Archbishop Courtenay Primary School

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Archbishop Courtenay Primary School

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...a haven of hope and aspiration...


Science Lead:  Miss Copley 


At Archbishop Courtenay Primary School, we have strived to design a high-quality Science curriculum that serves to provide our children with coherent, progressive and challenging experiences that will inspire both our students and wider school community to be inquisitive, creative and motivated learners, so that they may flourish and fulfil their potential.   Our curriculum develops children’s understanding of the world through the scientific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

In an ever-changing world, where our children’s future jobs may not even exist yet, it is vital that our children understand how science has already influenced and changed their lives and how it may shape their future prosperity.

We seek to provide our children with scientific knowledge, methodologies and processes, but also, to provide them with real life applications of this science through the advancements in medicines, information-communication-technologies and engineering to name a few.  Our children are encouraged to recognise the power of “I wonder…” and rational explanation through exciting investigations, which build on their natural curiosity.  They are expected to:

  • Try to predict what they believe will occur, based on their existing knowledge
  • Use appropriate scientific vocabulary, terminology and ideas
  • Explain the “why”

We encourage the use of different types of scientific enquiry throughout the children’s time at Archbishop Courtenay Primary School and we also encourage open-ended questioning, where they decide how to try to find the answer.  It is important that our children are not always directly guided to the “right” answers and that they realise that some of the most significant scientific discoveries and advancements have occurred as a result of mistakes and someone saying “What if…?”

We believe as well as being able to use and apply technical vocabulary and terminology accurately and precisely, children will also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including:

  • Collecting data
  • Presenting data in suitable tables, charts and graphs
  • Analysing data for patterns and trends

We believe that as well as being able to understand a scientific enquiry for themselves, it is important that our children can also explain this coherently and with a critical mind to someone else.

At Archbishop Courtenay Primary School, we are committed to providing our pupils with a broad and balanced science education and that this is the entitlement of all learners, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, class, aptitude or disability.  Through the promotion of our school values of Compassion, Aspiration, Resilience, Respect and Friendship our children will foster the life skills of open-mindedness, self-assessment, perseverance and responsibility.

“Somewhere, something is waiting to be known,” Carl Sagan – Astronomer and Astrophysicist


British Values:

At Archbishop Courtenay Primary school, we understand clearly our responsibility in preparing children for future opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life, laying the foundations so that they can take their place successfully in modern British society. We promote a respect for and understanding of different faiths and cultures. The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of each child is central to everything that we do as a school and central to our school vision. This is evidenced through our teaching and learning, our inclusive environment and through the many opportunities provided for our children to understand democracy, law, liberty, mutual respect and tolerance.



At Archbishop Courtenay Primary School, we have a 2-year planning cycle that enables us to ensure that all pupils and year groups are exposed to the objectives from the National Curriculum for England 2014.  These objectives have been mapped to fit with associated umbrella topics, within an appropriate time of year and within the children’s developmental stages so that they are best able to access learning.  All science learning is taught within blocks to enable children to focus on one subject at a time and make links within their subject learning.  To aid engagement, all science learning is directly and clearly linked to the Kent Scheme of Learning for Science as set out on our Long-Term Planning Cycle and to further enrich this during 2023-24 we will be adapting our planning and using elements of the White Rose Science Scheme to best meet the needs of all our learners in fun, dynamic and creative lessons.  At the beginning of each unit, children have the opportunity to reflect on their prior existing knowledge and through discussions and quick fire quizzes that enable them to  make links to pervious leaning in science and other curriculum areas.  In each science lesson we use a range of strategies to introduce, explore and fully understand scientific learning.  Where required this is adapted to best suit the need of each class and individual learner so that they are able to make their personal best progress with their learning.  The use of “I wonder…?” and Big Questions for the topic are encouraged.  Staff are encouraged to access members of our local community such as parents, STEM ambassadors, Secondary teachers etc to support aspects of topics. Where possible, lessons also reflect an element of real life / world scenarios where scientific learning applies or show children the types of occupations that might use this learning.

Key questions aim to:

  • Draw out and deepen understanding
  • Move learning forward
  • Address potential misconceptions
  • Be planned for in advance

Tasks show clear differentiation between groups of learners to allow all to show their understanding of the learning objective.  Differentiation supports a variety of learning styles and recording mediums.  It is not by literacy ability/written output or a degree of adult support.  All children have an equitable opportunity to show their level of understanding, regardless of literacy ability.  Any children with SEND requirements need to be planned for, so they also have the same opportunities to learn and show understanding.

