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There is an ambitious curriculum set for Science, supporting teachers to implement it through high-quality lessons and checking that everything is helping children to know more, remember more and do more.

If you would like more information in addition to that published on this page, please contact your class teacher.

Purpose of Study

A 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 pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science.

Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena.

They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.


The National Curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • 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 them 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.


Oakfield's Approach

Inspirational People

At our school, we believe in using the power of inspiration to help shape the thinking and curriculum design of our students. That's why we have taken inspiration from successful and influential people who have made a significant impact in their respective fields. By studying their stories, we aim to inspire our pupils to aim high and achieve their own goals. We have carefully curated a list of inspirational figures, including scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, and activists, to name a few. We have analysed what made them successful and incorporated their values, principles, and strategies into our curriculum design to provide our students with the tools they need to succeed. By doing so, we hope to empower our students to dream big and achieve greatness.


We are setting out to help our pupils be ...

  • Enquiring - to ask and answer questions about the world around them.
  • Curious - to foster a lifelong curiosity and interest in the sciences.
  • Resilient - be resilient and reflective scientists. Mistakes are opportunities for learning!
  • Confident - children learn key scientific knowledge and vocabulary and use this to understand the world around them.


We will do this by ensuring ...

  • Children are taught working scientifically and enquiry skills explicitly and this is built upon across the year groups.
  • Opportunities for hands-on, real-life experiences.
  • Children have access to a broad and engaging curriculum full of real life experiences and enrichment opportunities. 
  • Children have time to explore, following their own lines of enquiry and reflecting on ideas and methods. 
  • Children are taught scientific knowledge and skills progressively across the year groups. Children are able to apply maths skills in their scientific learning. 


We will have made a difference when ...

  • Children link their learning in science to real life situations and confidently ask and answer questions to find out more.
  • Children are excited by their science learning and show they are actively curious to learn more.
  • Children are able to plan investigations, record results and explain and reason their findings. 
  • Children apply scientific knowledge and skills independently (innovate challenges) and use vocabulary correctly. 
  • Key scientific vocabulary is displayed across the school and shared and supported by parents through the use of knowledge organisers. 


Threshold Concepts

These are our big takeaways called ‘threshold concepts’ - an overview of what we want pupils to know. They are the same for every year group and help us to ensure we build learning on the same ideas, that way we help children to be able to remember more meaningful connections rather than remembering isolated facts.

  1.  The human body is complex and it is important to understand how it works and make healthy lifestyle choices.
  2.  It is important to understand how to stay safe when studying science.
  3.  Identifying patterns in scientific processes is key to understanding the world.
  4.  Observing how things change is a key scientific skill.
  5.  Understanding processes at work on Earth.
  6.  Describe and understand phenomena in our world.
  7.  Forces act on objects in a variety of different ways.
  8.  Models can represent scientific ideas and show how things work.
  9.  Results are information that can be interpreted and conclusions drawn from them.
  10.  Recording data is a key aspect of working scientifically so that ideas can be investigated.
  11.  Asking questions is key to scientific enquiry.
  12.  It is important to be able to measure things when conducting experiments in order to get accurate results.
  13.  Being able to plan tests with a clear methodology is an important part of working scientifically.
  14.  Observing carefully, making comparisons and looking for cause and effect.
  15.  Using the properties of materials to sort them and investigate their uses.
  16.  Understanding the importance of grouping and classifying in order to share information.
  17.  Identifying smaller parts of living things and explaining their function as part of the whole organism.
  18.  All living things need food and obtain it in a variety of ways.
  19.  Living things have evolved and adapted in order to survive in different habitats.
  20.  Comparing enables us to draw conclusions about different phenomena and about living things.
  21.  Observing changes helps us to think more deeply about how location and time affect things.



Progression on a Page ...

Here is an overview of what we expect children to be taught, know and do by the end of each year group.


Year R

  • Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants. Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;

  • Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.

  • Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding. Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices. 

Year 1

Pupils should be able to ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways. They will observe closely, using simple equipment and perform simple tests. They will identify and classify some plants and animals. In addition, they should be able to sort everyday materials and recognise some seasonal changes. Finally, they will be taught to use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions and begin to gather and record data to help in answering these questions.

Year 2

Children will now ask more complex questions and be able to make suggestions about how to answer them. They will be able to identify differences between things that are both dead and living and make comparisons. When working with everyday materials, they will begin to think about their properties and how these are useful. Tests will be planned with increasing independence and observations will be made that can be recorded in simple tables. 

Year 3

Pupils will now 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. In biology they should be able to explore the requirements for life and understand nutrition. They also begin to explore the properties of light and how forces act.

Year 4

Children should ask their own 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. They will be introduced to phenomena such as sound and electricity and be able to investigate them, making more decisions for themselves. In addition, they will understand how the digestive system works and be able to distinguish between different states of matter. They should now draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language when explaining findings.

Year 5

Pupils will develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas through working more systematically. They should encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. Children will investigate life cycles and the solar system, making comparisons of increasing complexity. They will use scientific methodology to investigate changes in materials and the effect of different types of resistance.

Year 6

Children will independently select the most appropriate ways to answer scientific questions, 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. Children will justify their ideas about a broad range of scientific ideas including evolution, electricity, the behaviour of light and the function of the blood and heart. They will use their observations to pose further questions to investigate.

Units of Learning ...

Year 1 - Autumn

Everyday Materials

This project teaches children that objects are made from materials. They identify a range of everyday materials and their sources. Children investigate the properties of materials and begin to recognise that a material's properties define its use. 

