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St Thomas' CE Primary Academy

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St Thomas' CE Primary Academy


'Impossible is not a scientific term' 


Vanna Bonta 


At St Thomas’, we are committed to providing children with a fun, engaging, practical and high-quality curriculum that inspires the next generation of scientists.  We do this by providing pupils with a clear understanding of what it means to be a Biologist, Physicist, and Chemist at work in the world today. Fully adhering to the aims of the National Curriculum, we develop the skills of working as a scientist through research, investigation and observation.  At the heart of our ambitious curriculum is scientific investigation. Wherever possible lessons are delivered practically and allow pupils to ask and answer questions to make sense of the world around them. Through the acquisition of substantive and disciplinary knowledge, pupils will become confident in connecting experiences to knowledge and develop a thorough understanding of science at work around and within them. Key questions for each unit of work drive the learning, allowing pupils to develop knowledge and understanding to explain and answer questions about scientific phenomena.



Providing a clear, coherent progression of learning across our school, we give children the opportunity to retrieve prior learning and build upon their knowledge to make clear, meaningful connections in their learning. The acquisition of key knowledge and scientific skills is paramount.  Staff have a good understanding of what has been taught before and skilfully allow pupils to develop knowledge further. Our key questions in science act as a catalyst to retrieve prior knowledge, and every teaching opportunity provides knowledge and further understanding for pupils to be able to answer it. Through practical investigations and differentiated recording, we give all pupils the expectation that they can achieve.


Through a range of first-hand experiences, investigations and observations pupils can work as Physicists, Biologists and Chemists, understanding the skills that are transferable between the different roles, but also their role discretely.  Science is taught in discrete units, that are carefully planned across the whole school to provide the coverage and prior knowledge needed in order for a thorough understanding. It is recorded in a designated Science book for each pupil. Across all areas of Science, the key skills of comparing, exploring, identifying, describing, classifying, questioning, observing, testing, recording and researching are modelled by teachers and embedded as we develop independent learners.



Fundamental Knowledge and Skills within the EYFS

In the early years, pupils at St Thomas’ Primary Academy begin to work as scientists by exploring the phenomena of the world around them. Key scientific skills of questioning, predicting, observing and discussing at this formative stage of development, ignites curiosity for further investigation.

First hand exploration and discussion of the natural world underpins further learning in Key Stage one of the seasons and key changes that take place within each one. Use of the outdoor area for learning, allows pupils to independently identify plants and animals in the natural world around them.  By finding out what is in the world around them, they begin to ask further questions about what they experience and develop a natural curiosity and ability for working as a scientist through exploration.  Moving bricks and equipment outdoors, can often unearth a plethora of minibeasts that creates excitement and an opportunity for learning, which is built upon throughout school when studying animals including humans.

Exploration using their senses is of fundamental importance at this stage as they identify parts of their bodies and how it helps them to know about the world around them. Planned opportunities introduce children to the vocabulary needed throughout school to begin to explain their observations and identify forces at work through the use of magnets and floating and sinking explorations. Opportunities to talk about keeping themselves healthy provides the foundation for further learning throughout school when working as biologists to explore the human body and how it can be kept fit and healthy.


Key Stage One Concepts


Biology is the study of life.

Working as Biologists, children observe and explore life around them including animals and plants. Children will identify and name plants and trees and their main parts. Naming a variety of different animals (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish) including humans and their body parts they will describe their basic needs including diet.


Chemistry is the study of materials that make up our bodies and everything in the world around us.

Children identify objects and the materials they are made from, comparing and grouping everyday materials based on their properties and uses in the world around them.


Key Stage Two Concepts


Biology is the study of life.

Working as Biologists, children observe and explore life around them including animals and plants. Children will continue to identify and name plants and trees and their main parts, understanding the function of each part of them and how they reproduce. Exploring animals, including humans, children know the parts of the body including skeletons, muscles and organs and the function they have. They know how animals’ habitats enable them to survive and the interdependence species have on each other to be able to survive.


Chemistry is the study of materials that make up our bodies and everything in the world around us.

Children identify objects, the materials they are made from and the molecular structure of solids, liquids and gases. They work as chemists to explore changes to materials- reversible and irreversible and describe the changes observed.


Physics is the study of energy in the world in the form of forces.

Working as Physicists, children explore forces of push and pull around them including using magnets and make connections to gravity at work in the world and space. Children explore light, sound and electricity how they are made and changed.




Pupils know that Science has such a range of possibilities attached to it for future careers and opportunities. Through fun, engaging Science lessons, it provides pupils with the foundations for understanding the world around them and the ability to ask further questions, investigate and answer them. Through successful retrieval tasks, misconceptions are addressed and knowledge developed to ensure all pupils have a good understanding of the requirements of Primary Science, ready for them to develop further in their educational journey.