ATW Science

‘The important thing is to never stop questioning.’

Albert Einstein


Atwood believes Science is an important part of a child’s learning because it teaches an extensive body of knowledge and skills. It also provides the foundations for understanding the world around us, gives opportunities to appreciate scientific facts and concepts and allows us to experience scientific discovery. The knowledge and skills gained will not only support learning throughout a child’s school life but will also prepare them for their future.

Our intention for Science enquiry within the Atwood Curriculum is to:

  • promote positive attitudes to the learning of Science;
  • develop children’s excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena;
  • teach the knowledge content of biology, chemistry and physics through investigative Science;
  • ensure there is progression of scientific knowledge and skills across the school;
  • ensure children are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future;
  • prepare children for life, through experiences and exploration of the world in which they live;
  • encourage children to ask questions about the world around them;
  • develop children’s use of scientific vocabulary;
  • provide opportunities for children to reflect on their learning;


Rationale behind structure and content of the Atwood Science Curriculum

At Atwood, we recognise the importance of ‘hands on’ Science and so place ‘working scientifically’ at the heart of the children’s learning.  Pupils develop their scientific skills within the knowledge content of biology, chemistry and physics by participating in a variety of investigations, which will enable them to gain an understanding of themselves and the world around them.

We teach scientific skills alongside knowledge objectives to enable children to apply their learning in a range of contexts.  Teachers plan an engaging curriculum that allows pupils to progress by providing opportunities to continually revisit previously studied areas and to build on knowledge and skills. Pupils make links with real life contexts so they develop an understanding of why they are learning a particular concept.

We use the Kent Scheme of work as the basis of the Atwood Curriculum for Science, which ensures full coverage of the National Curriculum and a clear progression across the school.

At Atwood we develop engagement by:

  • linking topics/themes with other areas of the curriculum;
  • providing opportunities for children to participate in investigations using a variety of science equipment and resources;
  • providing experiences beyond the classroom, including, fieldwork, external educational visits and workshops;

To ensure progression we:

  • use National Curriculum objectives;
  • use Bloom’s Taxonomy to differentiate challenges;
  • regularly revisit and build on previous knowledge and skills;
  • use ongoing assessment for learning to inform planning for next steps;
  • use age related scientific vocabulary;
  • ensure knowledge and skills objectives are shared with pupils.


Throughout the Early Years, ‘Science’ learning has a strong emphasis on developing basic enquiry skills and high-quality observations, as set out in the development bands within Development Matters and early learning goals criteria for Understanding the World: The Natural World.

In Nursery pupils will:

  • Use all their senses in hands-on exploration of natural materials;
  • Explore collections of materials with similar and/or different properties;
  • Talk about what they see, using a wide vocabulary;
  • Explore how things work;
  • Plant seeds and care for growing plants;
  • Understand the key features of the life cycle of a plant and an animal;
  • Begin to understand the need to respect and care for the natural environment and all living things;
  • Explore and talk about different forces they can feel;
  • Talk about the differences between materials and changes they notice.

In Reception pupils will:

  • Explore the natural world around them;
  • Describe what they see, hear and feel whilst outside;
  • Understand the effect of changing seasons on the natural world around them.

ELG: The Natural World

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • 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.

Key stage 1

Pupils will:

  • observe, explore and pose scientific questions about living things, materials and phenomena;
  • work collaboratively to collect evidence and simple data which help them to answer scientific questions;
  • evaluate their evidence;
  • use a wide variety of resources and reference materials;
  • find out about scientific ideas and key scientists;
  • share their ideas using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables

Key stage 2

Pupils will:

  • learn about a wider range of living things, materials and phenomena;
  • make links between ideas and explain things using models and theories;
  • apply their knowledge and understanding of the scientific concepts to familiar phenomena, everyday things and personal health;
  • think about the positive and negative effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment as well as in other contexts;
  • carry out more systematic lines of scientific enquiry (including fair testing)
  • working independently and in small groups;
  • use a wider range of scientific equipment;
  • discuss their scientific discoveries with increasing complexity to a wider range of audiences, communicating with a greater range of scientific language, diagrams, charts and graphs, drawing upon other areas of the curriculum such as English, mathematics and design technology


At Atwood, the children’s progress can be shown through high-order questioning (using Bloom’s Taxonomy), book looks, oral feedback (next steps) and self- and peer- assessment. At the end of the unit, assessment data will be collected and areas to work on will be fed into the next topic.

With the raised science profile, the children will have:

  • developed an enthusiasm and passion for science;
  • an increased understanding of the links between the Science they are learning and the real life context;
  • gained the scientific knowledge needed to understand the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future;
  • a secure understanding of how to use age-related scientific vocabulary;
  • the confidence to work both independently and collaboratively;
  • gained the necessary knowledge and skills for their future lives;
  • the knowledge and skills to provide more detailed explanations, with scientific reasoning;
  • applied their scientific knowledge and skills to a variety of contexts;
  • devised their own questions and be able to set up investigations to find the answers;
  • the confidence to reflect on their learning.

First published on 21st September, 2022 and modified 4th October, 2022

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