Monksmead School

Respect, Reflect, Believe, Succeed




At Monksmead School, all of our teaching and learning builds on our core values: Respect, Reflect, Believe and Succeed.  We recognise the importance of Science in every aspect of daily life; we encourage children to be inquisitive throughout their time at our school and beyond.  The Science curriculum fosters a natural curiosity of the child, encourages respect for living organisms and the physical environment and provides opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence.  We believe that science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concept, skills and positive attitudes.

We intend to provide all children, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, class, aptitude or disability, with a broad and balance science curriculum.  It is our intention that

  1. we ensure the connection between the scientific content and the context is made relevant to the everyday lives of children.
  2. pupils are encouraged to be curious learners who are inquisitive, ask questions and think hard.
  3. pupils are empowered to ask relevant scientific questions as well as begin to answer them using substantive and disciplinary knowledge.




In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in science, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school.  Monkmead follows the CUSP Science scheme of work.  CUSP Science pays close attention to guidance provided by the National Curriculum sequence and content.  It is infused with evidence-led practice and enriched with retrieval studies to ensure long-term retention of foundational knowledge.  The foundations of CUSP science are cemented in the EYFS through learning within the Natural World, and People, Culture and Communities.  The ambitious interpretation of the National Curriculum places knowledge, vocabulary, working and thinking scientifically at the heart of principles, structure and practice.  CUSP Science precisely follows the units outlined in the National Curriculum.  In Science we also use PlanBee to support the children's learning.

Through studying CUSP science, pupils become more expert as they progress through the curriculum, accumulating, connecting and making sense of the rich substantive and disciplinary knowledge.

Substantive knowledge

This is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used to learn about the content.   In CUSP Science, an extensive and connected knowledge base is constructed so that pupils can use these foundations and integrate it with what they already know. Misconceptions are challenged carefully and in the context of the substantive and disciplinary knowledge.   

Disciplinary knowledge

This is knowing how to collect, use, interpret, understand and evaluate the evidence from scientific processes. This is taught. It is not assumed that pupils will acquire these skills by luck or hope. Pupils construct understanding by applying substantive knowledge to questioning and planning, observing, performing a range of tests, accurately measuring, comparing through identifying and classifying, using observations and gathering data to help answer questions, explaining and reporting, predicting, concluding, improving, and seeking patterns. We call it ‘Working Scientifically’.

Scientific analysis or ‘Thinking Scientifically.’

  • identifying and classifying
  • pattern seeking
  • research
  • observing over time
  • fair and comparative testing

Substantive concepts 

This includes concrete examples, such as ‘plant’ or more abstract ideas, such as ‘biodiversity’. Concepts are taught through explicit vocabulary instruction as well as through the direct content and context of the study.



High frequency, multiple meaning words (Tier 2) are taught explicitly and help make sense of subject specific words (Tier 3).   Each learning module in science has a vocabulary module with tasks and resources to enhance and deepen understanding.




The intended impact of the teaching and learning of Science at Monksmead School follows our school drivers and incorporates our core values of Respect, Reflect, Believe and Succeed:


  • Self-Awareness –  Through developing their skills, knowledge and understanding, pupils will enjoy their learning and take pride in what they’ve achieved. They will be inquisitive and have a positive attitude towards science; they will develop a growth mindset, supporting them to be resilient in their approach to set-backs and to have the confidence to ask for support when needed. 
  • Embrace differences –  Our children will be inspired by and encouraged to hear about scientists from all disciplines and from a wide range of ethnicities, languages, cultures, disabilities and other forms of diversity.  In turn, this will help the children to embrace their own and each other’s differences.  Our children will recognise that everyone has the potential to succeed and make a contribution to the world of science.
  •  Ambitious to take the next step –  Our children will gain a wide variety of skills linked to both scientific knowledge and understanding, and scientific enquiry/investigative skills ready to support them as they take their next steps into the specific realms of biology, chemistry and physics as they move to secondary school and beyond.  Their high aspirations will inspire them to ‘want to know more’.
  • Worldy-Wise – Our children will have a strong understanding and appreciation of how science has a profound impact on every area and stage of our lives as well as the world around us.  They will understand how it has helped shape our history, and contributes to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.  Our children will have the ability to reflect on the impact of science on our everyday lives and the potential impact science may have in the future.

Knowledge Organisers

Pleae click on the links below to find the CUSP Knowledge Organiser for your child's learning.

Summer 2023