Burford Primary School
Burford Primary School
Burford Primary School
The Curriculum
Science at Burford Primary School

"The important thing is to not stop questioning"
Albert Einstein

Science intent
The science curriculum at Burford Primary School aims to ensure all children have a high level of science capital, resulting in a full spectrum of scientific knowledge and working scientifically skills to allow them to engage in science enquiry effectively.  Our aim is for children to be confident and able to talk about their science learning and the skills they used to get there. Through the use of questioning and discussions children are encouraged to use a variety of practical approaches to answer scientific questions. All children will be given the tools to be able to think scientifically and gain a deep understanding of the scientific processes.

We believe the teaching and learning of science is effective when...
Children are actively curious about natural phenomena and ask relevant scientific questions. Teachers have the expertise and resources to deliver engaging and thought provoking science lessons. Learning is driven by exploration and discovery and children have frequent opportunities to investigate problems and carry out enquiries. Children build on their scientific knowledge and understanding of scientific principles and can use this to explore and explain new questions. Children are able to work collaboratively and discuss ideas and differences of opinion productively.

The science curriculum at Burford Primary School has a progression of enquiry skills, knowledge and vocabulary as the children move through the school. The result is the embedding of knowledge and skills from Early Years to Year 6 with a well- rounded ambitious attitude to science as the outcome for pupils leaving our school.  We support our children to gain access to as much science capital possible. We work with local STEM organisations to ensure children are able to see science in a real-life context and gain meaningful experiences of science. 


The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of science through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World’. It is introduced indirectly 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 our children will explore creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments. They will observe and manipulate objects and materials to identify similarities and differences. They will also learn to use their senses, feeling objects or listening to sounds in their environment. They will make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things happen and talk about the changes which occur in their world, Children will be encourages to ask and answer questions about what might happen. This provides opportunities for children to communicate, plan, record and evaluate findings.

Burford Primary School

KS1 & KS2
During Key Stage 1 and 2, through the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, children develop and build on their scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding over a three year rolling cycle. The curriculum is founded on the National Curriculum objectives. Units are revisited (see Lower school and Upper school curriculum overviews) and the sequence of units has been carefully considered to maximise learning opportunities. For example, teaching ‘Earth and space’ when the phases of the moon can more easily be observed and ‘Plants’ during the growing season. Each unit is linked to a year group specific working scientifically skill. By focussing on one skill in depth each term, it allows children to gain a deeper understanding of that skill and ensures we are covering all the skills across a year. Lessons provide distinct opportunities for children to make links, ask questions, think critically and acquire scientific vocabulary. Assessment for learning ensures that misconceptions are highlighted and addressed. Each lesson includes a ‘Big idea time’. This is a time for children to recall prior learning, embed knowledge and provide opportunities for children to think and talk about science in a broader context.

The progression of scientific enquiry is carefully planned so that children become more independent and skilled in each of the stages of an investigation as they move through the school. The stages are as follows: making predictions and planning, making observations and measurements, recording and presenting data, concluding and evaluating their investigations and making links with scientific ideas, evidence and research. Children are supported to identify and manage risks and to keep safe when experimenting.

To develop children’s science capital, we recognise the importance of how science is represented, by valuing what all children bring with them and connecting science with children’s identities, experiences and what matters to them. A broad range of science nonfiction books and stories are available for children to enjoy. Enrichment experiences are designed to inspire the children, providing them ‘awe and wonder’ but also with opportunities for children to engage with ‘real life’ scientists and role models in the community. For example, in the study of ‘electricity’, Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils got to learn about solar power through a school trip to the local solar farm. We also provide extracurricular STEAM clubs for all year groups. This includes astronomy club and Lego engineering club.

Pond Dipping
Burford Primary School

The impact of the science curriculum
The impact of the science curriculum is that children leave school with a full, rounded, high level of science capital. The breadth and depth of the curriculum, exposure to scientific vocabulary and coverage of enquiry skills means that results are a reflection of the children’s experience of learning science at Burford Primary School. There has been an increase of children working at or greater than the expected standard in Science. This is monitored using a variety of elicitation exercises, which is inputted onto a data tracking software. Progress is evident both short term through the learning children are doing from the start to the end of a topic, as well as from EYFS to Year 6. Teachers have a good understanding of both prior learning and the topic progression to ensure the children are taught appropriately.

Burford Primary School
Priory Lane
OX18 4SG
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