Science at Grimsargh St. Michael’s CE Primary School

At Grimsargh St. Michaels’s CE Primary School, high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all children are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, children are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. Our children are scientists because they can observe the world around them, enquire about what they see and explore their ideas through a range of approaches to learning.


  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help children to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future


Scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding: children are encouraged to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language, but they should also be familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely. They should build up an extended specialist vocabulary. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data. The social and economic implications of science are important but, generally, they are taught most appropriately within the wider school curriculum: we use different contexts to maximise engagement with and motivation to enjoy and learn through science.

The nature, processes and methods of science: working scientifically’ includes observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources. Children are enabled to seek answers to questions through collecting, analysing and presenting data.

Spoken language: our curriculum for science reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their scientific vocabulary and articulating scientific concepts clearly and precisely. We help them to make their thinking clear, both to themselves and others, and strive to ensure that children build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.


Early Years Foundation Stage: understanding the world

Children talk about members of their immediate family and community. They name and describe people who are familiar to them and comment on images of familiar situations in the past. They compare and contrast characters from stories, including figures from the past. They draw information from a simple map and understand that some places are special to members of their community. They recognise that people have different beliefs and celebrate special times in different ways and recognise some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries. They are encouraged to explore the natural world around them, describing what they see, hear and feel whilst outside. They recognise some environments that are different to the one in which they live and understand the effect of changing seasons on the natural world around them.


Key stage 1

In key stage 1, children experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly constructed world around them. They are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. We help them to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They begin to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways. Most of the learning about science is done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there is also some use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos.

‘Working scientifically’ is taught through and clearly related to the teaching of science content.

Children learn to read and spell scientific vocabulary at a level consistent with their increasing word-reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.

Working scientifically: years 1 and 2

  • ask simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
  • observe closely, using simple equipment
  • perform simple tests
  • identify and classify
  • use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
  • gather and record data to help in answering questions


Year 1 study plants, animals (including humans), everyday materials and seasonal changes. They also observe plants and seasonal changes (light and astronomy) throughout the year (including sunlight, weather and link with plants) (nature journaling).


Year 2 study living things and their habitats, plants, animals (including humans) and uses of everyday materials. They also observe plants and animals in the local environment throughout the year (nature journaling).


Lower key stage 2 – years 3 and 4

The focus of science teaching in lower key stage 2 is to enable children to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They should do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. They ask their own pertinent questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out.

‘Working scientifically’ is taught through and clearly related to the teaching of science content.

Children learn to read and spell scientific vocabulary correctly and with confidence, using their growing word-reading and spelling knowledge.

Working scientifically: years 3 and 4

  • ask relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them
  • set up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests
  • make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers
  • gather, record, classify and present data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions
  • record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables
  • report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions
  • use results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions
  • identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes
  • use scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.


Year 3 study plants, animals (including humans), rocks, light and forces and magnets.


Year 4 study living things and their habitats, animals (including humans), states of matter, sound and electricity.


Both year groups use the local environment throughout the year to identify, study and observe changes of plants and animals in their habitat (nature journaling).


Upper key stage 2 – years 5 and 6

The focus of science teaching in upper key stage 2 is to enable children to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. In upper key stage 2, they encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. They draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.

‘Working scientifically’ is taught through and clearly related to the teaching of science content.

Children learn to read, spell and pronounce scientific vocabulary correctly.

Working scientifically

  • plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary
  • take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate
  • record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs
  • use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests
  • report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and a degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations
  • identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments


Year 5 study living things and their habitats, animals (including human life cycle which is taught through PSHE lessons and incorporated into living things and their habitats), properties and changes of materials, earth and space and forces. They also observe life cycles of plants and animals in the local environment throughout the year (nature journaling).


Year 6 study living things and their habitats, animals (including humans), evolution and inheritance, light and electricity.


Links across the curriculum: links are made with design technology, maths, Literacy and computing. Involvement in an engineering project and science week both enhance learning experiences for all children.


Diversity in science: scientific progress relies on problem solving and collaboration. Groups composed of people with diverse experiences and areas of expertise tend to be more creative and innovative. Asking questions drives science forward, and scientists with different perspectives often ask different questions. One way we approach science from a multicultural perspective is by highlighting particular people or achievements from various racial, ethnic, gendered, or age groups.



INTENT: To ensure that learning within science is made as real as possible (authentic). To enable pupils to build up their knowledge of key scientific skills and concepts, being particularly mindful of outcomes for children with SEND and their access to the curriculum, without barriers linked to reading and writing or other.


  • To enable all children to develop their scientific knowledge based on research and questioning and apply this knowledge when working scientifically
  • To enable children to make links across the curriculum and use, for example, mathematical and literacy skills in science
  • To engage in nature journaling throughout the year
  • To learn and use scientific vocabulary (rocket words) in context linked to each topic taught
  • To raise the profile of science across school
  • To develop a holistic view of the science curriculum
  • To establish the use of/fidelity with a scheme of work which promotes our vision of science in school, empowering teachers to teach science with confidence
  • To promote the use of working walls and displays to support learning in science
  • Monitor science learning across both key stages (Assessment Health Check)
  • Use ASE/PLAN documents to support planning, teaching and assessment in science
  • To address diversity in the world of science and engineering
  • To provide CPD for science lead


‘If you were an engineer, what would you do?’ competition 2022 – 2023 (

This year, some of our children will be involved in and entering the ‘If you were an engineer, what would you do?’ competition. So, what is it?
Primary Engineer launched this programme in 2012 to explain to primary and secondary pupils what it is to be an engineer. The idea was a simple one, look at what engineers do, interview a few of them, then look around and find a problem to solve. Draw your solution and annotate it. That way their imagination can take flight especially without technical or financial limits. With the addition of a letter addressed to an engineer, they can explain their idea in more detail highlighting why they should choose their design to build the competition was complete.
Every year our offices in Burnley receive tens of thousands of entries from schools across the UK. They are taken around the UK where engineers come together to read and grade each one. Shortlisted entries are then taken to judging panels, one in each of the regions to choose the two best ideas in each age group. We hold awards ceremonies and public exhibitions in each of the regions.
Many of our university partners have been so inspired by the ideas they have chosen to build some of the incredible solutions.