A while back I shared a science curriculum document that attempted to spell out the knowledge and skills of a primary science curriculum in a way that I hoped would save schools lots of time and, at least, provide a solid jumping off point for the curriculum work of others. It was well received, and it made me determined to improve upon it. The result is in this folder and is freely available to be used in any way that might support your school:
In the folder above, you will find curriculum overviews that spell out the knowledge and skills to be taught for each year group in primary science and information texts for the various topics.
Each year group is currently organised into six blocks of six lessons, though this can be easily adapted into six half-term blocks:
As before, every block begins with retrieval of the key content from previous blocks that needs to be embedded if children are to succeed with the new learning:
Twelve big ideas of science are spelled out at the start of each overview and are linked to the various topics:
The key repeating concepts are made explicit in each topic, along with the vocabulary, both that which is new to the topic and that which is to be retrieved from previous topics:
So… what’s new?
- The layout has been changed to make it much more user-friendly for teachers.
2. If you look at the bottom of each year group’s document, every topic has an associated scientific enquiry, six for each year group. (How these link to the working scientifically statements of the national curriculum is made explicit.)
3. A diverse array of scientists have been added to the knowledge of the curriculum:
4. The curriculum links to the range of scientific careers that exist, ensuring that children leave primary school with an appropriate rich view of what it means to be a scientist:
5. I have written basic, age-appropriate information texts for every topic that fit exactly with this curriculum document.
6. You will also notice that some curriculum statements are in bold and others are not. It is often the case that schools do not prioritise certain aspects of their curriculum, leaving teachers in the dark about which bits are essential for children to grasp and which bits are merely beneficial. While this is very much a personal choice, I have bolded the aspects of the curriculum that are most essential for all children to grasp before they leave primary school. (Most of these are the aspects that are most frequently retrieved within the curriculum.) Feel free to adapt this as you see fit.
There are aspects of any curriculum that ideally should be chosen and adapted to fit exactly with your school context. (For example, when children are introduced to types of plants in key stage one, it is sensible to choose plants that live in your school grounds or nearby for children to see and touch. Equally, the diverse range of scientists have been chosen in some instances to marry with our history curriculum, which has been created to reflect our local community.) This means that you may well want to download these resources and then adapt them. If you want any assistance in how to adapt these resources, don’t hesitate to get in touch. I tend to respond most rapidly on Twitter.
In the coming weeks, I will be releasing a geography curriculum package (with basic information texts) and a history curriculum package (also with basic information texts). While each of these works perfectly well in isolation, they also complement one another with explicit links made between them.
If you are wondering how I have gained permission from my school to share these, then allow me explain: Firstly, I have the privilege of working with people who see the education system as I do (i.e. an essentially collaborative enterprise, regardless of the systemic forces that impel schools to compete with one another). Secondly, I have done a lot of unpaid work on these curriculum documents in my own time. The schools I have worked for have always been aware that part of the deal of me doing this is that I am then free to share the results as I see fit.
In making this, I was indebted to the ideas and inspiration of the wonderful people of EduTwitter, especially @MrsSTeaches, @Mr_AlmondED and @ClareSealy.
I hope you find this stuff to be useful. If you do, please direct other teachers you know to these resources in the hope that we might save teachers some time and support some collaborative curriculum discussions.
Finally, if you find this stuff really useful, and you decide you want to chuck a few quid somewhere out of a sense of unnecessary gratitude, why not give my new book on primary reading a chance? It’s available to pre-order here:
As with any writing I do, all royalties/fees will be going to the Malaria Consortium, a GiveWell-recommended charity. More details about the Malaria Consortium can be found here: