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St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

We are all God's children and will try to live, love, work
and serve as Jesus taught us.

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Our vision for science at St.Joseph’s is to promote the development of children’s natural curiosity about the world around them and to foster an appreciation of the importance of science so that they will develop an understanding of that world. We seek to promote and develop a sense of awe and wonder at the beauty and balance of God’s world. Children will develop their scientific learning through inspirational and engaging hands-on lessons that relate to the world they know beyond the classroom. Children will question and use the full range of enquiry skills to plan, complete and analyse their own investigations and will consider excelling at science an attainable goal.


Children’s learning is enhanced through opportunities to further inspire their scientific development through our Science Fairs, school visitors and visits, such as Winchester Science Museum and the Planetarium and making learning memorable, such as Space Camp. We work closely with our Christchurch cluster schools sharing best practice and science events. We have also been part of projects with BAE systems to promote science. Our latest project to promote science is creating our Phizz Lab which will further enhance ‘hands on, independent science!


During their time at St Joseph’s we aim for all children to develop a love for science and a sense of wonder and amazement for the world in which they live. Science is in everything we do and all around us. We hope to plant the seeds for our future scientists.

We are delighted to be partnered with The Ogden Trust, which supports primary and secondary schools in promoting physics teaching and learning. We are the main hub school for the Christchurch Partnership. 

Science learning across the school

Early Years

In Early Years we provide the children with a variety of experiences that ensure that they have the understanding to progress into Year 1. These are delivered through specialist teaching, access through continuous provision, a well equipped outside area and a dedicated garden area with outdoor classroom. Through structured play and discussion with adults, children are provided with exciting and engaging experiences to enhance their vocabulary, develop their curiosity and build their skills.


Key Stage 1

In Key Stage 1, the children continue to develop their understanding of key Science concepts, such as Seasons and Weather, Materials, and Living Things. They begin to use a range of scientific equipment to make observations and record data about the world around them. The children demonstrate their learning in a variety of formats. Some work will be entirely practical and recorded with photos and other pieces will be written and recorded in books for year 2 and a floor book and folders for year1.


Lower Key Stage 2

In Years 3 and 4, the children further develop their skills and understanding across the Science Curriculum. In living things, they begin to look at our external environment, learning about plants, animals, food chains and ecosystems from our pond and outdoor science gardens. They also strengthen their skills through using a range of more complex equipment including data loggers, digital microscopes and thermometers.


Upper Key Stage 2

In Years 5 and 6, children continue to build on their skills. They develop their understanding of more complex scientific concepts and make links between the three main science disciplines; Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

They begin to apply a range of recording strategies, often choosing their own methods such as excel and powerpoint to explain their findings. They are also introduced to further equipment, such as newton meters, heatproof mats and tripods, dissection tools, and a more complex set of data loggers in order to prepare them for the skills required at secondary school.


Knowledge and understanding is assessed by class teachers during each unit in order to enable accurate planning to move their learning forward. Children are assessed on their ‘working scientifically skills’ and on ‘I can’ statements specific to each unit.

The Teacher Assessment in Primary Science (TAPS) project is based at Bath Spa University and funded by the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT). TAPS aims to develop support for a valid, reliable and manageable system of primary school science assessment which will have a positive impact on children’s learning.


Many opportunities are provided throughout a unit of learning for the teachers to observe children’s knowledge such as through questioning, listening to group discussion, observing presentations and through the written work produced. Interventions may take place at any point during the unit of work as the teacher deems necessary.


Children are involved in the process of self-improvement, recognising their achievements and acknowledging where they could improve. Progress and attainment is tracked against each unit and across the year against ‘learning scientifically’ criteria. Continuous assessment of children’s work, much of which is informal is used to inform teaching throughout the school.

Primary Science Curriculum