Year 1 - Autumn

Human Senses

This project teaches children that humans are a type of animal, known as a mammal. They name body parts and recognise common structures between humans and other animals. They learn about the senses, the body parts associated with each sense and their role in keeping us safe.

Year 1 - Spring

Seasonal Changes

This project teaches children about the seasons, seasonal changes and typical seasonal weather and events. They learn about measuring the weather and the role of a meteorologist. Children begin to learn about the science of day and night and recognise that the seasons have varying day lengths in the UK.

Year 1 - Summer

Plant Parts

This project teaches children about wild and garden plants by exploring the local environment. They identify and describe the basic parts of plants and observe how they change over time. 

Year 1 - Summer

Animal Parts

This project teaches children about animals, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and invertebrates. They identify and describe their common structures, diets, and how animals should be cared for. 

Year 2 - Autumn

Muck, Mess & Mixtures

This project develops children’s knowledge of how to mix colours and apply materials to create unique pieces of art. 

Year 2 - Autumn

Human Survival

This project teaches children about the basic needs of humans for survival, including the importance of exercise, nutrition and good hygiene. They learn how human offspring grow and change over time into adulthood. 

Year 2 - Spring

Plant Survival

This project teaches children about the growth of plants from seeds and bulbs. They observe the growth of plants firsthand, recording changes over time and identifying what plants need to grow and stay healthy. 

Year 2 - Spring


This project teaches children about habitats and what a habitat needs to provide. They explore local habitats to identify and name living things and begin to understand how they depend on one another for food and shelter. 

Year 2 - Summer

Animal Survival

This project teaches children about growth in animals by exploring the life cycles of some familiar animals. They build on learning about the survival of humans by identifying the basic needs of animals for survival, including food, water, air and shelter. 

Year 3 - Autumn

Animal Nutrition and the Skeletal System

This project teaches children about the importance of nutrition for humans and other animals. They learn about the role of a skeleton and muscles and identify animals with different types of skeleton. 

Year 3 - Spring

Forces & Magnets

This project teaches children about contact and non-contact forces, including friction and magnetism. They investigate frictional and magnetic forces, and identify parts of a magnet and magnetic materials. 

Year 3 - Summer

Plant Nutrition & Reproduction

This project teaches children about the requirements of plants for growth and survival. They describe the parts of flowering plants and relate structure to function, including the roots and stem for transporting water, leaves for making food and the flower for reproduction. 

Year 3 - Summer

Light & Shadows

This project teaches children about light and dark. They investigate the phenomena of reflections and shadows, looking for patterns in collected data. The risks associated with the Sun are also explored. 

Year 4 - Autumn

Digestive System

This project teaches children about the human digestive system. They explore the main parts, starting with the mouth and teeth, identifying teeth types and their functions. They link this learning to animals' diets and construct food chains to show the flow of energy. 

Year 4 - Autumn


This project teaches children about sound and how sounds are made and travel as vibrations through a medium to the ear. They learn about pitch and volume and find out how both can be changed. 

Year 4 - Spring

States of Matter

This project teaches children about solids, liquids and gases and their characteristic properties. They observe how materials change state as they are heated and cooled, and learn key terminology associated with these processes. 

Year 4 - Spring

Grouping & Classifying

This project teaches children about grouping living things, known as classification. They study the animal and plant kingdoms and use and create classification keys to identify living things. 

Year 4 - Summer

Electrical Circuits & Conductors

This project teaches children about electrical appliances and safety. They construct simple series circuits and name their parts and functions, including switches, wires and cells. They investigate electrical conductors and insulators and identify common features of conductors. It also teaches children about programmable devices. They combine their learning to design and make a nightlight. 

Year 5 - Autumn

Forces & Mechanisms

This project teaches children about the forces of gravity, air resistance, water resistance and friction, with children exploring their effects. They learn about mechanisms, their uses and how they allow a smaller effort to have a greater effect. 

Year 5 - Autumn

Earth & Space

This project teaches children about our Solar System and its spherical bodies. They describe the movements of Earth and other planets relative to the Sun, the Moon relative to Earth and the Earth's rotation to explain day and night. 

Year 5 - Spring

Properties & Changes of Materials

This project teaches children about the wider properties of materials and their uses. They learn about mixtures and how they can be separated using sieving, filtration and evaporation. They study reversible and irreversible changes, and use common indicators to identify irreversible changes. 

Year 5 - Summer

Human Reproduction & Ageing

This project teaches children about animal life cycles, including the human life cycle. They explore human growth and development to old age, including the changes experienced during puberty and human reproduction. 

Year 6 - Autumn

The Circulatory System

This project teaches children about the transport role of the human circulatory system, its main parts and primary functions. They learn about healthy lifestyle choices and the effects of harmful substances on the body. 

Year 6 - Spring

Electrical Circuits & Components

This project teaches children about electrical circuits, their components and how they function. They recognise how the voltage of cells affects the output of a circuit and record circuits using standard symbols. It also teaches children about programmable devices, sensors and monitoring. They combine their learning to design and make programmable home devices. 

Year 6 - Summer

Light Theory

This project teaches children about the way that light behaves, travelling in straight lines from a source or reflector, into the eye. They explore how we see light and colours, and phenomena associated with light, including shadows, reflections and refraction. 

Year 6 - Summer

Evolution & Inheritance

This project teaches children how living things on Earth have changed over time and how fossils provide evidence for this. They learn how characteristics are passed from parents to their offspring and how variation in offspring can affect their survival, with changes (adaptations) possibly leading to the evolution of a species. 


Detailed Progression in Science

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