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Aims for our children

Scientist at Crampton are consistently given the tools and support to develop a working knowledge of the world around them. Children know that their thoughts and ideas are respected while strong subject knowledge in teaching means that misconceptions are addressed and not perpetuated. Through clear and explicit teaching, children are made aware of the skills they are using when working scientifically and – as they move through the school – are able to identify appropriate enquiry methods (ways of experimenting) with increasing confidence.





Science is taught weekly and that should include a short – often knowledge based - session and a longer - often more practical - session.

The maximum number of science units per year group is 5 so units are shared comfortably across the academic year with one unit being taught per half-term. Should teachers need to revisit units then “spare” terms are used for this.


Teaching of the science curriculum focuses on the merging two key areas; knowledge and skills.



Teachers have a responsibility to maintain excellent subject knowledge in order to teach a clear and vivid science curriculum. Teachers at Crampton are provided with INSET meetings run by the school subject lead. They are also made aware of opportunities for online CPD where available (reachout CPD is excellent).

Knowledge is taught explicitly using a mixture of exploration, discussion, and enquiry.

Stimuli include an initial question, picture, or object with which children can interact. Teaching science to children should always be seen as a conversation where they are encouraged as much as possible to react to information in front of them.

Why is one of the hardest questions in science and it is rare that a satisfactory answer can truly be given. Because of this, teachers provide children with a range of different question stems in order to open up how they express their curiosity.


Examples of “non-why” question stems to illicit discussion

How will, How did, How long, When did, When will, Where did, Where is, Is there, What will, What did, What if?   


Skills for Working Scientifically

In conjunction with science knowledge, children are also exposed to different ways of working scientifically. These methods help them to develop an understanding of the need for different types of enquiry and their suitability within different areas of science.


Progress in EYFS


Sustained shared thinking

The Primary Science Teaching Trust advises that learning in EYFS follows a simple model of Play, Observe and Ask. This succinctly describes how practitioners in Early Years aim to effectively support and nurture our youngest children when learning about the world around them.

This concept provides framework for exploration to take place. Here it is in more detail.



Children are provided with opportunities to play and explore new concepts, sometimes independently and sometimes with a supporting adult. 



Adults Take time to observe children playing independently and listen to their conversations. By doing this they can decide whether the children understand what they are doing and whether they can they explain what they are noticing. Consider whether there is an opportunity to get involved in the play to clarify the learning, extend the narrative or to introduce new vocabulary. To extend the learning, you might want to introduce a problem and work together to solve it



Adults consider the type of questions that help to develop children’s thinking whilst working alongside them. The EPPE project ( found that in the settings where children made most progress, staff engaged in open-ended questioning and provided formative feedback to children during the activities.


Examples of useful questions in EYFS science

  • What can you see?
  • What does it remind you of?
  • What do you think will happen next?
  • How can we change this?
  • What do you already know about...?
  • What is the same/different?
  • I wonder why...
  • I wonder when...
  • I wonder how...
  • I wonder what...
  • What would happen if...?

Progress in Key Stage 1

During years 1 and 2, pupils are taught to use the following practical scientific methods

  • asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
  • observing closely, using simple equipment
  • performing simple tests
  • identifying and classifying
  • using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
  • gathering and recording data to help in answering questions


Progress in Key Stage 2

During years 3 and 4, pupils are taught to use the following practical scientific skills

  • asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them  
  • setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests
  • making systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers  
  • gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions
  • recording findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables
  • reporting on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions
  • using results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions
  • identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.


During years 5 and 6, pupils are taught to develop skills further as well as being encouraged to take charge of their own practical enquiries

  • planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary
  • taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate
  • recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs
  • using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests
  • reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations
  • identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.