Message sent from:

Science at Wolfson Hillel


Science is an integral and well-resourced part of life at Wolfson Hillel. We want science lessons to be inspiring and ambitious, equipping children to make sense of the world around them. Our aim is for the children to be able to speak and record confidently about their learning, through a range of whole group, class and individual activities and present their subject knowledge and findings from their enquiries in a variety of age appropriate ways.

It is vital that children, at the end of each key stage, are ready for the next stage of their journey and progress is ensured through careful curriculum planning that reflects the aims of the National Curriculum. On a regular basis, during Science Weeks, and throughout the year, we provide additional opportunities for children to engage in Science through our virtual science fairs and science- based homework. Scientific language is embedded in children’s learning through weekly spellings and use of the working wall, as well as Science displays. We also mark British Science Week and have speakers on a range of topics regularly visit, or arrange for the children to attend workshops whenever possible.

The children are being prepared for life beyond primary school in each unit they study. They are encouraged to identify where in the real world their science lessons can be applied and link their learning to current affairs (e.g. conservation and climate change). In order to facilitate these links, we have organised STEM webinars throughout the year that link the children’s learning to jobs in the STEM field. We are also organising a special environmental awareness day, in which the children will learn about different areas of conservation and how to make small yet meaningful changes in their everyday lives.


Science topics are studied in weekly blocks each half term. The content of the topics are decided on according to the National Curriculum framework.  A progression plan has been built into the Science curriculum at Hillel, both within each year and from one year to the next, ensuring consistent scientific development. Working scientifically skills are embedded explicitly into the curriculum as seen in the curriculum map below.



Everyday Materials


Animals inc. Humans

Seasonal Changes


Classify objects made from the same material (e.g. lots of things made from plastic).

Classify one object made from different materials (e.g. cups made of different materials).

Which material makes the best umbrella/ curtains/ gymnast’s leotard etc.?


Allow children to classify leaves, flowers, and seeds, choosing their own criteria.

Observe a tree/trail/plant through the year.

Based on observations, identify patterns e.g. after comparing the size of leaves on different plants, children may suggest “bigger plants have bigger leaves.

Use secondary sources to name plants (including trees) based on observations of leaves, seeds, flowers, buds, and bark.


Research into the structure of different animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds & mammals) or use research to identify animals they have seen and can’t name.

Can I taste the difference between different flavoured crisps/skittles/smarties?

Children generate questions for investigation such as:

▪ Do people with longer arms have longer legs?

Observe animals in the local environment throughout the year.

Classify animals they have first-hand experience of based on what they eat (plants, other animals, both).

Observe how weather/day length change over the seasons – send home a teddy to go to bed when it gets dark etc; Record and photograph what children are wearing.

Looking for patterns in weather changes throughout the seasons (review in Summer).













Everyday Materials


Animals inc. Humans

Living things and their habitats


Identifying and classifying uses of different materials based on children’s own criteria e.g. if they are waterproof or not, magnetic or not.

Whether materials change with the addition of liquids.

Building a house – which materials are more effective e.g. for Cinderella’s mop.



Plant seeds and bulbs and look for patterns in the growth of plants over time.

Children generate questions for investigation such as: Do big seeds germinate more quickly?

Classify seeds and bulbs according to the children’s own criteria.

Look at packets to decide how to plant and care for seeds e.g. How much water do they need?

Observing a life-cycle e.g. caterpillars and how the body changes during and after exercise.

Based on the children’s own criteria, classify food items and animals.

Researching animals and their young in books e.g. a swan and cygnet.

Pattern Seeking – similarities and differences between male and female body.

Research into animals’ diets to create simple food chains and plants/animals they may not be able to name.

Children generate questions for investigation such as: Are there more daisies in the meadow or on the field?

Explore animals and plants in micro-habitats throughout the year.

Find things that are living/dead/not alive; Grouping plants and animals e.g. mini-beasts by their habits.

Researching plants and animals by observing in the park.




