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Being a Scientist at Cayton 

At Cayton, we want children to develop an inquisitive and investigate mind where they ask questions about the world we live in and how things function. We want our children to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics

  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them

  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.


​The National Curriculum states that “A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.”

Our curriculum reflects these beliefs and has been researched to ensure a deep and consistent pedagogy in the teaching of Science. Through the use and enquiry within the curriculum, it enables children to make links with understanding physical process and how things work in the world we live.

Every brilliant experiment, like every great work of art, starts with an act of imagination.” – Jonah Lehrer

The Learning Journey

Early Year

In Early Years, children start by observing their immediate surroundings and explore how things work. They learn about science through everyday experiences: planting fruits and vegetables, learning about growing, using physical apparatus to explore materials and concepts. Through cross-curricular work, children explore weather patterns and make observations about what they see.


They explore different foods and how they affect our bodies. They work scientifically to ask and raise questions about scientific processes. They explore living things and their habitats and complete nature walks to locate insects and other living things. They classify different things from what they can see, hear, feel and smell using their senses.

Key Stage One


Through Key Stage 1, children continue to investigate using scientific enquiry skills of observation, asking questions, classifying and identifying. They generate and ask questions about what they are studying and generate their own lines of enquiry. They start to gather and record data using simple tables and use data to suggest answers to questions they are investigating. They learn how materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching and learn about specific jobs and purposes of materials. 

They learn the names of everyday materials and can suggest uses for them. They develop their understanding of weather patterns and link these to the seasons. They study climate zones of the UK and compare these with climates abroad. They identify the common structure of plants, bulbs and seeds and start to name trees and plants including evergreen and deciduous trees. They learn the parts of the body including the senses and what these are used for. 

       They further develop their skills of classifying by looking at living things and non-living things and extend this to looking at things that have never been living. They learn to classify the living things into classes of animals: mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians. They then move on to looking at food chains and how these living things interact in the natural world. They learn the basic life cycles of living things and explain how seeds and bulbs grow into plants. They learn about the components needed to keep things alive and compare this to what plants need. They further this knowledge to look at how to stay healthy and what can be done to maintain a healthy lifestyle

Lower Key Stage Two

Through Lower Key Stage 2, children extend their knowledge to look more deeply into investigating. They generate lines of enquiry and explore different ways of finding possible answers. They make good use of observations and use equipment to look closely at what is happening. They continue to identify and classify and start to broaden the different variables that can be explored. They gather and record data using more sophisticated tables and charts and use these to generate answers to patterns they observe including the use of data loggers to record data. They use diagrams and keys to record their findings and include oral and written responses to the work commenting on the similarities and differences they find. They use existing scientific knowledge to support their own findings.

           In Lower Key stage 2, children start to understand magnetism and forces including push and pulls. They learn the skill of prediction and test their theories. They construct circuits and can name the different components they have used in the circuit. They recognise the difference between conductors and insulators and know the function of switches. They learn how fossils and soils are made and learn the differences between the three rock types: igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary. They extend on their knowledge of light and understand that darkness is the absence of light and demonstrate how shadows can be formed. They learn about the dangers of sunlight and understand how evaporation works. They group materials based on their properties and discuss how these properties can be classified into solids, liquids and gases. 

    Pupils extend on their knowledge of plants learned in Key stage 1 and look at the functions of flower parts. They extend their knowledge of the human body and look at the skeletal and muscular structures. They explore the digestive system and relate this to the functions of the organs. They identify and know the different types of teeth. 

     With sound, they recognise that sounds are made by vibrations and investigate how sounds travel through different mediums. They correlate pitch with the sounds that are being made and know the correlation of the volume and the strength of the vibration. They learn what happens to a sound the further away it gets from a source. Pupils use classification keys to group, identify and name living things including flowering and non-flowering plants (mosses/ ferns/ seaweed) and use classification keys to group, identify and name vertebrate animals into groups such as fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals and invertebrates into snails and slugs, worms, spiders, and insects. They link this to understand how changes in environment can endanger living things. Pupils use and construct food chains to identify producers, predators, prey and decomposers and explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant including how plants transport water throughout the plant. They know about the importance of a nutritious, balanced diet and that humans cannot make their own food BUT plants can.

Pupils study different teeth and study the ear and how sound travels through different mediums. They correlate these sounds with the pitch and the object that is being made.

     They continue to classify in various ways using classification keys and focus on living things including flowering and non-flowering plants; vertabrate and invertebrate animals.


Pupils study and create a range of food chains identifying producers, predators, prey, consumers and decomposers. They learn about different life cycles and their importance in the wider world. They explore the requirements of living things and discover how water is transported through plants. Continuing with their studies of living things and respect for our world, children learn about how changes to environments can endanger living things.

Upper Key Stage Two

During Upper Key Stage 2, pupils plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary. They take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate. Pupils record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs. They report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and a degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.


Pupils identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments. When looking at materials, pupils compare and group materials based on their properties (e.g. hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity, [electrical & thermal], and response to magnets. Know and explain how a material dissolves to form a solution – make salt crystals. Know and show how to recover a substance from a solution. Know and demonstrate how some materials can be separated (e.g. through filtering, sieving and evaporating). 

They draw circuit diagrams using correct symbols. Know how the number and voltage of cells in a circuit links to the brightness of a lamp or the volume of a buzzer and know how fossils can be used to find out about the past. They know and demonstrate that some changes are reversible and some are not and know how some changes result in the formation of a new material and that this is usually irreversible. They know what gravity is and its impact on our lives and identify and know the effect of air and water resistance. They Identify and know the effect of friction and can explain how levers, pulleys and gears allow a smaller force to have a greater effect.

            In their studies of the Earth, they know about and explain the movement of the Earth and other planets relative to the Sun and know about and explain the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth. Pupils know and demonstrate how night and day are created and describe the Sun, Earth and Moon (using the term spherical bodies). They learn about light and how it travels and link this to how we see think when light is refracted. They investigate shadows and how they change across seasons.

    When studying the human body, pupils identify and know the structure of sexual reproductive system, identifying and naming the main parts of the human circulatory system and knowing the function of the heart, blood vessels and blood. They enhance their classifying knowledge by classifying living things based on their observable characteristics and give reasons for the classification. They link this knowledge to the life cycles of living things and study a range of life cycles from different types of animals. They create timelines of different stages of life and learn about sexual and asexual reproduction. In Year 6, pupils learn and know the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on health. They know the ways in which nutrients and water are transported in animals, including humans. They learn about reproduction and offspring (recognising that offspring normally vary and are not identical to their parents) and know how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment. Pupils learn to link adaptation over time to evolution and explain what it is. They learn how the Earth and living things have changed over time.

Anchor 1

Science Progression Map - What we learn

Adaptive Teaching in Science for SEND support


Gallery - Science at Cayton

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