familiar with these before then using them independently. This disciplinary knowledge enables pupils to be able to investigate and find out answers themselves.

By learning both disciplinary and substantive knowledge children will know the science and the evidence behind it. Children use both skills so they are able to investigate their own questions linked to the substantive knowledge taught.



Children’s knowledge is assessed at the beginning of each topic through a mind map and class discussions, this enables teachers to assess retention of prior knowledge and adapt starting points. Throughout the topic children will participate in formative assessments such as quizzes, written activities, think pair share. At the end of the unit children will complete a summative assessment to assess their progress against taught objectives.

Children have key vocabulary on unit title pages in their books to refer to  throughout the unit of learning.



This approach to the teaching of science at St Mary’s will result in a fun, engaging, high quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding and being curious about the world and how it works.  We will equip children with scientific enquiry skills to enable them to hypothesise, investigate, modify and find answers to their questions and to be ready and eager to move on to the next stage of scientific learning.


Children at St Mary’s will:

  • Retain knowledge from previous science learning.

  • Apply previous knowledge to new learning.

  • Be able to reflect on knowledge and question ideas.

  • Suggest ways to find answers for their questions.

  • Be resilient and modify ideas based on their findings. 

  • Demonstrate their mathematical skills through their work, organising, recording and interpreting results.

  • Have a rich scientific vocabulary and be able to articulate their findings and understanding of scientific concepts.

  • Work collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment.