Harpur Hill Primary School & Nursery

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At Harpur Hill Primary and Nursery School, we recognise the importance of science in every aspect of daily life. As one of the core subjects taught in primary schools, we give the teaching and learning of science the prominence and relevance it requires. Children will develop a greater understanding of the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. They will also develop the specific skills and knowledge to help them to think and work scientifically.

Our science curriculum intends to foster a healthy curiosity in children about the world around them as well as a determination to find out why things happen in the way they do. We encourage practical exploration and investigation activities that enable our children to think and behave like scientists. They understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. Thus, our curriculum aims to enable pupils to develop enquiring minds with a range of investigative skills. By the time they move onto the next stage of their education, we intend that our pupils have a whole new appreciation of the world around them.



Our science curriculum builds on prior skills and knowledge year on year. The acquisition of key scientific knowledge is an integral part of our science lessons. Linked learning journeys and knowledge organisers enable children to learn and retain the important, useful and powerful vocabulary and knowledge contained within each unit. Our lessons also aim to immerse children in scientific vocabulary, which not only develops their knowledge and understanding of the topic they are studying, but also the world around them. The relevant vocabulary is continually referred to during lessons.

We have found that this increases children’s enthusiasm for the topic whilst embedding procedural knowledge into their long-term memory. The Grammarsaurus scheme forms the basis of our planning, supports teachers and ensures that they have the subject knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver interesting and challenging lessons that engage all pupils. There is planned progression built into the scheme of work, which ensures that all pupils are challenged as they move up through the school.  We aim to build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years, which is assessed through the use of pre assessment mind maps, where teachers can identify misconceptions that need addressing.

At the heart of our Science curriculum is the use of deep thinking enquiry-based questions, which underpin each area of scientific learning. These questions drive each science subject/topic area and allow children to reflect critically  on the knowledge and skills they have acquired. They also promote greater learner involvement. In our opinion, it is important for children to be in charge of their learning and develop their ideas from their own starting points. We want them to take risks and experiment with their own ideas.

Science assessment is based on teachers’ assessment of children. This comprises of formative and summative assessment, from question and answer sessions, children’s class work, cumulative quizzes and recaps at the start of each lesson of prior learning, alongside end of topic assessments. Teachers use this data to inform future planning, targeting any gaps in knowledge or skills to ensure that our children have every opportunity to develop as investigative scientists.

Through enrichment days, such as ‘science week’, Buxton Wild Week and celebrating scientists we promote the profile of science and allow time for the children to explore freely our scientific topics. We also continue to use and develop our outdoor areas, including our EYFS outdoor play areas, our conservation garden and the local woodland.



Our science curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. The impact of this is that our children know more, remember more and are able to do more. They are able to apply their knowledge, skills and understanding to real life and imaginary situations. Our pupils have a rich vocabulary, which enables them to articulate confidently their understanding of taught concepts. As a school, we recognise the importance of science and are committed to building the Science Capital of all students. We hope that this will encourage them to take their science education further as well as support them in future careers, which will undoubtedly involve scientific processes.

Our Science in pictures