Market Drayton Infant & Nursery School

‘An excellent, happy school, where we enjoy learning’



In science, we aim to give the children as much experience as possible to explore the world around them.  We encourage them to ask questions, give their own ideas and make predictions about what they think will happen. From this they have opportunities to test out their own ideas, thinking carefully about what they have found out and what new knowledge they have as a result.  This helps them to make sense of the world and equips them for the next stage of their education. This links closely with our values.


The breadth of our science curriculum is designed with three goals in mind:

  1.  To provide appropriate experiences to develop as confident, responsible citizens;
  2. To provide a rich ‘cultural capital’;
  3. To provide a coherent, structured, science curriculum that leads to sustained mastery for all and a greater depth of understanding for those who are capable.

Our Values in Science



  • Explorative activities:  working together in groups to explore things before we come up with ideas. 
  • Science investigations:  we have role cards so that we can try out the different jobs a scientist does, such as fair test checker and results recorder.
  • Links in the community: We try and think about the different jobs people might do, such as an electrician, and get them to talk to us.
  • Links with other subject areas e.g. geography, maths and stories in English.  
  • Junior School: the work that we do builds into the work we do at the Junior School.  We use the same planning boards, but a bit more complicated.
  • The world around us: science helps us to respect the world around us.  When we learn about animals, we learn about why it is important to look after them and the planet.
  • Respect for others: lots of collaboration in science means we have to respect one another and work together.
  • Equipment:  we have to respect all of the equipment we use and look after it to make sure that others can use it as well.
  • Respect for scientists: scientists help to make new things possible, like travelling to the moon.




  • British Science Week:  we love to take part in this as it is so exciting and gives us great ideas about science.  We love it when the scientists visit.
  • Our futures:  science is a great subject to do to give us the chance to get a really good job when were are bigger. Science is always teaching us new things.
  • Jobs:  science is important for different jobs, for example, vets need to know about animals.
  • How things work:  science helps us to try out how things work and test our ideas.
  • Science coats: in Years 1 and 2 we get to wear coats in science and this means that we feel like real scientists!
  • Broad curriculum: in order to raise aspirations, we teach beyond the national curriculum.  We also cover light, sound and electricity.  We think this is important.
  • Have a go:  science is all about exploring and testing things out to see how they work and what they do.
  • Fun: science is fun because we get to do lots of hands on practical activities in our learning. We love wearing our science lab coats!
  • Interleaving:  this is where we keep returning to our ideas and build our learning.  For example, we look at materials and then return to it a few weeks later.  This means that we are able to revisit our learning, think about what we know and learn new things to add to it.
  • Weekly:  we love science so our teachers have made sure that we do it every week.
  • Investigations: our teachers build up the investigations.  They show us how we work through an investigation; then we try out skills, like predicting.  When we get to plan investigations in a group, we are much more confident.

As Scientists we want children to:

The following information is extracts from the science curriculum policy.



    Our Science Curriculum design is based on Chris Quigley Essentials Curriculum. Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science; three main principles underpin it:


    1. Learning is most effective with spaced repetition.
    2. Interleaving helps pupils to discriminate between topics and aids long-term retention.
    3. Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.


    In addition to the three principles we also understand that learning is invisible in the short term and that sustained mastery takes time.


    Early Year Foundation stage 

    We teach science in the Foundation Stage (Nursery to Reception) as an integral part of the topic work covered in the year.  We relate the scientific aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged nought to five.  Science makes a significant contribution to the objective in the ELGs of developing a child’s understanding of the world, e.g. through investigating what floats and what sinks when placed in water.


    Key Stage 1: Years 1 and 2

    The breadth of the curriculum links in with the programmes of study from the national curriculum.  In Key Stage 1, there is a separate programme of study for Year 1 and 2.  As part of the local curriculum and to keep with the idea of ‘possibilities,’ the school offers a broader science curriculum than the national curriculum.   We have carefully planned the ‘topics’ we teach, so that the teacher has clarity about what to cover. Breadth helps to give the key background knowledge that students need for inference and understanding and the knowledge they need to do well, this is ‘cultural capital’.  



    Science ‘Big Ideas’

    Year 1



    Hard Materials

    Soft Materials



    Earth and Space

    Year 2



    Changing Materials



    Ourselves Compared to Other Animals



    Within each of the science ‘Big Ideas’ (topics) 'Working Scientifically' is built in to it in order to develop investigative skills AND the scientific concept being studied.


    The road map gives you a really good overview of our topics from nursery to Year 6.


    Threshold concepts

    The ‘threshold concepts’ are what pupils should understand.  In science, these are returned to again and again across all year groups, they are what develops us as scientists.  These include:


    • Work scientifically


    • Biology:

    Understand plants

    Understand animals and humans

    Investigate living things

    Understand evolution and inheritance


    • Chemistry: 

    Investigate materials


    • Physics:

    Understand movement, forces and magnets

    Understand the Earth’s movement in Space

    Investigate light and seeing

    Investigate sound and hearing

    Understand electrical circuits


    The returning to the same thing again and again is called interleaving. These diagrams explain how it works.



