Horsforth Newlaithes

Welcome to our curriculum webpage for Science

"Science is fun because you get to learn new things."

Hawthorn Class - Year 1

"Science is interesting because you can experiment and you get to learn exciting things."

Hawthorn Class - Year 1

At Horsforth Newlaithes Primary School we believe that science is a vital part of our curriculum; it is designed to engage and challenge our children whilst ensuring that they build their Science Capital and understand the value and importance of science in the world around them. We aim to equip our pupils with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. A diverse selection of visitors helps to expose the children to different opportunities and future career paths. To ensure that all pupils reach their full potential, it is taught as a fine balance of knowledge-based and investigative approaches that is responsive to the children’s needs and interests. The lessons are often practical and exploratory, and deepen children’s understanding, and the learning is recorded in a variety of ways. The importance of feeling like a scientist and seeing the relevance of science to their daily lives is instilled from the beginning, in Early Years, linked to Understanding the World and the Characteristics of Effective Learning. Here we strive to harness children’s natural excitement and curiosity and inspire them to pursue scientific enquiry. This learning is then built upon using the knowledge categories as children move through the key stages, allowing the children to develop their enthusiasm and engagement as well as their knowledge skills through the threshold concepts. Children are encouraged to ask questions, debate and be curious about their surroundings; a love of science and nature is nurtured throughout school. We value the importance of outdoor learning and make great use of our school environment as well as the local community.

The acquisition of key scientific knowledge is an integral part of our science lessons. At HNPS science is taught discreetly, making clear links to prior learning and class topics where appropriate. The threshold concepts for working scientifically skills are to question, observe, plan, predict, experiment, collect results and conclude. They are developed through the year groups and scientific enquiry skills are of key importance within lessons. Our curriculum is progressive. The knowledge categories are Biology (humans, animals and plants); Chemistry (materials and reactions) and Physics (forces, space, light and sound). We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years, which is recapped through our ‘flashback questions’ at the start of lessons, where teachers can identify misconceptions that need addressing.

We plan for problem solving and real life opportunities that enable children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and are given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom. Planning involves teachers creating practical, engaging lessons with opportunities for precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning

Through enrichment days, such as ‘science week’, we promote the profile of science and allow time for the children to freely explore scientific topics.

The successful approach at Horsforth Newlaithes Primary School results in an engaging and high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. We aim for all children at Newlaithes to be competent scientists and to reach the expected standard in science at the end of each year. Our curriculum ensures that children develop an interest in and a love of science which enables them to be effective learners throughout their journey at Newlaithes and fully prepared for the next stage of their science education.   

We have developed our science curriculum based on the National Curriculum, identified the key skills and knowledge which we want children to learn and consequently make judgements against this criteria during and at the end of the year enabling us to measure the impact teaching and learning has. Through the explicit teaching of the science skills, both the teachers and the pupils assess their learning continuously throughout lessons.

The science subject leader monitors the impact of the science curriculum through protected monitoring time during which they complete a range of activities: lesson observations; scrutiny of planning and work; speaking to staff and children and analysing assessment data (introduced summer 2022). This process is quality assured by the Senior Leadership Team and agreed actions are added to subject leader action plans. 


Threshold Concepts Knowledge Categories

Work scientifically (question, observe, plan, predict, experiment, collect results, conclude)

Biology (humans, animals and plants)

Chemistry (materials and reactions)

Physics (Forces, space, light and sound)


Click here to download our long plan plan for science

Click here to download our skills progression document for science