Broom Valley Community School

“Together We Dare To Dream Big”

SCIENCE at Broom Valley

At BVCS, we aim to spark a love and a passion for Science. We aim to present learning to children in small, sequential chunks to enable them to develop a deep understanding of new scientific information. The curriculum is enriched and enhanced by memorable moments that fosters an inquisitiveness for discovering more. By learning about the products of science, pupils are able to explain the material world and ‘develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena’. By learning about the practices of science, pupils learn how scientific knowledge becomes established through scientific enquiry. Through an intertwined approach of teaching substantive and disciplinary knowledge, pupils appreciate the nature and status of scientific knowledge.

Progression Map: Science

Progression Map: Disciplinary Knowledge

Our sequence:

  • Pre-learning – Teachers identify current reality in classrooms by assessing children’s start points. By doing this, teachers have the capacity to address any misconceptions children may have from previous curriculums. Additionally, teachers can introduce new learning so children, who may find it challenging, have greater success during the learning sequence.
  • Substantive knowledge – To ensure learners progress from novices to experts, teachers break convoluted learning intentions into small, sequential steps, as outlined in Rosenshine’s Principles. This approach mirrors methods in other subject areas, such as Mathematics, and is a proven technique for managing limitations in the working memory and increasing information retention, as identified by the Cognitive Load Theory.
  • Disciplinary knowledge – To provide children with an understanding of procedures and concepts, teachers provide information for working scientifically. Disciplinary knowledge is progressively more challenging throughout school and is presented to children in a variety of ways.
  • At BVCS, we recognise that the interplay between substantive and disciplinary knowledge is essential. Disciplinary knowledge is embedded within the substantive content of biology, chemistry and physics.
  • Retrieval of information – Using Ebbinghaus’s forgetting curve as justification, we understanding that children are more likely to retain more information if they retrieve it from long term memory into working memory frequently. Because of this, teachers enable children to retrieve information after the sequence of learning by completing various, low-stakes activities. This can often be called the “testing effect”. Misconceptions are often introduced at this point as it is an effective way to assess children’s understanding.


As a school with high proportions of EAL children, we understand how important it is to explicitly teach new vocabulary. Specific, tier 3 vocabulary is outlined in the PLAN supporting resources for every scientific concept and for all children throughout school. Teachers use a variety of techniques to support learners with new, scientific vocabulary.

Memorable moments

Science learning should be exciting for children. Where possible, teachers provide learning opportunities that enhance the science curriculum to further inspire learners. Memorable moments are present in the curriculum to add further depth and clarity to children’s scientific understanding.

Knowledge organisers

Knowledge organisers are produced to provide essential information to children throughout the learning sequence. Where used most effectively, teachers refer to knowledge organisers throughout the lessons so children have a source of information they can rely upon if required.

Image Bronze award awarded September 2023.

Primary Science Quality Marks have been awarded to 425 nursery, infant, junior, primary, middle, international and special schools this month to celebrate their commitment to excellence in science leadership, teaching and learning.  So far, since its national launch in 2010, more than 5000 Primary Science Quality Marks (PSQM) have been awarded, creating a solid foundation of quality science education for over 1,000,000 children.  

PSQM is a comprehensive evidence-based professional development programme that effectively develops science leadership, ensuring teachers have the knowledge, capability and support they need to transform science education and shape future generations.  

The Primary Science Quality Mark is led by the University of Hertfordshire.

Helen Sizer, PSQM Co-Director said: ‘By enabling effective science leadership, PSQM is powering the potential of all children to see the relevance and importance of science in their lives, now and in the future.  Schools that have achieved a Primary Science Quality Mark have demonstrated a significant commitment to science leadership, teaching and learning and the profile and quality of science in each accredited school is very high. Science subject leaders, their colleagues, headteachers, children, parents and governors should be very proud.”