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Buxton Junior School


Teaching Science at Buxton Junior School

In the words of Stephen Hawking: “Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.”


Overall, the positive primary science experience we aim to provide at Buxton Junior School is key to encouraging future generations not only to study this subject at secondary school, but also potentially to follow it as a career. 


One aim of science teaching at Buxton Junior School is to enhance pupils' understanding of scientific concepts.  We follow the National Curriculum (not necessarily in the order given within each year group), see below:

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6


Living things and their habitats

Living things and their habitats

Living things and their habitats

Animals (incl. humans)


Animals (incl. humans)

Animals (incl. humans)

Animals (incl. humans)


Rocks and soils


States of Matter

Properties and changes of Materials

Evolution and Inheritance



Earth and Space


Forces and magnets






  • We use the CUSP science curriculum resources, built around the principles of cumulative knowledge focusing on the key disciplines of physics, chemistry, biology and earth science, with an emphasis on how content is connected and relational knowledge acquired. These resources contain knowledge organisers for each unit of study, lesson by lesson dual coded knowledge notes based on the question they will investigate and have cumulative quizzes to allow teachers to check for understanding throughout the unit of work. Furthermore, unit specific vocabulary is outlined in addition to common misconceptions to aid panning.


  • To develop pupils understanding about science, we weave ‘Working Scientifically’ through all our areas of study.  This allows pupils to build their schema of key skills such as asking questions, making predictions, setting up tests, observing and measuring, recording data, interpreting and communicating results and evaluating through the areas they have studied in the BJS curriculum.


  • To develop pupils understand of science, we develop understanding by linking all areas we teach to our ‘Big Ideas’ outlined below






P1: The universe follows unbreakable rules that are all about forces, matter and energy.

P2: Forces are different kinds of pushes and pulls that act on all the matter that is in the universe. Matter is all the stuff, or mass, in the universe.

P3: Energy, which cannot be created or destroyed, comes in many different forms and tends to move away from objects that have lots of it.



C1: All matter (stuff) in the universe is made up of tiny building blocks.

C2: The arrangement, movement and type of the building blocks of matter and the forces that hold them together or push them apart explain all the properties of matter (e.g. hot/cold, soft/hard, light/heavy, etc).

C3: Matter can change if the arrangement of these building blocks changes.



B1: Living things are special collections of matter that make copies of themselves, use energy and grow.

B2: Living things on Earth come in a huge variety of different forms that are all related because they all came from the same starting point 4.5 billion years ago.

B3: The different kinds of life, animals, plants and microorganisms, have evolved over millions of generations into different forms in order to survive in the environments in which they live.


Earth science

E1: The Earth is one of eight planets that orbit the sun.

E2: The Earth is tilted and spins on its axis leading to day and night, the seasons and the climate.

E3: The Earth is made up of several layers, including a relatively thin rocky surface which is divided into tectonic plates, and the movement of these plates leads to many geologic events (such as earthquakes and volcanoes) and geographical features (such as mountains.)

  • Where science is the curriculums driver subject, a Medium Term Planning Tool (MPT) needs to be created in order to outline links to our curriculum drivers of ourselves, our environment and the wider world as well as links to prior learning etc.