Science at Gordonbrock

We are all Scientists at Gordonbrock Primary School!  Through the teaching of science we encourage a life-long interest in and enjoyment of Science.

There are four main areas of learning in Science, comprising of:

  • scientific enquiry
  • life processes and living things
  • materials and their properties
  • physical processes

To help children think scientifically, we build on their natural curiosity.  They are encouraged to explore and investigate Science through a practical, hands-on approach. Over their time at Gordonbrock, our scientists develop their skills of observing, questions, hypothesising, carrying out investigations, recording and interpreting findings and evaluating the reliability of their approach.

Catherine Ousbey, Science Co-ordinator

Science Topics

Year 1

Animals Including Humans

Come and be immersed in the animal kingdom! In this exciting topic we have the chance to share our knowledge about animals native to our country as well as those from further afield. We delight in learning in vocabulary such as carnivore, omnivore and herbivore and use these to sort and group animals.

Everyday Materials

Are we living in a material world? In this tactile topic we learn to identify a range of everyday materials and start to learn about their properties. We link this to our DT unit – Playgrounds – and make this topic real by observing which materials are used to build the playground in our local park.

Seasonal Changes

Come wind, rain, sun or snow we love learning at Gordonbrock! This topic gives us the chance to use exciting equipment to help us compare the four seasons and how days change depending on the time of year, including the weather and how the length of the day varies.


Linking to our Geography topic of food, we love learning all about plants. We focus on naming different types of plants and identifying the structure of plants. This helps us to identify which parts we tend to eat and which parts we don’t! It is great to culminate this topic by being able to eat something we have grown from seed.

Year 2

Uses of Everyday Materials

How useful is a chocolate tea pot? Through interesting questions such as this, and exciting hands on experiments, we explore why materials are chosen for specific purposes. The focus is on developing an understanding of the properties of materials and how these link to suitability for different uses.

Animals Including Humans

Whose baby? What is a baby rabbit called? What is a puffling? These questions begin this intriguing topic about how animals have offspring which grow into adults. The topic develops to investigate the basic needs of all living things in order to survive and grow as well as specific factors such as diet and exercise for humans.

Living Things and Their Habitats

No place like home? Using our local environment as a starting point we explore where different creatures live and what it is like in those places. We have a great time exploring our school grounds to see what we can find as well as using data loggers to record what these habitats are like. To broaden our knowledge we also visit the Horniman Museum to explore a rich range of creatures that live in other habitats through the careful handling of taxidermy animals.


Feeling jealous of Jack’s magic beans? This term we learn how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plans and what plants need in order to grow and stay healthy. We enjoy keeping a diary to watch how our plants grow and develop over the term as well as taking an active role to nurture them.

Year 3

Forces & Magnets

Magical magnets or freaky forces? Throughout this unit we love exploring how magnets work in this unit and enjoy trying to uncover the mystery of how they work. We have a great time sorting different materials and comparing how a magnetic force is different to other forces.


A great unit to be taught outside in the summer term! During this unit we learn that we need light in order to see and learn about how to protect our eyes too. We particularly enjoy making shadow puppets in this unit to help us understand how shadows are formed and to find patterns in the way that shadows change.


What did the rock say to the geologist? Don’t take me for granite! This unit gives us the chance to handle a variety of rocks, learn how they are made and sort them into different groups. We explore fossils and how they are formed, experiencing how scientific evidence teaches us about the past.


To germinate or not to germinate? In this unit we step into the life of a flowering plant from germination to seed dispersal, and learnt about the role that flowers play in a plants life cycle. We also investigate how water is transported within plants.


Animals Including Humans

Strong skeletons and mighty muscles – we all have them, but what are they for? The focus of this topic is to discover the role that the skeleton and muscles have in supporting and protecting the body as well as for movement. To further our understanding of the human body, we learn that animals, including humans, need the right type of nutrition to keep healthy as they are unable to make their own food.

Year 4


During this buzzing, hands-on topic we learn how to diagnose problems with circuits that aren’t working while also learning about electrical safety. Throughout the topic, the classroom is filled with buzzers and bulbs as we explore series circuits and how switches work.


Not our quietest of topics but we just love it – as I’m sure you can imagine! This unit gives us an excuse to make lots of noise while learning that sound is made from vibrations, which travel through a medium (e.g. air) to our ear. We really enjoy investigating patterns which link volume and pitch to the characteristics of the object that produced the sound.


States Of Matter

Will putting a coat on a snowman make it melt quicker or slower? Curious questions such as this will be explored during this topic as we learn about solids, liquids and gases. As we explore how heating or cooling objects affects their state of matter we also identify the role of evaporation and condensation in the water cycle.

Animals Including Humans

Disgusting digestion? This fascinating topic gives us the chance to discover what happens to the food we eat by learning the simple functions of the digestive system. In addition, we learn about the different types of human teeth and the role of each in processing food.

All Living Things

Classified information! In this unit we learnt to use classification keys to identify and sort animals into different groups. We also learn about the dangers to living things when their environment changes.

Year 5


Push or pull? Using pulleys and levers, we investigate how mechanisms can be used to allow a small force to have a greater effect by building our own mechanism machines. During this unit, we also learn about resistance, including friction, its effect on forces and what can be done to combat it.

Earth In Space

This out of this world unit sees us learning about our solar system and how the celestial bodies move, relative to each other. We use this understanding to explain why we have night and day and why it appears that the sun moves across the sky.

Living Things & Their Habitats

The circle of life! The focus of the unit lies in looking at and comparing the life cycle of different types of animals. We broaden our previous learning about living things, through developing our understanding of life cycles, by looking at the lives of plants and how they reproduce.

Animals Including Humans

Strongly linked to our PSHE learning, this unit develops our understanding of how the human body changes over time and into old age. Alongside our PSHE learning, we identify the key stages of growth and development in humans and how this is related to the length of time humans are dependent upon their parents.

Properties & Changes Of Materials

Mystifying mixtures and strange solutions! Come and be baffled by the amazing disappearing solids as they dissolve in liquids as if by magic. This fascinating, practical unit gives us the opportunity to explore how materials interact with each other to create solutions and mixtures, as well as to explore irreversible changes.

Year 6


Light travels? Based on knowledge from the Year 3 Light unit, our understanding of light is explored and developed in order for us to identify that light travels in a straight line. Using this idea we investigate how we see things as well as why shadows resemble the shape of the object that make them. 


Bright bulbs and blaring buzzers! Building on the Year 4 Electricity unit, we learn how a bulb’s brightness or a buzzer’s volume depends on the voltage or number of batteries in a circuit. In addition, we learn the scientific symbols to use when drawing a circuit and enjoy creating these sophisticated diagrams.


Survival of the fittest? During this unit we learn how living things have changed over millions of years and how fossils provide us with evidence for this. We use our existing knowledge of adaptation to help us understand how changing environments could lead to evolution.

Living Things & Their Habitats

Out of sorts? A culmination of all our learning on this topic, in this unit we apply our knowledge of different living things to explain and describe we classify plants and animals into different groups. We look not only at observable features to do this, but also specific features and similarities and differences.


Animals Including Humans

Is your heart in it? With the aid of models and videos, we learn to identify the main parts of the human circulatory system and describe the function of the heart, blood vessels and blood. We also explore the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way our body, particularly our heart, functions.

Science Expectations

Throughout the year, your child’s attainment will be judged against the criteria set out in the year group-equivalent Standard and Expectations. This on-going judgement will identify what children have achieved and what they need to do next.

The science expectations are available to download here.