Researching how fossils are formed.

Based on the children’s own criteria, classify rocks, appearance then properties & Look at different soils and discuss how they are similar/different.

Observe how soil separates into different layers.

Test the properties of rocks or how quickly water runs through soil.



Classify light sources –manmade/natural & materials – reflective/opaque etc.

Test materials for reflectiveness.

• Test materials for transparency.

• Investigate shadows (size of shadows, shape of shadows


Living things & their habitats

Classify animals with and without skeletons; classify food items according to nutrients.

Children generate questions for investigation into objective 1: Does brown bread have more fibre?

• Children generate questions for investigation into objective 2: Do people with long arms throw further?

Generate questions to research about the human skeleton or what foods contain which nutrients.

Forces & Magnets

Comparing strengths of different magnets & how objects move on different surfaces e.g. cars down a ramp.

Based on the children’s own criteria sort materials (metal/magnetic) & toys (push/pull).

Find out how magnets are used in everyday life.



Observe coloured water travelling up plant’s stem e.g. celery, white carnations or gather seeds and photos of blossoms/flowers/berries on a trail over time.

Investigate what happens when conditions are changed e.g. change in temperature.

Research the functions of parts of flowering plants, seed dispersal and pollination.






States of Matter

Based on their own criteria, classify solids/liquids (including grains, crystals, powders: physical properties).

Observe ice melt, hand prints dry,

frozen liquids melt.Thermometers.

What affects the melting rate of chocolate (size of pieces, temperature of water, type of chocolate)?

What affects the rate of evaporation (in different places)?

Research the melting point of metals. Research the water cycle (Present in different ways).


Investigate which materials are conductors and which are insulators – then classify.

Based on the children’s own criteria, classify household appliances and/or toys (leading to electrical/not electrical, batteries/mains).

Living things and their habitats

Research global issues & their impact on living things; name plants & animals in their wider environment.

Based on the children’s own criteria classify a number of living things in their local environment (plants and animals); introduce branching databases/dichotomous keys.

Observe living things in their local environment at different times of year.

Do animals/plants with …. have ….?


Investigating pitch that made by different objects such as saucepan lids of different sizes or elastic bands of different thicknesses

Data Loggers

Bar Chart

Based on own criteria, sort musical instruments.

Research, make and play their own instruments based on what they learned about pitch and volume.



Animals Inc. Humans

Compare and contrast different types of teeth & functions. Classify jaw bones/teeth to aid with making food chains.

Research the different parts of the digestive system. (Present what they’ve learned: models, songs, stories, PPT etc)

• Research what different animals eat within a specific environment, e.g. coral, polar, African



Properties & Changes of Materials

Time it takes to dissolve of salt/sugar. Different temperatures/sizes/stirring or not stirring.

Which material would be good for a bag for different purposes?

Thermometers / Stopwatches

Based on the children’s own criteria classify the materials themselves e.g. samples of wood, metal, plastic, etc.▪ After observing what happens when solids are added to liquids, classify materials based on the outcomes.

Observe rusting with uncoated nails.

Earth & Space

Group planets based on their size/atmosphere/orbit time/ rotational period etc.

Measuring shadows throughout the day.

Generate questions to research about the Earth and space.



Living things and their habitats

Grow from cuttings and observe whether they grow roots/stem/ leaf/flower.

• Grow from, and harvest, bulbs through the year. (Can be done in conjunction with Year 2.)

• Observe strawberry/spider plants through the year.

Children generate questions such as: Do larger mammals have longer gestation periods?

Classify animals according to their life cycle.

Generate questions to research the life cycle of a chosen vertebrate. Present in a variety of ways.


Compare friction e.g. trainers or weighted match box pulled with forcemeter, balloon rockets.

• Compare water resistance e.g. plasticine in a cylinder of liquid• Compare air resistance e.g. spinners, parachutes, sailing boats, straw rockets.

• Compare levers, pulleys and gears.  Stopwatches



Research Heath Robinson and Rube Goldberg machines – cross curricular writing.


