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Holy Family

Catholic Primary School

Living, Loving, Learning as followers of Jesus Christ



At Holy Family, we want to give our children the foundations for understanding the world, whilst fostering curiosity and wonder within the children. Science aims to teach our children the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to question and understand concepts and phenomena that occur in the world around them and equips them with the motivation to seek explanations for these.


Essential characteristics of a Scientist at Holy Family: 

  • To better understand themselves and the world they live in, through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. 
  • To expose pupils to a wide range of scientific language will support their knowledge and give them the scientific vocabulary to explain and communicate their understanding.
  • An excellent knowledge and understanding of the concepts, methods, processes and uses of Science.
  • Developing ideas and ways of working that enable them to make sense of the world in which they live through investigation, as well as through using and applying process skills.
  • To develop our scientific enquiry skills of observing, measuring, predicting, hypothesising, experimenting, communicating, interpreting, explaining and evaluating. 


How we will deliver our curriculum:

Our curriculum distinguishes between subject topics and threshold concepts. Subject topics are the specific aspects of subjects that are studied e.g.  Forces, Animals and their habitats, Materials and their properties and uses, etc. Threshold concepts tie together the subject topics into meaningful schema. The same concepts are explored in a wide breadth of topics. Through this ‘forwards-and-backwards engineering’ of the curriculum, pupils return to the same concepts over and over, and gradually build an understanding of them.


The four threshold concepts in Science are:

  • Biological (Living things) concepts - The concepts involved in studying animals and their habitats, seasonal changes, life cycles of animals and plants, healthy living, environmental awareness.
  • Chemical (Materials) concepts - This concepts examines the properties and characteristics of materials, Materials and change and rocks and fossils
  • Physical (Energy and Forces) concepts - This concept involves understanding processes involved within Light Sound, Heat, Magnetism, electricity, Earth and space.
  • Investigating Scientifically -  This concept involves asking and answering relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them. Gathering, recording, and presenting data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings. 


Science is an essential part of learning in EYFS  as it is incorporated in understanding the world. It is introduced through activities that encourage every child to: explore, problem solve, observe, predict, think, make decisions and talk about the world around them.

During their first years at school, children will: 

  • Explore different creatures, people, plants, objects and abstract concepts through their play, through stories and non-fiction books and through explicit teaching 
  • Observe and manipulate objects and materials to identify differences and similarities 
  • Use their senses to help them to explore the world around them e.g. feeling dough or listening to sounds in the environment such as sirens or bird song
  • Make observations of animals and plants, observe and talk about seasonal change and life cycles

Children will be encouraged to ask questions about why things happen and how things work. Adults will use focussed questioning to encourage children to observe, think and predict; and will help children to communicate, plan, investigate, record and evaluate their findings


In KS1, the children will begin by learning how the natural world develops through studying seasonal changes and animals and their habitats. They will also experience a flavour of the chemical and physical concepts, by studying light, forces and materials, which are in addition to the expectations of the KS1 curriculum. They will begin to work scientifically,  by asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways, observing closely, using simple equipment and performing simple tests.


In KS2, children will continue to develop and build on the threshold concepts, as part of the spiral curriculum. In particular they will have a greater exposure to the Chemical (Materials) Physical (Energy and Forces) concepts, which introduce electricity and sound, while further developing their studies on materials and their properties. Working scientifically, they will 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.