Provision for extension within the lesson or between different ability groups is provided for where possible, to ensure all children have the opportunity to show a developing understanding within the lesson.

Across the year, children are given the opportunity to complete relevant investigations

that engage them with their learning and further their understanding.  They have the opportunity to focus on particular working scientifically objectives and develop their skills within this area.  These will progress across the year and also between year groups.

Children must have the opportunity to use a variety of practical equipment.

Links between relevant Literacy and Maths skills are made (where these have been previously taught) to support the embedding of this learning and show the practical application of these skills.

Children need to be shown that there are a variety of types of scientific investigations and be taught these across their time in school:

  • Fair testing
  • Surveys and patterns in data
  • Classification
  • Exploring and observing over time
  • Problem solving
  • Investigating a “model”
  • Secondary research

They will develop an understanding of what the differences are between these types of investigations, the positive and negative associations of each, as well as when it is best to select a particular approach.  As children move through key stage 2 they may then be given opportunity to choose their own approach to learning and how best to investigate.

Every classroom has a science working wall that displays core scientific vocabulary relevant to the current unit, definitions, relevant diagrams, key questions, supporting imagery, real life examples of the application of the learning, relevant examples of scientists/occupations in this field, particularly BAME representations and examples of pupil’s work including flip chart sheets, photographs and copies of their book work.



At Archbishop Courtenay Primary School, the Science Lead will conduct regular monitoring to check coverage and progression, feeding back to SLT in the first instance and sharing findings with individual teachers.  Actions points raised will be addressed through dedicated time in the next staff meeting to ensure that clear and concise messages about the development needs of the subject and children are addressed quickly and reviewed regularly. Science CPD sessions and other resources to improve teacher subject confidence and ability to teach science effectively need to be implemented and embedded into best practice.  Children are monitored on a regular basis to check progress, teachers identify and fill gaps in children’s knowledge. We encourage all pupils to take responsibility for their own and their peers learning. Teacher assess and monitor progress through their teaching and questioning to enable then to adjust accordingly through planning to meet the children’s individual learning needs. At the end of the unit, teachers assess children’s progress towards the end of key stage national curriculum objectives. We use this to support our identification of gifted and talented pupils.


Collective evidence:

At Archbishop Courtenay Primary School, we regularly conduct pupil voice conferencing sessions to provide our children with the opportunity to feedback on their learning and how they would like to develop their subject knowledge, skills and assessment techniques.  


Enrichment opportunities:

Throughout the year we are hoping to foster links with out local feeder secondary schools and share their subject laboratories and staff expertise across sites. A number of off-site local visits have been planned and some already successfully implemented including the up coming visit of "The Astrodome" to school.  There are planned trips to the Science Museum in London and the South East Coast in the planning cycles.   British Science Week will be taking place in March 2024, and we are awaiting confirmation of funding grants to help revive and develop our school pond and allotment areas for the wider community to use.  Building on the success of the Crest Awards program run in Upper Key Stage 2 in 2022-23, this initiative will be offered to Lower Key stage 2 this year and key stage 1 later in the year. 



  • Develop accurate use of scientific vocabulary and terminology from EYFS to Year 6
  • Develop assessment opportunities in science across key stage 1 and 2
  • Develop the variety of book-based evidence across the school
  • Enrich the curriculum with a range of modern and historical scientists from STEM backgrounds


If our intent and implementation are successful, then at Archbishop Courtenay primary School we would expect to see:

  • A broad and balanced curriculum that makes use of a range of pupil starting points to develop better scientific knowledge and understanding
  • Children and staff who are enthusiastic about science learning
  • Children and staff who can speak confidently about science, including uses in the real world and the modern and historical advancements in STEM careers and vocations
  • Children who can use appropriate scientific vocabulary and terminology in oral and written form
  • Children who can name and talk about scientists from a range of fields and STEM backgrounds
  • All children being successful in sharing their understanding of scientific concepts
  • Children who can make links between science and other areas of the curriculum
  • Children who can recall prior scientific learning when required and use this to understand new learning
  • Children increasingly being able to instigate their own investigations confidently and interpreting their findings
  • Staff who are able to anticipate potential misconceptions and address these confidently
  • Children meeting age-related expectations in science consistently





Term 1 Working Walls

Term 3 Science Working Walls

Term 4 Science Working Walls

Our School Pond - 2021-2022 Development Project