Animals Inc. Humans

Researching gestation periods of different mammals

Bar Charts

Research naturalists e.g. Jane Goodall

Develop questions to ask a health expert.

Group humans by age.





Investigate the effect of adding more bulbs/ cells/motors/buzzers.

Research the meaning of terms such as voltage, current, electron etc.

Data logger




Investigating how the height and width of shadows changes as you move a light source closer to an object – measuring accurately & investigate how light travels in straight lines.


Evolution & Inheritance

Research into palaeontologists such as Mary Anning and about how Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace developed their ideas on evolution.

To show variation in a species:

▪ Classify a species of animal e.g. cats, dogs/ classify a species of plant e.g. daffodils, tulips, lilies – classify Darwin’s finches.

Use equipment, e.g. chopsticks, toothpicks, cutlery, to look for patterns linking the suitability of bird beaks for the available food e.g. rice,  grapes, raisins.

Research different types of a species making them suitable for different habitats e.g. penguins.

Research evidence for evolution.

Living things and their habitats

Classify animals according to Carl Linnaeus’ system.

• Classify plants into flowering, mosses, ferns and conifers, based on specific characteristics.

• Create a branching database/dichotomous key to classify a set of living things.

Research the characteristics of a vertebrate/invertebrate group. 

• Research the difference between bacteria, virus and fungi to give reasons why these are not plants or animals.

• Research how micro-organisms can be helpful or harmful.

• Research unusual animals e.g. axolotl, platypus, kangaroos etc.

Animals Inc. Humans

How does your pulse rate and body changes after exercise?

Line Graph

Children generate questions for investigation such as: Do older people/boys have lower pulse rates?

Compare the impact on their own heart rate.

Generate questions to research about the human circulatory system.


















All year groups follow the same topic cycle each year in order to consolidate and build upon their prior learning in the given topic and identify links between the different curriculum areas. It also makes it easier for staff to identify key knowledge in the year group below and the year group above and make sure to enhance and extend their learning.

Furthermore, the topics are sequenced in order to best engage them in their science learning and make as many links as possible to the outside world.

The physics and chemistry learning takes place early on in the year. Materials is a fascinating topic to start the year with and allows the children to explore and investigate and can instil a real sense of wonder in the children across all year groups. Living Things and their Habitats and Plants are planned for spring term as this gives the children an opportunity to study plants in bloom, go on learning walks (e.g. they can classify plants or observe habitats) or study life cycles of plants. It also provides a link to their knowledge of seasons and how this impacts living things. We study Animals including Humans later on this year as we link it with the SRE curriculum and we are able to better explore bodily changes such as puberty at a later point of the year when the children are more mature.

In addition to all of this, we align the content of the topics (where possible) with the events throughout the year and the ethos of the school. For examples, light is studied at the same time of year as the festival of Chanukah, Plants are studied in the same week as the festival of Tu B’Shvat.

Working scientifically skills are embedded and explicitly taught throughout the topics. This allows them to understand the processes and methods of science. Through our science lessons, children are actively involved in practical work, set-out according to age. Teachers have received extensive training in expectations for their year group and understand the end of key stage expectations and how to work towards these.


Science is taught in weekly blocks. We timetable science this way as children can become absorbed in their learning and we can fully involve the children in investigations and inquiries that require a longer time than the standard lesson slot.

Teachers use a wide range of resources to support their planning, recommended by the subject leader, as well as sourced themselves. Teachers are supported with implementing their ideas through planning guidance and scrutiny and in the ordering of resources and are encouraged to make lessons meaningful for the children they teach. The staff in Foundation stage are involved in discussions around learning in Key Stage 1 and 2 and understand how their stage is a vital part of the development process. The subject leader has observed and feedback to Reception teachers and the EYFS staff are fully aware of what the expectations of Year1 are so that they can make sure the children have a solid foundation of knowledge. The Key Stage 1 staff are aware of what is taught in EYFS and make sure that they extend their learning further.

