Palterton Primary School



We recognise the importance of science in every aspect of daily life. As a core subject, we give the teaching and learning of science the prominence it requires.  

Learning in science at Palterton Primary is concerned with increasing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of our world, and with developing skills associated with science as a process of enquiry. It will develop the natural curiosity of a child, encourage respect for living organisms and the physical environment and provide opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence. 

Our Science curriculum develops Thinking and Working Scientifically skills. Thinking Scientifically skills will help the pupils to develop core thinking and organisational skills that underpin learning in the subject. Pupils will develop these skills progressively from Reception through to Year 6. In learning Working Scientifically skills, the pupils will come to understand the range of different enquiries that are used to find answers to scientific questions including identifying and classifying, pattern seeking, using research, observing over time, and carrying out fair and comparative testing.  

The knowledge base for the curriculum is organised into the three well known scientific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Our pupils will learn that biology is concerned with learning about living things and the processes of life; chemistry is concerned with the properties of materials in the world around us; and physics is concerned with the ways in which substances and objects interact with each other.  

Our science teaching further offers opportunities for children to: 

  • be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of Science historically, today and for the future. 
  • use a range of methods to communicate their scientific information and present it in a systematic, scientific manner, including I.C.T., diagrams, graphs and charts. 
  • develop specific vocabulary required to communicate learning in science. 
  • develop a respect for the materials and equipment they handle with regard to their own, and other children’s safety. 
  • develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery. 


In Early years, science is taught through the children learning about the world around them in their learning through play. Children have weekly lessons in Science throughout Key Stage 1 and 2, using our planned programmes of study and resources. Additional opportunities are provided in Science like educational visits linked to the science curriculum. 

The Early Years curriculum content is guided by Development Matters and requires the pupils to develop knowledge and skills within the Specific Area ‘Understanding the World’, and uses learning in the Prime Area of ‘Communication and Language’. We have defined key knowledge that we expect our pupils to have learnt about during the Reception year that prepare them for learning in Key Stage 1. 

In Key Stage 1 and 2, the curriculum meets the expectations of the National Curriculum for England. Learning is organised into teaching units which develop the knowledge in each of the three scientific disciplines progressively from Year 1 through to Year 6. As a small school, learning in Ilam Class (Years 1 & 2), Chatsworth Class (Years 3 & 4) and Hardwick Class (Years 5 & 6) is organised in a two year cycle. The knowledge is organised so that pupils always experience new knowledge in a progressive manner. Thinking and Working Scientifically Skills are developed over a two-year period in each of the class groups and build progressively as the pupils move through the classes.  


We know that our curriculum has had a positive impact when pupils recall, use and apply the planned vocabulary, knowledge and skills outlined in our curriculum documents. Our pupils have regular opportunities to communicate their knowledge and understanding through written and spoken approaches. When assessing written work, our understanding of impact is primarily based on the correct recall, use and application of knowledge and skills. When assessing spoken outcomes we listen to the pupils’ interactions with each other, their presentation of learning and information to their peers, and their ability to recall and discuss learning with adults. Again, the focus of this assessment is on the accurate recall, use and application of vocabulary, knowledge and skills. 

Find out more about our curriculum design in our Science Strategy document.

Explore how our curriculum is organised across the school in our Science Overview document.


Discover more about the detail of planned vocabulary, knowledge and skills progression in our Science Progression document

Back Lane, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S44 6UN