Science at WJPS

The Science Curriculum at West Jesmond

        Curiosity, Confidence, Creativity and Community

Science Curriculum Aims

Science at West Jesmond aims to excite our children’s curiosity in the world around them and understand the importance of scientific discoveries to their lives, in the past and in the future.  As our children progress through school, they will acquire scientific knowledge, understanding and concepts through discovery and be able to apply this to a range of contexts. Working scientifically is at the heart of our science curriculum- our children will develop skills to be confident scientists in order to aid their discoveries and develop team work, problem solving and resilience.  Our ambitious science curriculum is accessible to all pupils through careful ongoing scaffolding and adaptations. We aim to build our children’s science capital in order to give them a life-long curiosity of science in their lives, the local community and wider world and be aware of opportunities open to them in the future. This allows our pupils to leave West Jesmond as confident scientists who possess an excellent knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and robust working scientifically skills.


The science curriculum at West Jesmond covers the EYFS Curriculum and the National Curriculum aims and objectives and has been carefully sequenced to reflect our pupils and local area, using the unit recommendations for each year group set out in the National Curriculum (with additional units on Forces in Year 1 and Electricity in Y2). Each unit of learning is introduced to the children through a Big Question which promotes scientific thinking alongside curiosity and a creative problem-solving approach in line with our whole-school Curriculum Drivers. The core of our learning combines developing working scientifically skills to help understand the core learning knowledge. Each lesson focusses and a key working scientifically skill alongside a knowledge objective. Within lessons children are given opportunities to discuss their scientific experiences and thinking. They are also encouraged to ask questions which are then investigated within lessons. Children revisit the key skills’ milestones throughout the key stage to develop their independence in applying these.  New vocabulary is specifically taught and revisited. Staff are supported to become confident science teachers through ongoing planning support and access to CPD. Teachers use the Primary Science Teaching Trusts’ Thinking, Doing, Talking approach and the Primary Science Capital Teaching approach to enhance understanding, deepen evaluating and questioning skills and to ensure that investigation task designs are relevant to our children and final outcomes. At the end of each unit, children answer the Big Question and challenged on applying their learning to this.

Units are enhanced through outdoor learning in the local community, visitors from the science world and our children’s own possessions relevant to their learning. We are also fortunate to be able to welcome additional support from our West Jesmond families, the wider school community and experts from local museums and Universities. This allows the children to develop a deeper and lasting understanding. 

Many aspects of our science learning support the Eco-curriculum and work towards the Green Flag Award. Each year we hold a STEM Week (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) where the whole school works collaboratively on a theme and the children have the opportunity to meet visitors from the STEM field in the North East. Previous themes have included Polar Explorers, Vehicles, whole school investigations and using the books Rosie Revere Engineer and Iggy Peck Architect.

What you will see in a West Jesmond Science Lesson

  • Engaging and inspiring lessons and investigations that promote creativity and curiosity. 
  • High quality instruction and questioning with teachers providing carefully planned sequenced and modelled lessons that build on children’s scientific knowledge and working scientifically skills.
  • Children working practically to apply their knowledge or discovery new learning.
  • Children able to build their science capital through the Primary Science Capital approach.
  • Achievement and Inclusion for all: All activities are planned, scaffolded and adapted to ensure every child at West Jesmond can achieve highly in Science. This may include adapted resources, adult support and awareness of physical/sensory needs.
  • Retrieval of previous learning and explicit links through concepts that connect new learning with what the children know. Each lesson will start with a recap of knowledge from the previous week, unit and year.
  • Authentic experiences through hands on learning, visitors and outdoor learning.
  • High quality talk giving opportunities for children to discuss their scientific thinking and to learn how to challenge and disagree respectfully giving thoughtful reasons for their views.
  • An emphasis on correct and ambitious vocabulary. 
  • High quality verbal feedback during lessons.
  • Links to current and historical scientists and the impact of their work, and addressing stereotypes in a sensitive way.


Impact: Progress in our curriculum is measured by children knowing more and remembering more

If we are meeting our aims, our learners will have a rich body of scientific knowledge and will have developed working scientifically skills and will have a curiosity to find out more about the world around them. They will see themselves as scientists and understand how science is relevant to their lives and the wider world.

Each one will be ready to thrive in Science during the next stage of their education.


Staff use a range of assessment and summative assessment to assess progress towards unit outcomes and our key stage milestones and to measure the impact of our teaching and learning. We utilise spaced retrieval and regular low stakes quizzing, opportunities to present work and discussion to understand our children’s learning and to plan for next steps.

Our Science Leader monitors progress for all children through our West Jesmond Deep Dives and takes actions to ensure every child achieves highly in Science.


Additional Achievements

Our exceptional science curriculum has been recognised by a number of external bodies. West Jesmond is currently a Primary Science Quality Mark Outreach School, having previously gained the Silver and Gold awards. This is in recognition of the quality of the science provision in school and the support to other schools and educational institutions. We were part of the research team that developed the Primary Science capital Teaching Approach which is now being delivered to schools throughout the UK. Our Science Lead was awarded the Primary Science Teaching Trust’s Primary Science Teacher of the Year award in 2016.


We constantly look to improve and enhance our curriculum. This comes via regular CPD via the Primary Science Teaching trust. Our Science Leader is also Specialist Leader for Education, Primary Science Quality Mark Hub Leader, facilitates the Newcastle Authority Science Network Meetings and regularly supports other schools. Through working with other schools in this way we are able to see other best practice in order to improve teaching and learning at West Jesmond.