Darrick Wood Junior School


Science at DWJS: Vision and Intent

At Darrick Wood Junior School, we believe that science should stimulate and excite our pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It should make them eager to ‘find answers,’ by experimenting and seeking new knowledge.

DWJS pupils are encouraged to think “like a scientist” by building on their natural curiosity for the world around them. Children are equipped to develop their own scientific questions and explore these through scientific inquiry: predicting, investigating and drawing conclusions. Within each topic, we have a focus on famous scientists (both current and past) where children learn that that not all scientists wear lab coats and that there is wide variety of careers available in Science. As well as developing key foundational scientific knowledge, we aim to inspire the scientists of
tomorrow by teaching children the importance of topics that currently affect the world around us, such as sustainability and climate change.

Pupils should be able to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language, but they should also be familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely. We view Science as a predominantly ‘active’ subject, and aim to strike an appropriate balance between the practical experience of experimentation, and the necessity to carefully record observations and draw conclusions. Working scientifically is more than just discussing fair testing!

Science Curriculum Overview: Implementation

The Science Curriculum at Darrick Wood Junior encapsulates all of the themes of our intent. Using the CUSP model, we revisit areas of Science more than once and in turn this allows us to build in progression and embed the children’s procedural knowledge and skills. When they revisit a topic area further along their journey in Primary, the lessons build upon and enhance what has previously been learnt.

Each unit begins with a knowledge organiser that highlights key vocabulary, key concepts and key skills. This is used as a reference throughout the topic. It is also used as a means of self-assessment by the pupils who can highlight or tick the text as they feel secure on those elements. At the start of each lesson, the pupils have a smaller version of that knowledge organiser that concentrates on key learning for that lesson. This contains the information needed to answer the question posed by the teacher for investigation.

We value the importance of having a key focus on scientific vocabulary. The children study the etymology of the word and identify root words, prefixes and suffixes. This gives them a foundation with which to build their understanding of why the word is used in this context. Understanding of language is explicitly taught and added to a word bank to support their work during the topic. Attention is also drawn to where Science lessons are cross curricular and skills from those subject areas used i.e. Data Handling in Maths and presentation and writing of reports in English.


At DWJS, we intend that the impact of our Science curriculum, will allow children to be academically and physically prepared for life in their next school stage, in Modern Britain and the wider world. We believe that a secure bank of scientific knowledge and experiences, will allow them to confidently embrace the challenges of their future, through diversity and a transference of skills.

Assessment to assure the above can happen is ongoing throughout the year. We use formal strategies such as quizzes and assessment tasks. As well as informal strategies such as verbal/written outcomes and reflection tasks. Progress across the year groups is closely monitored by the Subject Leader. This includes regular
book looks, lesson observations, gathering of evidence of good practice, pupil voice interviews, questionnaires to staff to ascertain any support needed and regular learning walks. The findings of this monitoring is used to inform the next steps for the children and the wider implementation of Science across the school.

Children at DWJS will:

  • demonstrate a love of Science work and an interest in further study
  • retain knowledge that is pertinent to Science with a real life context
  • be able to question ideas and reflect on knowledge
  • be able to articulate their understanding of scientific concepts and be able to reason scientifically using a rich language linked to Science
  • work collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment
  • meet key expected outcomes


STEM Week 2024: Dr James Kempton

During March 2024, DWJS held its annual STEM Week. The launch assembly was hosted by a very special visitor - Dr James Kempton. Dr Kempton recently returned from an expedition to Indonesia where he and his team recorded footage of a long-beaked echidna named after Sir David Attenborough (see below). Prior to the footage being captured, scientists had long-feared that this species of echidna was extinct.