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Wirksworth Junior School

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WJS have gained the PSQM!

We have been awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark to celebrate our commitment to excellence in science teaching and learning.


The Primary Science Quality Mark programme ensures effective leadership of science, enables schools to work together to share good practice and is supported by professional development led by local experts. It encourages teacher autonomy and innovation while at the same time offering a clear framework for development in science subject leadership, teaching and learning.


Schools that achieve PSQM demonstrate commitment and expertise in science leadership, teaching and learning.  Below is the evidence that was assessed to show our commitment to science.

Celebrating our PSQM success

Still image for this video

Curriculum Intent

Our school motto is:

Creative. Caring. Curious.

We make every moment count.


At Wirksworth Junior School, our vision is to ignite pupils’ curiosity and encourage them to confidently explore and discover the world around them. Pupils are knowledgeable and inquisitive, using Scientific vocabulary to discuss and question the world around us. This enables them to develop a deeper understanding of the world we live in to better access it with respect and care as well as becoming creative thinkers.


We recognise the importance of Science in every aspect of daily life, as one of the core subjects taught in primary schools, we give the teaching and learning of Science the prominence it requires. We aim to inspire and excite our children through our practical and exciting curriculum. The children engage in science through progressive weekly lessons developing their planning, enquiry, exploration and investigative skills using the full range of types of Scientific enquiry to foster a thirst for working Scientifically.


Following on from the successful completion of the Primary Science Quality Mark Award in 2021, it is our intention to continue to build a science curriculum, which develops the learning of Science skills and investigative skills. In addition to the teaching of these Science skills, we also promote and develop transferable skills including observation, communication, teamwork, technology and mathematical skills, through exposure to wider opportunities to broaden their Science capital. We want our children to experience as many WOW moments and to approach unknown and unexplainable phenomena with awe and wonder.

Curriculum Implementation

To enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge, Science is taught weekly in planned and arranged blocks of learning that are progressive throughout the year groups. Through our planning, we incorporate a chance for the pupils to pose relevant questions at the beginning of each topic and complete an end of unit self-assessment, which allows them to learn through a child-led approach. 


To prepare the children for life in an increasingly Scientific and technological world today and in the future, we ensure to apply our learning to the world and invite STEM ambassadors into school relating to topics, so that children realise that Science is seen all around us. In addition to this, demonstrating the use of Scientific equipment such as data loggers and the various working scientifically and enquiry skills enables the children to embed their Scientific understanding.  


Year 3 /4 

Year A 




Forces and Magnets 


Year B 

States of Matter 


Animals – Digestive systems and food chains 

Living things and their habitats 


Year 5/6 

Year A 

Properties of materials and changes of state 

Earth and Space 


Living things and their habitats 

Growth and development 

Year B 

Heart, diet and nutrition 


Living things and their habitats 

Evolution and inheritance 



We follow the 2014 National Curriculum for Science, which aims to ensure that all children:  

  • Develop Scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. 

  • Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of Science through different types of Science enquiries that help them to answer Scientific questions about the world around them. 

  • Are equipped with the Scientific Skills required to understand the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future. 


We have Science Ambassadors in each class and their role includes: 

  • Promoting a love of Science. 

  • Providing others with help using their own Science knowledge. 

  • Promoting the four key principles of Science. 

  • Discussing what is good about Science in our school. 

  • Working with the Science coordinator to make Science lessons better. 

  • Challenging misconceptions of who Scientists are and what they do. 


To ensure we have skills progression across the school, we have created skills progression ladders:

To ensure the science curriculum is: engaging, planned well and child centred we have mapped the different types of science investigations across the curriculum. Click on the link below to see this.

Science Week 2023

This year during Science week, our topic was 'connections', which we looked at during the week by carrying out several experiments including planting pants to see the differences in soil, building bridges out of paper and investigating whether liquid or solid soap kills more bacteria when washing our hands.

Science Capital - An explanation

Follow the link to watch a short video introducing and explaining the concept of ‘science capital’: 

Science Ambassador Investigation

The Science Ambassadors investigated pupils perceptions of what a Scientist looks like and found that most pupils have a stereotypical image of what a Scientist looks like.

Websites that can help with the Science curriculum

Year 5/6 Year B Knowledge Organisers