Our Federation Science Curriculum

Albert Einstein, Physicist

“The important thing is to never stop asking questions.”

Carl Sagan, Physicist

“Science is a way of thinking, much more than a body of knowledge.”

Mae Jemison, Astronaut

Don't let anyone rob you of your 
imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It's your place in the world; it's your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”
Science is the knowledge and understanding of our world. It is the building blocks on which our society is founded. The science of today may well be the technology of tomorrow and all children, from all backgrounds and all abilities should have ample opportunity to engage with, be inspired by and learn from scientists who have come before us, pioneers who stood up for the scientific process and recognise the role that science plays in our every day life.

Science Intent

At Calstock and Stoke Climsland Federation, we aspire for our children to be scientists and engineers. Our intent is to give every child a broad and balanced Science curriculum which enables them to confidently explore and discover what is around them, so that they have a deeper understanding of the world we live in. We want our children to love science and to be awed by the things they discover. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up feeling confident in their application of their science knowledge and skills: to understand that science and engineering is all around us every day. We want our children to remember their science lessons in our school and embrace the scientific opportunities they are presented with! To achieve this, lessons at our Federation involve exciting, practical hands on experiences that encourage curiosity and questioning. Our aim is that these stimulating and challenging experiences help every child secure and extend their scientific knowledge and vocabulary, as well as promoting a love and thirst for learning. We have a coherently planned and sequenced curriculum which has been carefully designed and developed with the need of every child at the centre of what we do. We want to equip our children with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the science National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
In our Federation, science topics are taught within each year group in accordance with the National Curriculum.
Topics are blocked to allow children to focus on developing their knowledge and skills, studying each topic in depth.
Every year group will build upon the learning from prior year groups therefore developing depth of understanding and progression of skills.
Teachers promote enjoyment and foster interest of the scientific disciplines; Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
Children explore, question, predict, plan, carry out investigations and observations as well as conclude their findings in all year groups thought the year, developing their scientific enquiry skills
Children present their findings and learning using science specific language, observations and diagrams.
In order to support children in their ability to ‘know more and remember more’ there are regular opportunities to review the learning taken place in previous topics as well as previous lessons.
At the start of each topic children will review previous learning and will have the opportunity to share what they already know about a current topic.
Children are given a knowledge organiser at the start of each topic which details some key Science Curriculum Statement information, dates and vocabulary. This is not used as part of an assessment, but to support children with their acquisition of knowledge and are used as a reference document.
Effective CPD and standardisation opportunities are available to staff to ensure high levels of confidence and knowledge are maintained.
To support teaching, teachers access a range of resources and planning from the Kent Scheme of Learning.
Effective use of education visits and visitors are planned, to enrich and enhance the pupil’s learning experiences within the Science curriculum.
Teachers use highly effective assessment for learning in each lesson to ensure misconceptions are highlighted and addressed.
Effective modelling by teachers ensures that children are able to achieve their learning intention, with misconceptions addressed within it.
Through using a range of assessment tools, differentiation is facilitated by teachers, to ensure that each pupil can access the Science curriculum.
Children are given clear success criteria in order to achieve the learning intention with differing elements of independence.
Cross-curricular links are planned for, with other subjects such as maths, English, design and technology and computing.
Our use of iTrack assessment allows us to use data to inform future practice.


The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of Science through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World.’ Children find out about objects, materials and living things using all of their senses looking at similarities, differences, patterns and change. Both the environment and skilled practitioners foster curiosity and encourage explorative play, children are motivated to ask questions about why things happen and how things work. Our children are encouraged to use their natural environment around them to explore. Children enjoy spending time outdoors exploring mini-beasts and their habitats, observing the changing seasons, plants and animals. Children regularly participate in cookery and baking sessions which allows them to experience changes in state as ingredients are mixed, heated and cooled

Science Impact

The impact of this curriculum design will lead to children feeling confident in their own progress over time, across key stages. Children will therefore be expected to leave our Federation reaching at least age related expectations for Science. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts our Science curriculum will lead pupils to be enthusiastic science learners and understand that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. We want to empower our children so they understand they have the capability to change the world through the understanding and application science. This is evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice, their work and their overwhelming enjoyment for science.
This sequence of learning is primarily derived from Oak Academy’s Science program. The rationale for this is captured below. It should always be used in conjunction with their more detailed planes available here:

Introduction to Oak’s key stage 2 science curriculum

Each unit of work is 6 lessons long and designed to last roughly one half term. The following curriculum map provides complete coverage of statutory topics contained within the national curriculum. Further units that go beyond the national curriculum are also included, to help pupils better understand the subject and the world, as well as preparing them for the next stage of study. In sections 2 to 7, you will find a set of principles we have sought to apply in our curriculum planning of both primary and secondary science.

Knowledge organisation

The units in the science curriculum are grouped by key stage, with a suggested route organised within year groups. The substantive knowledge (i.e. the science content) will be taught in units, and the disciplinary knowledge (i.e. working scientifically) is taught in context. Hierarchical elements of working scientifically will be reflected in the units and therefore this will be built up accordingly.

