Pratts Bottom Primary School



‘I am among those who think that science has great beauty. A scientist in a laboratory is not only a technician: they are also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress them like a fairy tale.’ 

Marie Curie

Science at Pratts Bottom Primary School aims to develop an engaging, practical and inspirational high-quality curriculum that inspires the next generation to succeed and excel in the sciences. We do this through fully adhering to the aims of the national curriculum and fostering a healthy curiosity and interest in biology, chemistry and physics. 

At the heart of our ambitious science curriculum is scientific investigation. Wherever possible, we intend to deliver lessons where children learn through varied systematic investigations, leading to them being equipped to ask and answer scientific questions about the world around them. Through this, we ensure that children make progress in both their substantive and disciplinary knowledge, using these to explore the ever-changing world around them. 

Alongside this, we believe that Science is the perfect way for children to apply their knowledge from English and maths, using the skills they have developed in real-life situations and adapting their learning to fit their line of enquiry. 

The Science curriculum is focused on our curriculum drivers:

Sustainability: We believe in nurturing an appreciation for the environment and instilling a sense of responsibility towards its preservation. Through our science curriculum, students will explore the interconnectedness of living organisms and ecosystems, developing an understanding of sustainable practices to protect our planet for future generations.

Diversity: Our curriculum celebrates the rich tapestry of life and embraces the diversity within the scientific community. Students will be exposed to a variety of perspectives, cultures, and contributions in science and be taught about current scientists attempting to improve our world. We strive to create an inclusive environment where every student feels valued and inspired to pursue their interests in science.

Growth Mindset: We foster a growth mindset, encouraging students to view challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. Through hands-on experiments, problem-solving activities, and real-world applications, students will develop resilience, perseverance, and a positive attitude towards learning. We believe that every child has the potential to excel in science with effort, dedication, and a growth mindset. 



The Science Curriculum at Pratts Bottom encapsulates all of the themes of our intent using the CUSP model. 

CUSP Science has sequenced the national curriculum into meaningful and connected ‘chunks’ of content to reduce the load on the working memory as well as creating coherent and strong long-term memories. The sequence of substantive and disciplinary knowledge enables pupils to become ‘more expert’ with each study and grow an ever broadening and coherent mental model of the subject. This guards against superficial, disconnected and fragmented scientific knowledge and weak disciplinary knowledge. High frequency, multiple meaning words (Tier 2) are taught explicitly and help make sense of subject specific words (Tier 3). 

Our Science curriculum is planned so that the retention of knowledge is much more than just ‘in the moment knowledge’. The cumulative nature of the curriculum is made memorable by the implementation of Bjork’s desirable difficulties, including retrieval and spaced retrieval practice, word building and deliberate practice tasks. This powerful interrelationship between structure and research-led practice is designed to increase substantive knowledge and accelerate learning within and between study modules. That means the foundational knowledge of the curriculum is positioned to ease the load on the working memory.

Our Science lessons deliberately pay attention and value the importance of subject content as well as the context it is taught in. Common scientific misconceptions are identified in all Science learning modules. These misconceptions are made explicit to pupils. Children draw upon substantive and disciplinary knowledge to reason and practice acquiring the conception, whilst repelling the misconceptions. Examples and non-examples are powerful ways of saying what something is and what something isn’t.

Pratts Bottom Science units all value the study of scientists from the past as well as promoting diverse present-day role models in the field. These studies help us to learn how they used, at that time, their substantive and disciplinary knowledge to develop a conception. This illuminates how misconceptions can permeate substantive knowledge and appear to be a known truth. An example of this is the study of Maria Merion in Year 5, who was born in Germany in 1667. She observed and drew insects going through biochemical metamorphosis. She challenged the misconception that all insects were evil, born from mud and were the work of the devil. Further examples of contextual misconceptions and refinement of conceptions can be seen in the study of Galen’s views about blood circulation in AD 157 and William Harvey’s findings in 1602.

 For an overview of when the scientific areas of study are taught at Pratts Bottom please click on the link below:

Scientific Areas of Study Overview


 The successful approach to the teaching of Science at Pratts Bottom will result in a fun, engaging, high quality science education that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world.  We believe every child should have a secure bank of scientific disciplinary and substantive knowledge and experiences to enable them to confidently embrace the challenges of the secondary school science curriculum when they move on to Year 7.

Assessment at Pratts Bottom is teacher based using formal strategies (e.g. assessment tasks and quizzing) and informal strategies (e.g. verbal/written outcomes, reflection task/presentations).  Formal assessment is used as the main tool for assessing the impact of Science at Pratts Bottom as it allows for misconceptions and gaps to be addressed sooner rather than building on insecure scientific foundations.