Learning is a change to long-term memory. Our aim is to ensure that our children experience a wide breadth of study and will have committed to their long-term memory an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge (knowledge and skills). In order for children to cement what they have learned, we plan opportunities to revisit and review previous learning through spacing, which promotes long-term retention by spreading learning out into manageable portions over time.


Curriculum Intent


At Leigh on Mendip School, we give our children a high-quality Science education that encourages children to be inquisitive throughout their primary education and beyond. 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 children 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, children 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. At Leigh on Mendip School we believe children learn best by hands-on experiences and therefore, try to make our lessons as practical as possible, ensuring children learn in a creative and engaging environment. Children at our school are exposed to a wide range of vocabulary and encouraged to use the correct scientific terminology. We ensure scientific vocabulary feeds into every science lesson and that it becomes a thread that is recognised in other curriculum areas. 


The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all children:

  • 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.

Within the disciplines of science we have identified the ‘big ideas’ (or threshold concepts) which are schemata which give the learning coherence. These big ideas are:





Plant Life 

Animals and Humans

Living things and their environments 

Evolution and Inheritance 

Substances  and their properties 

Movement, forces and magnets

Light and seeing 

Sound and hearing 


Earth in space


We teach children to know about the unique processes of enquiry in science. Our ‘Big Ideas’ for Working Scientifically are:

  • Observing over time.

  • Observing, classifying and grouping.

  • Comparative and fair testing.

  • Pattern seeking.

  • Research using secondary sources.


By the end of KS1, children should be able to: 

∙ Ask simple questions and recognise 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 


By the end of KS2, children should be able to: 

∙ Ask relevant questions and use 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, take accurate    measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers. 

∙ Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes. 

∙ 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. 


These are the goals that the children should reach to show that they are meeting the expectations of our curriculum. At Leigh on Mendip School, we help children progress in science by:

  • Carefully sequencing within our long term plans the introduction of knowledge that they need to understand.

  • By providing the vocabulary that they need to articulate their understanding of science.

  • By providing the children with deliberate practice activities that will help them to make progress towards the milestones and remember what they have learnt. 


Developing science capital

Exposing children to experiences both inside and outside of the classroom is extremely important and we take full advantage of our school grounds and rural surroundings. We have our own pond on site and are just a short walk away from our forest school area.  Having a working quarry in our village gives our children a unique opportunity to experience inspirational and engaging learning experiences which are mapped onto core curriculum areas such as;  habitats and living things and rocks and fossils.  Alongside this, we aim to enhance learning through other extra-curricular activities such as, after school science club, visitors, trips, science museums and taking part in national science events such as British Science week. These experiences complement the science curriculum and provide a real context for the children to apply their knowledge and skills.       .  



We recognise that all children are entitled to a quality of provision that will enable them to achieve their potential. We believe in positive intervention, removing barriers to learning, raising expectations and levels of achievement, in order to close the gap. High quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised will meet the individual needs of our children and provide opportunity for success. We establish and maintain a culture of high expectations that allows children with SEND and those who are disadvantaged to be included in all opportunities in order for them to have the best learning experiences. We ensure that children with any additional needs are supported through regular assessment and feedback, differentiated planning, scaffolding, target setting, pre-teaching, recall activities, targeted interventions, 1:1 support and regular reviews of progress. 


Reading in science 

Our aim is for our children to develop the habit of reading widely and often, both for pleasure and for information. We want our children to be excited about reading both fiction and non-fiction books and promote ‘science reading for pleasure.’ There are a wealth of science books published for children and our plan is to invest in more of these books and make them available for children to read across the school. Reading science books will help to extend and consolide children’s knowledge and understanding and promote the learning of science skills.  It will also expand the children's scientific vocabulary and deepen their understanding of words. Alongside this, we plan to introduce an after school science reading club and a ‘science reading challenge’ to further extend our children’s knowledge and understanding, but also to excite their interest and imagination.  



We assess the outcomes for science through our POP tasks (proof of progress tasks) which are built into our planning to assess how well and how deeply children know and understand what we have taught. We also assess against the key areas for working scientifically at the end of each unit to help identify any gaps. We give children opportunities to re-visit prior learning and carry out regular recall activities. Through these assessments, we are able to identify children that are on target for meeting the end goals, (milestones) at a basic, advancing or deeper level. This then informs teachers to plan for those not on target and for those at greater depth. 


These are the progression documents for science:

Key Stage 1 

Key Stage 2