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Science Curriculum

Science encompasses both the theoretical and practical pursuit of understanding the physical and natural world through observation and experimentation.

At South Lee Prep School, our approach to teaching science revolves around igniting the curiosity of our pupils about the world, both within and beyond their immediate surroundings. Through science, they have the opportunity to explore, seek answers to their own questions, and gain insight into the way scientists enquire, develop theories, and formulate scientific ideas. This fosters the development of scientific thinking skills and the ability to plan, conduct, analyse, and evaluate experimental hypotheses. All children, regardless of their backgrounds, have access to these skills, and many thrive in this subject due to their capacity to apply reasoning and logic to their scientific thinking.

Our science program delves into the historical evolution of scientific theories, providing students with an understanding of how major scientific concepts contribute to technological advancements, industry, commerce, medicine, and education. This knowledge impacts the quality of life on Earth and extends beyond our planet.

Our curriculum comprises four primary areas: scientific enquiry, life processes and living organisms (Biology), materials and their properties (Chemistry), and physical processes (Physics). Often, these subjects are taught in an interdisciplinary manner, with topics not always neatly fitting into one of these categories.

As Galileo Galilei aptly stated, "All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them."

Here's a breakdown of our science curriculum across different year groups:


  • Focus on achieving Early Learning Goals in the Understanding the World Area of Learning.

Years 1 and 2

  • Science is integrated into cross-curricular lessons under the banner of Topic, alongside humanities subjects.

Year 1 Topics include:

  • Materials (Natural and man-made)

  • Forces (Push and Pull)

  • Light and sound

  • World weather (hot and cold places)

  • Animals, including humans

  • Plants

Year 2 Topics include:

  • Weather and symbols

  • All about me

  • What do I need

  • Human life cycles

  • Looking after ourselves (diet, exercise, medicine, germs)

  • My skeleton

  • The Nile flooding

  • Food and farming

  • Materials (natural and man-made)

  • Properties of materials

  • Key inventions

  • Forces (exploring ramp height, surfaces, friction)

  • Pollution and caring for the environment

  • Great Barrier Reef

  • Signs of life, differences between animals and humans, classification

  • Habitats and associated animals

  • Food sources and chains

  • Parts of a plant, needs to grow, types of plants, new plant life cycles

  • How materials change

  • Electricity and sources of light

Years 3-8

  • Science lessons take place in the lab, allowing students to actively participate in practical aspects of the subject.

Here's a glimpse of the Year 3-8 curriculum:

Year 3

  • Michaelmas Term: Animals, including humans; Rocks and Soils

  • Lent Term: Forces and Magnets; Plants 1

  • Summer Term: Plants 2; Light

Year 4

  • Michaelmas Term: Electricity; States of Matter; Water Cycle

  • Lent Term: Digestion and Teeth; Sound

  • Summer Term: Food chains; Living things, classification, and the environment

Year 5

  • Michaelmas Term: Earth and Space; Forces

  • Lent Term: Materials; Reversible and irreversible reactions

  • Summer Term: Life cycles of animals and plants

Year 6

  • Michaelmas Term: Electricity; Light

  • Lent Term: Properties of materials and separating materials; Living things

  • Summer Term: Humans as organisms; Genetics and Inheritance

Year 7

  • Michaelmas Term: Atoms and the Periodic Table; Pure and Impure substances

  • Lent Term: Gas exchange and cells; Health and reproduction in plants and animals

  • Summer Term: Forces; Waves

Year 8

  • Michaelmas Term: Photosynthesis and respiration; Space and the Universe

  • Lent Term: Electricity and magnetism; Chemical reactions

  • Summer Term: Chemical reactions; Inheritance

Science at South Lee Prep School is a journey of discovery, sparking curiosity, and nurturing scientific enquiry in our pupils at every stage of their education.

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