During Science lessons, children will be given opportunities to learn subject specific vocabulary in a meaningful context. During the lesson, children will be given opportunities to apply skills and are given chances for collaboration through composition.  Teachers draw attention to the key vocabulary for the lesson and unit through the use of knowledge organisers and clear displays.   Teachers are supported with science specific vocabulary if necessary and are confident in using content specific vocabulary throughout the topics.

Misconceptions are picked up on through marking and in lessons, with common misconceptions shared with staff.

Children revise their previous learning, to ensure this is retained, through regular retrieval and assessments at the start and end of each unit. Their progress against the curriculum for their year group is checked at the end of each unit and before they progress to the next key stage, gaps in learning are addressed. Additionally, children are asked to given a retrieval activity in between science weeks in order to retain their knowledge.

Experts are regularly used to deliver talks and workshops and children have gone on outings, where possible, to expand their knowledge of Science beyond the classroom.

Monitoring and Assessment

The Science subject leader monitors the teaching of Science through learning walks and scheduled visits during Science Weeks, with the aim to provide an overview of learning in any key stage, year group. Staff are then communicated with, so that individual teachers and year groups receive feedback in terms of findings, and common areas for development focused on in further staff training sessions. Planning is constantly reviewed and discussed.

As Science has practical work embedded within it, assessment may be done by focussing on a small group at a time, with the teacher looking a demonstration of specific skills, observing the children, and asking the children to talk about their work. In upper Key-Stage 2, the children are asked to self-assess, evaluating their methods, the reliability of their results and to expand their ideas for further research.  Children in key stage 1 are guided to discuss their findings and verbally discuss how investigations have been carried out with adult support.

The progression grid for Working Scientifically, provided by the subject leader, and shared with staff during CPD sessions, ensures children are accessing work at age related expectations, with opportunities built in for more able pupils to be challenged and extended. This process has been carefully checked to ensure it is manageable by staff. Children are assessed, at the end of each unit, using digital grids for both content and working scientifically objectives according to age related expectations and in line with curriculum requirements. This is done in line with the school assessment calendar. Assessment data is monitored by the co-ordinator.

Teachers have been trained in the use of Enquiry Skills for their phase, with an understanding of the aims for their year group. Teachers in Key Stage 1 understand the importance of this phase in preparing children to deepen their knowledge of investigatory work in Key Stage 2. 

Click here to view the science assessment grid



Reading is an integral part of science lessons. Teachers are encouraged to have a working wall with topic vocabulary displayed in the classroom. This is regularly drawn attention to and reviewed. Children are encouraged to read from the board and to use their learned vocabulary throughout the unit being studied.

Class reading books have been carefully thought out and divided up so that the science reading books have been given to specific classes in order to make their reading in science relevant to the topics they are studying.

Research is an important part of scientific enquiry and children are encouraged to independently read and research secondary scientific sources.

Provision for SEND pupils

All children, including those with SEN, are actively encouraged and given the opportunity to access the curriculum, with clear and achievable, differentiated success criteria in each lesson, adult support deployed effectively and an emphasis on children meeting Age Related Expectations in their Working Scientifically skill set. All children engage in active listening, are encouraged to participate in activities and discussions, and learn using a variety of learning preferences, to make the subject accessible for all.   

All teachers meet regularly with the SENCO to ensure that children with SEN are able to access all parts of the curriculum. They discuss practical ways and various strategies that can be used within the classroom. These will then be implemented across all areas of the curriculum.

SEN children are further supported with vocabulary lists and pre-teaching when needed to ensure they can access their learning fully within lessons.

The science provision is ambitious for all pupils. Higher ability children are stretched by their teachers. Information on expectations on each year group and how best to extend the higher ability children is readily available and links between different year groups are made clear for staff to utilise. Children are also encouraged to use their enquiry skills outside the classroom by participating in the Science Fair, workshops and homework topics linked to specific events.


Hit enter to search