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Ashmead School

Ashmead provides its children with two everlasting things, one is roots, the other wings.



At Ashmead school, we want our scientists to develop a lifelong interest, and sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. We believe that a high-quality education will provide the foundations for understanding the world through specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. We want our pupils to appreciate how science has changed the lives of human beings and know that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. We aim to provide practical and first-hand experiences that enable pupils to think critically and answer scientific questions about the world around them through different types of scientific enquiry. We aim for our pupils to be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.



Our curriculum is organised into a progression model to sequence scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding, and Working Scientifically, to reflect the Early Learning Goals and National Curriculum. Our Long-Term plan identifies where the National Curriculum programmes of study are taught and our progression documents consider the rationale for how knowledge, skills, key concepts and vocabulary are revisited throughout the school, broadening and deepening in complexity, and building on prior learning from EYFS to Year 6.


We base our implementation on the recent recommendations for ‘Improving Primary Science’ developed by the Education Endowment Foundation: Developing pupils’ scientific vocabulary, encouraging pupils to explain their thinking verbally or in written form, guiding pupils to work scientifically, relating new learning to relevant real-world contexts, using assessment to support learning and responsive teaching, and strengthening science through effective professional development.


In Early Years, scientific learning begins in ‘Understanding the World’ where pupils are introduced to both adult-led and child-initiated activities, both indoors and outdoors, that encourage our pupils to explore, problem solve, observe, predict, think, draw, make decisions and talk about the world around them. By engaging in such activities and having exposure to a broad selection of fiction and non-fiction texts, rhymes and poems, pupils learn and understand some important processes and changes, and compare and identify contrasting environments in the natural world around them.


In Key Stage One, pupils continue to develop as scientists looking more closely at the natural and humanly-constructed world around them through practical experiences and opportunities to observe phenomena, including the use of secondary sources. Scientific enquiry types and associated skills are introduced to pupils and they begin to use simple scientific language to talk about and communicate their ideas for a range of audiences.


In Lower Key Stage 2, pupils continue to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. Emphasis continues to be given to exploration, testing, developing ideas, investigation and the relationship between living things and familiar environments. Pupils to ask their own questions and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry will help them formulate a response. As they develop their scientific vocabulary, they are encouraged to talk about what they have found out so they can use it correctly and with confidence when writing.


In Upper Key Stage Two, pupils deepen their knowledge and understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas more systematically. They will begin to encounter more abstract ideas, and how these develop over time. Pupils take greater ownership over the questions and scientific enquiry required to explain phenomena. Pupils are able to use a wide range of scientific vocabulary and evidence to justify their ideas and draw conclusions.



Substantive knowledge - the concepts, laws, theories and models which are referred to in the national curriculum as 'scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding' are associated with an overarching theme. Science is taught as a discrete lesson, but through our theme, enables pupils to make rich connections within contextualised cross-curricular learning opportunities. As a school, we immerse and expose pupils to Science in action and real-world contexts, wherever possible, for example, with trips to farms, woodlands, seaside, museums, nature sites and in-house visits and workshops.  We also take advantage of our outdoor site and environmental area to highlight and reinforce concepts and skills with first-hand experiences.



Up, Up and Away




Once Upon a Seed

Down on the Farm

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch

Animals: Birds

Living things and their habitats



Animals including humans


Animals including humans

Animals: Farm



Seasonal changes



Lower KS2


Raiders of the Lost Empire


Stig of the Dump

All Creatures Great and Small

One Giant Leap

Against All Odds

States of matter


States of matter




Animals including humans




Living things and their habitats

Forces and magnets




Animals including humans






Upper KS2



Fantastic Beasts


Crime and Punishment

Dear Humanity

Where the poppies now grow

The Lost City

Water Warriors

Living things and their habitats


Earth and Space







Animals including humans



Evolution and inheritance

Changes in materials


Living Things and their habitats









We guide pupils to work scientifically by developing their disciplinary knowledge (how evidence about concepts, laws, theories and models is gained) through working scientifically and knowing how to carry out scientific enquiries through associated scientific skills. These are known as ‘Super Science Skills’.


All lessons have a clear Learning Objective which is shared and reviewed with pupils. A Working Scientifically objective is addressed through Scientific enquiry types and Super Science Skills. Pupils are introduced to the pupils and as they progress through the school and begin to take greater ownership for the type of enquiry selected to explore the conceptual knowledge. An enquiry type is introduced in every lesson with opportunities for discussion and reflection.



The five enquiry types are:


Observing Over Time

Pupils observe or measure how one variable changes over time. Pupils watch for changes over any period.

