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Curriculum Leader - Ashley Kirwan


The learning in Science that our pupils receive embodies the essence of the Howard Junior curriculum in that it is knowledge-rich, with knowledge that is specified and well sequenced and most importantly knowledge - both substantive and disciplinary - is taught to be remembered. Our science curriculum builds knowledge incrementally. Pupils have multiple opportunities to secure and build on their knowledge and understanding as subject content is revisited at points throughout the curriculum. This helps children to master the knowledge and concepts whilst building up an extended specialist vocabulary.

The substantive knowledge, which are the facts established by Science, are taught to pupils progressively to develop children’s understanding of concepts, models, laws and theories. This is taught through the strands of:


  • The Human Body (studied at the start of each year)
  • Plants
  • Cycles in Nature
  • Ecology
  • Living Things


  • Electricity
  • Forces
  • Astronomy
  • Light


  • Materials
  • States of Matter
  • Rocks
  • The Water Cycle

Earth Sciences

  • Meteorology
  • Rocks
  • The Water Cycle

Disciplinary knowledge is the term for what students learn about how this knowledge was established, its degree of certainty and how it continues to be revised. This is taught alongside the substantive knowledge listed above and builds progressively to enable children to work scientifically and covers the following:

  • Using Scientific Language appropriately.
  • Recording and Presenting Data with labelled diagrams, charts and a range of graphs.
  • Providing increasingly sophisticated conclusions. 
  • Using Scientific evidence to support or refute ideas.

Of course, running through the substantive and disciplinary aspects of the curriculum is the procedural knowledge of: 

  • Observing over time
  • Pattern Seeking
  • Grouping and Classifying
  • Comparative and Fair Testing
  • Research using secondary sources

Our curriculum is designed to ensure children become well-equipped young scientists with an ambitious body of knowledge and understanding of the role of a scientist. 


The knowledge we intend to impart on our pupils, the knowledge that as mentioned above we aim for children to obtain is delivered through both the teacher exploring this knowledge with the children and through the pupils leading their own enquiries. We encourage our children to become curious scientists, ones that are willing to test hypothesis and understand concepts through their own discovery alongside the substantive knowledge the teacher provides. 

We ensure that our children are equipped with the ability to work scientifically. We look at the different elements involved in working scientifically including setting up comparative and fair tests and analysing results throughout the curriculum in different units - whether this be through placing eggs in different liquids to observe the effects that different elements have on our teeth to measuring our heart rates following different levels of exercise. 

Science is taught weekly at our school and knowledge taught is revisited regularly throughout the pupils time with us at Howard. 

We also play host to the Royal Institute of Science who deliver exciting and engaging workshops to all our pupils, alongside CPD to staff. The theme of these days does not tie in to our teaching at the time, but provides an insight into another area of Science, delivered by a professional in the field. 

We also look to integrate key reading and mathematical skills in our curriculum. A number of Whole Class reading lessons are taught to match the current learning in Science for a given half-term. These lessons expose pupils to a range of both fiction and non-fiction literature in the area of Science they are currently learning. We also apply taught mathematical skills such as: graph creation and interpretation as well as calculations within various topics covered.  

We also intend for all children to succeed in Science - regardless of background, ability or prior learning. Lessons include scaffolding and support for pupils that need it in order for all children to reach the knowledge goal for that lesson.


The impact of our curriculum and delivery of science is that our children will have a greater appreciation for their world, be encouraged to make a difference and have a better understanding of the impact they can have and how the world works. 

Our pupils will also have learned about the importance of working collaboratively with their peers. A number of investigations and tasks are completed in pairs or small groups, therefore alongside the procedural knowledge that comes from these, we also expect to see pupils harness their teamwork skills.

Most of all, we intend for pupils to leave our school equipped with the substantive, disciplinary and procedural knowledge needed to advance to their next stage of education and as pupils that enjoy discovering and studying the world around them.

We intend for our pupils also to learn the correct vocabulary and terminology needed to explain concepts and phenomena studied. 

In assessing pupils, we conduct half-termly judgements on where pupils are currently sitting in terms of their Scientific understanding of both the substantive and disciplinary concepts taught. Children are placed in categories of ‘Working Towards’, ‘Expected’ and ‘Greater Depth’, to ensure teachers can both challenge and fill gaps as pupils progress through year groups and - with our spiralling curriculum - revisit concepts for which teachers will have an understanding of who will need further support.