St Francis Xavier

Catholic Primary School

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To create enthusiastic scientists who are curious about the world around them.


At St Francis Xavier, our ethos for science is to provide an engaging, diverse and inspiring curriculum which enables children to be enthusiastic scientist. We aim for our children to be curious about the world around them, be confident scientists and be able to learn new things. We do this through giving our children with a high-quality science education following Ark Curriculum. This is a fully resourced, knowledge-rich curriculum that aims to ensure children leave primary school able to make clear links between their learning and the world around them. By having a strong foundation of knowledge, it will make the children's practising of skills meaningful. Children will clearly know their learning journey and will be able to build upon previous knowledge to deeply embed their learning in their long-term memory.


Our curriculum encourages curiosity, interest and enquiry into our world and the universe around us through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Children will be immersed into the science curriculum through being exposed to a varying type of lesson structures to develop their understanding of scientific: processes, knowledge, methods and uses. To develop greater independence, children are encouraged to ask scientific questions, plan and perform experiments to practice their scientific knowledge practically. As children progress through our school, they will build upon their prior knowledge, ensuring the knowledge and ability to work scientifically is embedded in their long-term memory. Children are provided with a rich and broad science curriculum which includes: relevant science vocabulary; a conceptual understanding; scientific knowledge; the ability to ask deep questions with the appropriate investigative skills to answer them where possible. The children at St Francis Xavier will be able to recognise how each topic they learn connects to everyday life and equips and empowers them to participate, challenge and reshape the world around them.


The teaching of Science in our school intends to develop children’s understanding about the world around them whilst simultaneously focusing on the key aims of working scientifically. With a strong science curriculum we wish to create passionate and confident scientists, who are inspired to carry on a questioning attitude into secondary school and into later life. We wish for children to be given hands on experiences in which to engage and explore.




We ensure a positive learning experience for our children through high standards of teaching and learning. In order to do this, we implement a curriculum that is progressive and builds upon a child’s prior knowledge. Teachers plan for science using the Ark Curriculum which is inline with the ‘The National Curriculum programmes of study for Science 2014’ and ‘Understanding the World’ for the Early Years Foundation Stage; adapting it to the individual needs and aspirations of our children. At St Francis Xavier, our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science includes:

  • Science will be taught in a planned cycle of lessons and arranged in topic blocks in a sequence from Ark Curriculum. Planning involves teachers using Ark to create engaging lessons, involving resources and other forms of stimulus to develop children’s conceptual understanding.

We ensure that lessons have problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions (sometimes at the beginning of topics) within lessons and are given opportunities to use their scientific skills to discover the answers. 

Teacher assessment is used regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so extra support and intervention can be given where needed. Weekly quizzes are used to recap previous learning and children answer our topic enquiry question at the end of each unit, presenting their learning in a style of their choice. 

  • Whilst building upon previous knowledge, we discuss the importance of prior learning with the children, so they understand how different lessons and learning are linked. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
  • Skills that are developed through working scientifically, are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school journey. Key vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching.
  • To achieve a fully embedded science curriculum, we need to encourage our children to use their scientific knowledge and skills, throughout our broad and balanced curriculum, for example curiosity is encouraged and the ability to ask scientific questions and plan ways of discovering the answers, will be seen during other learning experiences.

Science is taught once a week, however many opportunities are given for exploring science in different subjects across the curriculum, particularly through the geography sections of the Ark curriculum. Likewise opportunities are given in science for developing knowledge in other subjects. Examples include literacy (for writing up instructions), maths (for recording statistics) geography (for the world around us) and history (for the changing nature of science and famous scientific theories). During science topics, children are given the chance to recount prior learning and wonder about the topic ahead, before discovering and exploring the topic.

At the start of each topic children are given a title page in which to show prior knowledge and ask any questions they want to know about the new topic. Children are provided with pre and post learning activities that provide the teacher with the necessary assessment information; this informs the planning and intervention processes.  At the end of the topic we then return to the title page to see what children have now learnt and use this to measure progress. We also use OTrack to input termly where children are at in science.

Where possible, educational trips and in-school visits will be used in order to be able to provide hands on learning.  A science day is also used each year with the purpose of allowing students to investigate a question of their choice, possibly relating to their topic with the aim of encouraging independence in working scientifically.



    The science learning journey, that our children will engage in during their time at St Francis Xavier, will provide them with not only the necessary age-related scientific knowledge and skills they need, but also with experiences, life skills, confidence and abilities that will equip them for taking their next steps in life. We will provide children with the experiences they need to progress their conceptual understanding and apply it to the world around them, thereby understanding the implications of science not just for today but also for the future.

    All our children at St Francis Xavier will:

    • Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of the world we live in and the universe surrounding us.
    • A rich scientific vocabulary which they understand and can use.
    • Have scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future

    We strive for children to leave St Francis Xavier as confident and passionate scientists who are able to confidently question, explore and apply their knowledge to the wider world.

    Science Display Boards

    See the amazing impact through the children's work here at St Francis Xavier

    Year 6 have been busy exploring 'light' in their new science topic. We have been looking at how light travels and how that enables us to see things, as well as how light is reflected, where we made our own periscopes to investigate.

    Year 5 have been busy exploring space and producing some fantastic work.

    Year 4 have been busy investigating the damage different substances have on teeth by looking through eggs and recording their results.

    Year 3 have been busy investigating and categorising different types of rocks.