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Our context

Our school boarders a heathland which is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) due to the rare species of plants and animals found there. Our Dorset landscape is shaped by the geology and geography including its Jurassic coast. This has led to key historic scientific discoveries, for example, Mary Anning’s discovery of an ichthyosaur and plesiosaur in the cliffs at Charmouth and Lyme Regis.

Our curriculum is designed to expand our children’s horizons by encouraging them to engage in the natural world around them, describing and understanding it, respecting and striving to protect it.


At Ferndown First School, we believe that science provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Our vision is to give children a science curriculum which enables them to explore and discover the world around them so that they have a deeper understanding of the world we live in. We recognise that science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity.

All pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science.

In a nutshell, ‘Science is describing how our world works.’

It is vital that our children are encouraged to be curious about the world around them and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about the natural phenomena, asking questions which develop their knowledge further and support the skills of analysis and rational explanation. To achieve this, children are provided practical hands on experiences that encourage curiosity and questioning. Children are encouraged to become independent thinkers and work scientifically.

We are passionate that a broad and balanced science education is the entitlement of all children, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, class, aptitude or disability. Enabling all children to access a scientific education should also encourage open-mindedness, self-assessment, perseverance and responsibility, which are skills they can apply in all walks of life.


  • At Ferndown First School, science is taught through the big ideas of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Working Scientifically.
  • Biology is the knowledge of the importance of the 7 life processes common to living things.
  • Chemistry is the knowledge of how materials can be changed.
  • Physics is the knowledge about different sources of energy and how it allows things to happen.
  • We believe working scientifically is the ability to ask questions, investigate, explain and analyse causes.
  • Science is a core subject and has a weekly allocation on the timetable of each year group.
  • Our School science plans draw upon the National Curriculum and PLAN resources – https://www.planassessment.com/
  • Our long term planning overview has considered progression of knowledge, progression of enquiry skills and progression of working scientifically skills. The order of our science units has been carefully considered and we ensure that knowledge is sequenced so that pupils build on their knowledge of important concepts throughout their time at school.
  • Planning takes an enquiry based approach with medium term plans being created by the science coordinator. Within each lesson, learning is delivered through one or two enquiry types. Children are made aware of the enquiry skills they are using when they are conducting an investigation.
  • Our units of work detail important eco links relevant to the unit and children will explore these with their teacher in the form of a discussion. Similarly, scientists whose research focused around the theme of the unit will also be studied. A diverse range of scientists have been selected.
  • Within EYFS, children will work towards the natural world early learning goal. Through ‘forest school’ sessions and continuous provision, children will gain essential knowledge and skills which will equip them for National Curriculum science in Year 1. Children are introduced to a wide-ranging vocabulary that categorises and describes the natural world. These words are not too technical but provide the ‘seeds’ for developing scientific concepts that will be built on in later years.
  • Practical opportunities and experiences are fundamental in developing children’s understanding of the world around them.
  • Substantive or ‘essential knowledge’ has been mapped out across the school.
  • Vocabulary has been mapped out across the school and children are expected to understand a core set of terms by the end of each year.
  • To aid children’s retention of knowledge, each lesson will include a review of previous learning.
  • Through our science lessons, we promote individual liberty through encouraging children to make their own choices and mutual respect in listening to other people’s ideas.


At Ferndown First School we think of progress as knowing and remembering more.  In our exciting science curriculum, there is a wealth of new knowledge for the children to learn, practice and apply to describing how our world works.

The chance to revisit and rehearse new knowledge supports children in securing this knowledge into their long term memories. This knowledge then supports further learning connected to the topic and subject.

At Ferndown First School, we want every child to become a confident Scientist. To explore, to draw on previous knowledge, to question, to test and to develop conclusions. We want our children to be prepared for an ever changing world that they have the power to make a difference in.

Children at Ferndown First School will become confident scientists who:

  • Are curious about the world and excited about increasing their scientific knowledge.
  • Have a deep respect for the world around them and understand their role in protecting the natural world.
  • Ask many questions to find out about why and how things happen and work.
  • Make connections between their knowledge and understanding of the world.
  • Make careful observations and measurements and use these to spot similarities and patterns.
  • Are systematic in their practical work.
  • Explain to others what they have found out.