    Interleaving in Year 1 and 2

    Science Progression Map

    Progression from Nursery to Year 6

    Special Educational Needs and Science

    How do we ensure all children can access science lessons?

    Pupils should have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. The National Curriculum Inclusion Statement states that teachers should set high expectations for every pupil, whatever their prior attainment. Effective quality first teaching is the key to enabling all children to participate and develop their scientific knowledge and skills. Differentiation within lessons is a vital component to ensure that a balance of support and challenge are achieved for all abilities. This is the same in every subject and differentiation is adjusted as expectations of individual pupils rise through progress. Challenge and support specific to science may include:

    • varying the resources used
    • varying the questions
    • first hand experiences
    • some pre-teaching
    • modelling and supporting the use of new vocabulary
    • varying how the learning is recorded
    • accepting a verbal explanation when children explain their learning
    • partner  or group work – a collaborative approach to learning
    • adult support
    • adult scribing
    • refer to learning journey to help them make links between learning experiences and knowledge and skills learnt and how their knowledge and skills will grow.

    Links to other subjects


    How Science may be linked


    Stories:  Often used to give a context for the children for their learning.  For example, we use the Snail and the Whale when we are looking at animals and habitats. 

    Communication:  Children learn to communicate their scientific knowledge through talking in groups and whole class discussions.

    Vocabulary: Scientific vocabulary is taught to the children and this helps them to develop what we call tier three vocabulary, for example, in materials they learn 'absorbent', 'rigid' and 'flexible'.

    Writing: As children progress through school, they will start to communicate what they have learnt in writing.  Some of the content for science may be used to stimulate writing in English, such as a story called ‘Snake Needs a Friend’. 


    Data:  As children progress in working scientifically they will apply what they have learnt in data handling.  This includes drawing tables to show results, tally charts and simple graphs.

    Measures:  Working through investigations in science offers great opportunities to measure.  For example, when we are studying materials we have to measure to see which material will make the longest snake.  


    Historical figures:  Whilst we do not study a scientist in history, the children may touch on historical figures such as Charles Darwin when studying animals or Thomas Edison when studying electricity.

    Learning from history:  The space race and Tim Berners Lee are an excellent example of STEM learning.   


    Places: Geography gives us an excellent opportunity to look at habitats and different places around the world.  We can think about what different animals we might find in different areas, for example, what animals live in the sea and in the polar regions.

    Eco Schools:  This teaches us all of the morals about our environment and how we need to look after it for future generations.  


    Colour:  Exploring colour mixing is an early application of science to see what happens when we combine colours and how textures may change if we add something to paint.

    Modelling: When children work with modelling materials, such as clay, this links in with materials and early discussions about whether this is reversible or not.   

    Design Technology

    Cookery: Cookery links well to reversible and irreversible changes.  Exploring a range of foods also allows the children to have discussions about healthy eating and balanced diets.

    Construction:  When children are making constructions, they are applying some of their knowledge about materials, combining materials and the strength of materials.


    Warm up:  In warm ups in P.E., the teachers will regularly talk about why we need to warm up. 

    Exercise:  When exercising, this is an excellent opportunity for staff to talk to the children about what is happening to their bodies when they exercise, e.g. the heart beating faster and breathing speeding up.


    RSE: As part of learning about ourselves, the children learn the names of the body parts.

    Health:  The health aspect of PSHE overlaps with learning about our bodies, how to keep them healthy and making healthy choices.

    Economic:  Early discussions about jobs that science will help the children with is important.  We try to use local people who use science in their jobs to come in and talk to the children.


    How Do We Help Children Get to a Deep Level of Understanding?

    To help children get to a deep level of understanding we use quizzes and stimuli to encourage children to discuss and reason about a range of scientific concepts.  Big Ideas form an overview for each scientific topic and children are encouraged to develop their understanding from a basic, through to an advanced and deep level of knowledge and apply this when working scientifically, enabling them to explain their thoughts using appropriate scientific vocabulary.


    Children develop each concept over time and it takes up to a two-year period to get to a deeper level of understanding at the appropriate age.  For example, in Year 1, children will have a basic understanding of hard materials at an age appropriate level, but by revisiting this they should have a deeper level of understanding by Year 2 of changing materials.  Summative assessments are carried out towards the end of each year in the form of POP tasks.


    Most of our science work is practical and hands on experiences.  We use a 'floor book' in each class for science where we record the learning that the children have done in science.  The children get the opportunity to record individually, particularly as they move in to Year 2. 


    Take a look at some of our learning

    Science Day 2022 

    We have been celebrating British Science week. We started the week with a visit from the Science Boffin Rodney. He amazed us with some fantastic science experiences from piercing a balloon without popping it to creating a mound of elephant toothpaste! After the assembly the Year 2s took part in a science workshop. Take a look at some of our learning. We had great fun!