Classifying, Grouping and Sorting

Pupils categorise according to shared qualities or characteristics. They effectively put things into groups or sort them. Pupils identify features or tests that help them distinguish between different things.

Research Using Secondary Sources

Pupils create their own research tools and explore sources of information to support their knowledge and understanding. They read non-fiction texts, and research and extract information from sources, such as reference books and the internet.

Pattern Seeking

Pupils observe and record phenomena, carry out surveys or collect data from secondary sources. They identify relationships between data in their findings


Comparative and fair testing 

Pupils identify the effect of changing one variable on another whilst attempting to keep other variables constant.







Pupils associate the scientific skills they will need to use in order to perform their scientific enquiry. Some of the skills link to more than one National Curriculum Working Scientifically statement, but all aspects are planned for across a unit of work, with one or two skills present in every lesson. Our science skills and symbols are adapted based on the work of the Primary Science Education Consultancy (as shown below). We use consistent symbols across the school.



Medium Term Plans are used to show how conceptual knowledge, scientific enquiry and specify skills are to be taught across each unit of work. There is a strong emphasis on prior learning and the use of specific questions or activities that enable pupils to review key concepts relevant to new learning. Plans also include vocabulary, key questioning, learning activities, adaptation, resources and opportunities for assessment. 


Learning is adapted during the planning process to meet the needs of all pupils enabling them to fully engage with the expectations of the Science curriculum. We are developing the concept of Post-it note planning boards, for pupils, following recent CPD from STEM learning to support the learning process and encourage greater opportunities for scientific talk. In terms of communicating learning, we ensure purposeful tasks involve a balance of verbal presentation, simple drawings, diagrams and charts to represent and communicate scientific information and purposeful written tasks so that the focus isn’t taken away from the investigation itself. Where extended investigations are carried out, planning ensures pupils focus on a key aspect of the investigation if a written element is required. We also plan tasks that are open-ended and have flexibility for a range of responses and outcomes based on National curriculum expectations.


Providing practical resources which complement our curriculum, and science in action, is key to ensuring pupils can develop rich connections between subject content and the physical and living worlds by experiencing and observing phenomena. From participating in practical science activities, pupils can build increasingly abstract models of real-life situations. Additionally, there are developing resources within our school grounds which allow effective teaching of environmental science in the outdoor area and environmental area, as well as visits out into the local environment and visitors into school.


Vocabulary is instrumental for pupils to develop their spoken language and be able to communicate as scientists. Vocabulary focuses on the use of everyday, known language progressing to increasingly precise use of technical and scientific vocabulary, notation and symbols. Planning identifies Tier 1 (regularly heard, every day and simple words) - Tier 2 (words with multiple meanings in different contexts) - Tier 3 (low frequency words, topic/subject and context specific vocabulary). Resources including key vocabulary, word banks etc. of differing complexity are used to support pupils and provide opportunities to pre-teach vocabulary and concepts where appropriate. We develop language skills through providing pupils with opportunities for both exploratory and presentational talk, as well as purposeful written work to demonstrate their understanding of age-appropriate scientific concepts and vocabulary.



We assess pupils’ work using a combination of formative and summative assessment.  Progress and attainment are identified through the pupil’s ability to recall, understand and explain more, and this is measured through building opportunities as part of the teaching process, ensuring tasks and activities evidence build on prior learning sequentially and evidence their learning purposefully. This also enables us to identify and address misconceptions to prevent cognitive load. Floor books are being developed to capture learning and provide a reference point for pupils to draw upon prior learning. End of unit assessments are used to provide further evidence to support teacher assessments.


In the Early Year’s Foundation Stage, regular observations and assessments of learning are recorded in each child’s Learning Journey on Tapestry. These observations contribute to a summative assessment at the end of EYFS using the Early Years Outcomes.


Assessment data is reviewed and analysed by Science leads to show patterns in data from pupil groups and also areas of learning that may need reviewing or re-capping. Focus pupils are also interviewed throughout the year to illustrate their views and opinions on specific units of work, what they enjoyed learning about, what they found hard, what they would like to find out about in the future etc.  This can then be used to influence future planning.



Our scientists will be confident and able to talk about what they have learnt in science using subject specific vocabulary to remember more and explain more. Pupils will be aspirational and are familiar with a range of scientists, inventors and designers. Pupils and adults are enthusiastic and enjoy learning about, and through, science.  A wealth of evidence and data demonstrates that pupils are able to recall prior scientific learning to support new learning, share their understanding of scientific concepts and show they are meeting expectations. Pupils will be inspired and empowered to pursue science and STEM subjects as a potential career path and are curious about how science continues to change our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity.