What Science means at St Thomas…

Science is about questioning the world around us (and beyond!) through exploration, experimentation and learning from our mistakes.

Science at St Thomas...

At St Thomas’ we value Science because it makes an important contribution to all aspects of life and stimulates children’s natural curiosity about the world around them.  We aim to promote, in an exciting way, the growth of the knowledge and abilities needed by a pupil through exploring, interpreting and using their biological and physical environment.

In Science we aim to extend the natural curiosity children have about the world around them. The children are taught skills of observation, prediction, fair testing, measuring, interpretation and evaluation while they are working scientifically. The children are encouraged to devise investigations to solve problems and answer questions.

We will help pupils to:

  • Acquire first hand experiences of scientific activities, both as an individual and as part of a team.
  • initiate investigation and ask questions
  • develop investigative skills
  • develop an inquiring mind using critical and creative thinking
  • develop interests, attitudes, vocabulary and communication of ideas
  • acquire significant knowledge and develop basic concepts
  • work scientifically

There is a focus on acquiring scientific skills in order to improve our knowledge, using the world around us to learn from, learning about real scientists and developing the children’s ability to work scientifically.

Each class will be using our outdoor learning environments for science study throughout the year – our Forest School, gardens and pond area providing a good location for the study of plants and trees and the natural world. We also plan a variety of educational visits to enhance the children’s scientific knowledge including Space at the Winchester Science Centre and a night star gazing from the comfort of the school field!

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Our intention for Science is for it to be a source of wonder and inspiration for the children at St Thomas’.  We encourage children to explore the world around them by using different methods of enquiry, whilst realising that making mistakes and errors is all part of the discovery process.  In Science lessons at St Thomas’ we have the opportunity to explore and reinforce our school values that everyone is unique and special and also explore the wonder of the natural world around us.  Our Science lessons go hand in hand with our school philosophy of S=P+A+C+E for learning whereby children use Perseverance, A positive attitude, Confidence and Effort in every lesson to achieve both success and learning.


At St Thomas’ we believe that Science should be practical and relevant to our children.  The discoveries that the children make in Science lessons carry so much more meaning when they find out for themselves how the world works around them.  To allow for this, children have the opportunity to experiment with a range of scientific equipment and models which progress in their challenge and complexity through the age groups.  We also ensure there are plenty of opportunities to explore the outdoors and record natural events like the changing of the seasons and the living things in our local habitats.  Furthermore, we encourage the children to think like Scientists and take the time to discuss the skills, as well as the knowledge, that will be required to carry out certain tasks.

In EYFS Science takes place through regular practical tasks in the indoor and outdoor learning environments under the learning ‘Understanding the World’. In KS1 and 2 children take part in Science lessons weekly.  We aim for the lessons to be largely investigative in nature and ensure a broad range of enquiry approaches.  At every stage, the children are encouraged to make use of our nature and sensory gardens, and use our raised beds to grow their own flowers and vegetables.  This allows them to connect with nature and Biology in a practical way, and to help them understand where their food comes from.

Across the school, teachers have high expectations over children’s use of accurate scientific language.  Children are given chances to extend their Science learning through trips including visits to local horticultural gardens, Wisley, and a residential trip to Swanage in Year 5. Links are made to topics and children understand the relevance and purpose of learning in Science and how these relate to potential career opportunities later in life.  There has recently been more emphasis placed on each year group looking at the role of Scientists both historical and contemporary such as Mary Anning, John MacAdam and Nikola Tesla.

The engagement of Science is high throughout the school with opportunities to Rediscover prior learning and explore Going Deeper challenges woven into each lesson.

There are also opportunities for further exploration in our extra-curricular activities.  Children can make direct contact with nature through our gardening and wildlife clubs, and they learn about the importance of protecting the environment by putting themselves forward as Eco-Warriors.  The Eco-Warriors advise their classes over how we can manage our waste, reduce air-pollution and encourage more wildlife into our school grounds.

It is also important that, as a school, we celebrate the importance of Science.  We do this through our Science weeks which include teachers sharing engaging experiments using everyday resources that can be found at home, visitors who work in scientific environments (including parents) and special Science theatre shows.  All these help to inspire and motivate pupils by tapping into their sense of Wonder at the world around them.


Our main aim is for children to love Science and feel passionately about exploring the world around them.  They should pose questions and be confident in suggesting ways of answering them.  Above all, it is important for them to understand that many great scientific discoveries have been achieved through plenty of effort and a willingness to accept mistakes as form of learning.  We can see both through observations, learning walks and data that children progress well though the school with their Science knowledge and skills and that they have a love for the subject.  Knowledge organisers are starting to be used for introducing and then consolidating key knowledge and vocabulary.  Children are becoming more adept at self-evaluation in Science and in key stage 2, peer evaluation.  Lesson time is also given to learning reflections and the identification of next steps.