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Horizon Academy Trust is an exempt charity regulated by the Secretary of State for Education.

company number 08411590

registered office is C/O Biggin Hill Primary School, Biggin Avenue, Bransholme, Hull, United Kingdom HU7 4RL.

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Gillshill Primary


Science PolicyScience curriculum journey including enquiry focus .pdfScience knowledge and skills progression .pdf

Science vocabulary progression.pdf

Science EYFS - KS1 Foundational Knowledge.pdf

Science/STEM at Gillshill

At Gillshill Primary School, we believe that great Science occurs when…

  • We are engaged and enthused.
  • We ask our own questions.
  • We investigate our own ideas.
  • We work as a team.
  • We use a wide variety of resources.
  • We are given the opportunity to take part in Science themed educational visits.


Lab Rascals - Y3


Creating a vision for science

At Gillshill Primary School children are given the resources, skills and support to lead their own learning and follow their own lines of enquiry. Staff promote the wonder and awe in science and nurture this in children. The children’s natural curiosity in science is enhanced through practical learning which is relevant to the children and moves their learning on.

Our core principles of Science, developed with our staff and pupils, outline our aims and objectives. We know good science teaching and learning is happening when:

  • Children are engaged and enthused.
  • Children are asking questions.
  • Children investigate their own ideas and lead their own investigations.
  • Children work collaboratively, talking and problem solving.
  • Learning links with real life and has purpose and use to the children.
  • We have a wide variety of resources available to enhance and facilitate practical learning.
  • Science professionals and educational visits inspire and stimulate children’s scientific learning.

Primary Science Quality Mark

Activity SL1a Principles for teaching and learning science.




In each classroom learning is celebrated and shares through classroom displays. We also have a whole school Science display celebrating Science home learning.

Each term we have a Science home learning challenge to encourage our families to engage in Science learning outside the classroom and help children to see that science is all around them.


At Horizon Academy Trust, we encourage children to be inquisitive throughout their time at our schools and beyond. The Science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills, and positive attitudes.

Throughout the programmes of study, the children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that leaders have identified within each unit and across each year group. The key knowledge identified by each year group is underpinned by the national curriculum and builds towards identified phase ‘end points.’ Alongside knowledge, scientific skills are also mapped for each year group and are progressive throughout the school. These too ensure systematic progression to identified end points which are in accordance with the Working Scientifically skills expectations of the national curriculum.

The curriculum is designed to ensure that children can develop scientifically through practical experiences, using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments, and explaining concepts confidently. Each school’s approach to science takes account of the school’s own context, ensuring access to people with specialist expertise and places of scientific interest as part of the commitment to learning outside the classroom.

Cross curricular opportunities are also identified, mapped, and planned to ensure contextual relevance. Children are encouraged to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings and a love of science is nurtured through a whole school ethos and a varied science curriculum. Theme and experience days are planned to further foster a curiosity and enquiring mind in all our children.


All teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all pupils can achieve ambitious standards in science.

Units of work build progressively on existing knowledge which is checked at the beginning of each unit. This ensures that teaching is informed by the children’s starting points and that it takes account of pupil voice, incorporating children’s interests.

Within each unit problem solving opportunities are built in allowing children to apply their knowledge and find out answers for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom. Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills and assess pupils regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all pupils keep up. Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with each school’s commitment to inclusion.

Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure that skills are systematically developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is mapped across KS1 and KS2 to ensure these skills build as children move through school.

When possible, children are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities, visits, trips, and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class.

Regular events, such as Science Week, allow all pupils to come off-timetable, to provide broader provision and the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. These events often involve families and the wider community.

At the end of each unit, key knowledge is reviewed by the children and rigorously checked by the teacher and consolidated, as necessary.


The Science curriculum at Horizon is sequenced so that children develop knowledge and skills across four main concepts: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Scientific Enquiry. Units of learning have been chosen based on the National Curriculum. These units sequentially build knowledge within each of the strands. For example, all year groups study the unit ‘Animals, including humans,’ but this is sequenced so that layers of understanding build as children progress through school, ensuring by the end of KS2 children have a detailed knowledge and understanding of some complex processes such as the digestive and circulatory system.

Each unit focuses on a specific aspect of scientific enquiry, these are identified as: Pattern Seeking, Comparative and Fair Testing, Observing Over Time, Research Using Secondary Sources or Identifying, Classifying and Grouping. This ensures that children develop a balanced diet of enquiry skills as they progress through school.

Each unit is also developed through a ‘Big Investigation Question.’ These help to develop a natural curiosity in our children allowing them to investigate problems and learn how science works. Investigation questions make learning ‘real’ and ensures children understand why science matters in the world, considering a range of issues which will impact on their lives in the future.


The curriculum subject leader is responsible for monitoring and evaluating. The information gathered from this process informs the impact that the teaching has for that curriculum area. Judgements are based upon a triangulation of book scrutiny, pupil voice discussions, outcomes of assessments and the quality of teaching and learning. Governors undertake regular learning walks for their subject responsibility and receive a termly report from the subject leader identifying strengths and areas for development.  Each unit of work is assessed using our 1-3-5 Recap process. This means that the knowledge is revisited as part of the assessment process a week, 3 weeks and 5 weeks after the unit has been taught. The results of the recap are reported within Theme books.

Our aim is that at the end of each school year, pupils will have gained a deepening understanding of the nature, processes and methods of scientific ideas. We will have helped develop and extend the children’s scientific concepts of their world

and encouraged them to employ a scientific approach to problems. Children will be able to work collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment. They will be able to question ideas, reflect on knowledge, explain the process they have taken and be able to reason scientifically - developing their skills of investigation. Pupils will also have demonstrated their ability to observe, predict, hypothesise, record, communicate, interpret, explain and evaluate.

Through discussion and feedback, children talk enthusiastically about their Science lessons and show a genuine curiosity and interest in the areas they have explored. Pupils use vocabulary they have a clear understanding of to articulate scientific concepts clearly and precisely, assisting them in making their thinking clear, both to themselves and others.

By the time our children leave Gillshill Primary School, we will have equipped them with a breadth of knowledge, skills and scientific experiences to give them a secure foundation for their secondary school learning. Our Science curriculum will have instilled in them a love and enjoyment of learning about scientific processes and phenomena, whilst encouraging open-mindedness, self-assessment and perseverance. It will prepare our children for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world today and in the future.