Knowledge selection

We are seeking to support schools to deliver the national curriculum to children who cannot attend school. Our choice of what to teach will primarily be guided by the content specified in the national curriculum, but we have also chosen to broaden this to increase challenge and build aspiration (e.g., include more physics at KS2, include units in KS2 on a diverse range of influential scientists).

Inclusive and ambitious

We want Oak to be able to support all children. Our units will be pitched so that children with different starting points can access them. Pupils need to have a large amount of subject knowledge stored in their long-term memory in order to become competent at any subject, and this is especially true of science, where application is often an application of knowledge. For this reason, these lessons are designed to teach science in a clear and deliberate fashion, emphasising secure content knowledge before moving on to tasks. In this approach, the teacher is the subject expert and the emphasis is on instruction and explanation, followed by deliberate practice supported by modelling, guided practice and scaffolding. Models and analogies will be used where appropriate to allow pupils to visualise or contextualise abstract ideas.

Motivation through learning

Like all teachers, we recognise that good presentation helps pupils keep participating in our lessons. However, we are teachers, and not entertainers. We seek to motivate children through our subjects. We believe that what we teach is inherently interesting, and that the joy of learning is our primary motivator. In science, we will provide opportunities where possible for
pupils to engage in home experimentation. We will include learning about relevant careers for that unit in many of our units.
The scientists that we have chosen to study will reflect the diversity of backgrounds of our pupils. Finally, we will try to be explicit about the real-life relevance of each unit so that it is clear why this knowledge is important.

Pupil engagement

We need pupils to be thinking during science lessons - both to engage with the subject and to strengthen memory of what is being learnt. Our lessons will not be video lectures. We seek to exercise pupils’ minds throughout their lessons. This will involve questions and tasks throughout instruction, just as we would with classroom teaching. We will aim to include purposeful practical science in as many of our lessons as possible.

Below is listed the sequence in which we suggest teaching the key stage 2 science units. Teachers should note that whilst this sequence adheres to the National Curriculum in terms of teaching content within the correct key stage, not all content is taught in the year group suggested by the National Curriculum. Where that is the case, the rationale is below. The affected units have been deliberately designed so that they can be taught in any sequence, and so schools can place these units wherever they prefer.
For KS2, we have also tried to provide flexibility wherever possible. However, there are more sequencing constraints in this key stage.
Wherever possible we have tried to assume no prior knowledge but in units where this is not possible, we will ensure that this knowledge is retaught. The suggested sequence in the table below is just one of many options that schools could consider.

KS2 sequencing suggestions:

We would advise that the ‘States of matter’ unit be taught before ‘separating mixtures’, ‘Physical and chemical changes’ and ‘Particles in physical and chemical changes’.
We have suggested ‘Rock cycle’ is taught in Year 4 after the ‘States of matter’ as there are lots of references to changes of state in this unit.
We would advise that ‘Light & dark’ and ‘Forces’ be taught before ‘Space’.
We would advise that ‘Plants’ is taught before ‘Ecosystems’ and ‘Adaptations’.
‘History of Science’ is a unit that could be placed flexibly but it covers ideas taught in ‘Space’, ‘Raw and synthetic materials’, ‘Electricity’ and ‘Human anatomy’. While the lessons will be accessible without the knowledge from these units, it would be better suited for UKS2 as it will provide knowledge from these units to be consolidated.
The ‘Electrical circuits’ unit is in Year 4 but can also be used for Year 6 as it includes all of the statutory requirements of electricity on the Year 6 national curriculum.
‘Notable scientists’ could be taught in any year group. This unit has been designed to teach children about a diverse group of scientists in a range of different fields. In the suggested sequence of units this has been placed in Year 3 but we would recommend including this unit in all year groups. Each lesson will be designed to be standalone so that lessons could be taught in isolation if there is not enough time in your school’s plans to include the whole unit. For example, if teaching the unit ‘Space’, then the lesson on Katharine Johnson from the ‘notable scientists’ unit could be taught in conjunction as there are many links.
The ‘Practical skills’ unit could be taught in any year group. It goes through each stage of conducting a scientific investigation and writing a report of the investigation. Each lesson from this unit could also be taught in isolation and included in curriculum plans to suit the needs of your pupils. For example, the lesson on writing a method could be taught as a refresher if this is a skill you think your pupils need more practise on. Or the lesson on scientific conclusions could be taught before undergoing an investigation in a different unit or topic

Further Guidance

Oak Academy videos may be used, but are more useful as support for your planning, rather than the key element of a lesson.
Oak Academy PowerPoints will be useful for planning and lesson delivery – they are often very good resources, even if you do not want to use the whole thing.
Quizzes (available for most units) should for the basis of your formative assessment of children’s substantive knowledge
Disciplinary knowledge (scientific enquiry) should be assessed by using the skills for your year group and recorded by highlighting off a ‘working scientifically butterfly’ in the front cover of every child’s book.
Tel: 01822 832646
Calstock CP School
Back Road, Calstock PL18 9QL