At Northbrook we are… Scientists

Science at Northbrook is led by Miss Sharrock



At Northbrook Primary Academy, we provide a high-quality science education that provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. It aims to stimulate a child’s curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way they do. It teaches methods of enquiry and investigation to stimulate creative thought. Children learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way in which science affects the future on a personal, national, and global level.

Through their Science curriculum, children’s happiness is at heart, as they are engaged, inspired and challenged, encouraged to experiment, invent and be ambitious with their thinking. They will be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. While participating in science lessons children will demonstrate the importance of respect, empathy and teamwork.

The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

We recognise that each child has their own starting point upon entry to every year group and progress is measured in line with these starting points in order to ensure that every child can celebrate success.

Our Curriculum Drivers

  • HEART Values – Science at Northbrook is an exciting experience filled with curiosity and enquiry that brings us happiness through learning about the world. It challenges us to be our very best and through scientific enquiries we build aspiration and teamwork, so that we can solve any problem.
  • Literacy and Language – We use STEM sentences to build our scientific knowledge and practice using scientific terminology in every science session to learn to articulate our understanding and explain our knowledge.
  • Community and Cultural Diversity - We aim to make links with the wider school and local community to help children understand the subject’s importance.
  • Global Citizenship - by providing opportunities for our learning to be based in real-life contexts we engage the children’s curiosity and make them want to use maths to explore patterns; formulate ideas about the world and demonstrate the purpose of maths in order to inspire them.



Science is taught as set out by the year group requirements of the National Curriculum. The curriculum map shows the scientific topics studied in each half-term, for each year group. This is a strategy to enable the accumulation of knowledge and allows progress in repeated topics through the years. This blocks the knowledge for children according to the White Rose Education rationale for blocking science.

Science is taught each week, following the ‘White Rose Science’ scheme of learning. Following the White Rose overview, children will delve into the different strands of Science, using the ‘Small Steps’ approach. This ensures that the critical knowledge of each step is identified and prioritised lesson by lesson.

Within each step, the disciplinary knowledge and substantive skill is listed which demonstrates what the children will be developing throughout that lesson. There are a range of enquiry type questions throughout the scheme which allow the children the opportunity to apply and develop the associated skills when working scientifically e.g. ask questions, make observations, take measurements, gather, record and classify data etc.

Early Years/Foundation Stage

Science in the Early Years curriculum, is mostly covered through the ‘Understanding the World’ area of the EYFS curriculum. It is introduced through activities that encourage every child to: explore, problem solve, observe, predict, think, make decisions and talk about the world about them. They will observe and manipulate objects and materials to identify differences and similarities. They will also use their senses e.g. feeling dough or listening to sounds in the environment such as sirens or bird song. They will make observations of animals and plants, explain why some things occur and talk about seasonal changes and life cycles. Children will be encouraged to ask questions about why things happen and how things work. Adults will used focussed questioning to encourage children to observe, think and predict; and will help children to communicate, plan, investigate, record and evaluate findings.

Within an NPA Science lesson, you will see…

  • Explicit teaching/exploration of key Scientific vocabulary.
  • Explicit links to prior learning in previous year groups (retrieval).
  • Addressing misconceptions
  • Working Walls – displaying relevant information that the children are currently studying.
  • Opportunities to develop both their substantive and disciplinary knowledge.
  • Opportunities to record their work in different ways – worksheets, Seesaw, videos, partner talk etc.
  • Child-led learning, which provokes curiosity and enquiry.
  • Setting tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses.

Scientific Enquiry (Working Scientifically)

A range of specific enquiry questions are planned across each year group to support pupils to develop their scientific skills, these questions cover each type of enquiry and each enquiry is split into 8 clear sections:

  • Ask questions.
  • Plan.
  • Make observations.
  • Take measurements.
  • Gather, record and classify data.
  • Present findings.
  • Answer questions and make conclusions.
  • Evaluate (KS2 only).

Knowledge informed planning

Our whole school science curriculum is designed to provide children with opportunities to learn and revisit key science knowledge, we carefully map out the types of knowledge below to make sure children’s learning is progressive and provides every child the chance to succeed.

Substantive - facts and statistics about scientific concepts  

Procedural - development of techniques such as measuring temperature

Disciplinary – working scientifically and enquiry based knowledge.

Experiential - In contrast with substantive knowledge, experiential knowledge is implicit (rather than explicit) knowledge gained through experiences e.g. the feel that ice is colder than room temperature.



Assessment for learning is fundamental in ensuring all children make the progress they should.

At the start of each block, staff will gauge children’s prior knowledge through completing a ‘What do we already know?’ activity/discussion. During this activity, teachers will not only gain a flavour of the children’s prior learning, but begin to identify potential misconceptions. This will then inform planning.

Teachers and Teaching Assistants use a range of strategies to assess children each lesson, to gauge their understanding of the current topic. For example: low-stake quizzes, retrieval grids, use of continuous provision activities, concept cartoons, ‘brain dumps’ etc. Assessments are made in terms of progress in Knowledge and understanding at the end of each unit using the White Rose End of unit assessments alongside teacher judgments.

Science at Northbrook is monitored and evaluated in the following ways…

  • a scrutiny of books and other records e.g. SeeSaw
  • an evaluation of outcomes e.g. models
  • an evaluation of displays/working walls - ensuring they show the learning process
  • a scrutiny of assessments and tracking
  • an evaluation of clubs and learning beyond the school day
  • lesson visits across the school
  • pupil voice/surveys
  • a subject action plan

As a result of our whole curriculum, we expect to see all children achieve well by developing their factual knowledge and scientific skills across the curriculum.  But we understand that a love of science brings more than this, and aim to ensure that all children will: 

  • develop lifelong curiosity and a passion for enquiry about the how to world works.
  • appreciate the possibility of science as a career and give them the opportunity to have success in modern Britain, particularly in the STEM pathways.
  • be responsible global citizens and courageous advocates of our community through the HEART Values we have instilled in them during their time in school. 
  • leave our school, fully equipped for the next stage in their learning.