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NURSTEED Community Primary School

‘Through kindness, teamwork and determination we thrive.’


Science is led by Mrs Thomas

Our focus in Science lessons at Nursteed School is on developing the skills children need to become accurate, careful and confident practical scientists. We follow the National Curriculum for Primary Schools in England 2014, which sets out a clear progression of science skills in each year group. This begins in Year1 with asking questions, carrying out simple tests, recording simple data in order to answer their questions, and progresses by Year 6, to more complex planning and carrying out of fair tests, using equipment accurately and taking precise readings and measurements and presenting results using a range of graphs and charts from which to draw conclusions and finally evaluate their work.

The science skills are developed through the content of science teaching and learning also set out in the National Curriculum 2014. The specific topics for each year group are listed below. Certain topics and areas are repeated annually meaning that children may revisit a particular topic in each year of Primary school but with increasing difficulty and with a different focus each time. For example, the topic of Animals including Humans is developed from Year 1 with focus on looking at the human body and sorting animals into their simple groupings, through to Year 6 where children will develop their understanding of the internal structure of the human body in relation to the circulatory system and be able to explore classification of living things according to their more complex features.

First-hand experiences through practical, hands-on science work provide the most powerful learning opportunities to inspire, guide and motivate pupils to develop an inquiring mind and their scientific knowledge of the world around them. Our wide range of science equipment including dataloggers, microscopes and models support practical, investigative work and these are used by class teachers to demonstrate science concepts, assist close observation and provide opportunities for children to experience awe and wonder of science and further develop their inquiring minds. Our subscription to the Wiltshire Learning and Resources Library service provides a vast range of age appropriate books, films, models, charts and equipment and these are used to support science teaching and topics throughout the school. These resources also provide a basis for science research into famous people who have influenced our science world. Trips out within the local area, for example to Drew’s Pond, The Canal and the Museum, as well as visits to places further away, for example The Rainforest, Weymouth Aquarium and Bristol Zoo are often linked with science topics to broaden and reinforce learning. We enrich this practical approach, from time to time, by inviting science specialists to come and visit the school, for example   Science Boffins, The Life Education Bus, The Space Dome. We enjoy taking part in local events with other cluster schools; Year 5 enjoyed the science morning at Devizes Comprehensive School, while Y3 and Y4 took part in a rocket building competition during British Science Week in March.

Our rich and varied school grounds are used for first hand exploration of the natural world supporting the biological based topics in particular. Year 4 carry out a month by month long- term study of our wildlife area and pond, taking accurate measurements of light and temperature and identifying plant and animal species. This allows children to think about the environment in which they live, experience the slow and subtle changes of the seasons and consider the impact of damaging a habitat or environment so leading them to develop a greater respect for their world.

Science topic content by year group

In the EYFS class science is included within the Understanding the World area of learning. Children experience science through play and game, for example water play affords opportunities to learn about objects that float and sink. ‘Welly Walks’ around the school grounds and further afield are a great opportunity to explore and learn about the natural environment. Activities such as these help children to develop their skills of observation and critical thinking.


*Plants [basic structure]

*Animals including humans [basic knowledge of parts of human body and comparing animals]

*Everyday materials [describing properties]

*Seasonal changes.

Year 2

*Plants [what plants need to grow]

*Animals including humans [needs for survival, food and hygiene]

*Use of everyday materials [explore and compare materials for uses]

* Living things and their habitats [explore variety of habitats, simple food chains]

Year 3

*Plants [life cycles]

*Animals including humans [nutrition, skeleton and muscles]

*Rocks, fossils and soils.

*Light [reflection and shadows]

*Forces and magnets [magnetic materials, attracting and repelling]

Year 4

*Animals including humans [digestive system, teeth and food chains]

*Living things and their habitats [classification keys]

*States of matter [changes of state, evaporation and condensation]

*Sound [vibration, pitch and volume]

*Electricity [simple circuits, insulators and conductors]

Year 5

*Animals including humans [human development from birth to old age]

*Living things and their habitats [life cycles and reproduction in humans and plants]

*Properties and changes of materials [dissolving, separating materials, reversible and irreversible changes]

*Forces [gravity, air resistance, water resistance, friction]

*Earth and Space [Earth, Sun and Moon, the solar system]

Year 6

*Animals including humans [circulatory system, diet and exercise, healthy living]

*Living things and their habitats [classification, characteristics of plant and animal groups]

*Light [how it travels, how we see, shadows]

*Electricity [voltage and power in circuits, circuit components, symbols and diagrams]

*Evolution and inheritance [how living things have changed over time, fossils, dinosaurs, adaptation to environment].