Our Vision for Science Learning at Burlington

At Burlington Infant and Nursery School, we ensure science lessons are fun, challenging and intriguing, stimulating children’s curiosity and translating into meaningful experiences. Building on children’s existing knowledge and experience helps science to feel relevant and accessible on their level. This gives them the appetite and confidence to explore and discover the world around them through a scientific lens.  Science is integrated into the curriculum at every opportunity so children appreciate the interrelationship between science and other disciplines.  Hands on exploration both inside and outside the classroom cements their understanding of important scientific concepts. Children are taught how to apply a scientific method to their investigations – including investigate, hypothesis, test, record, and conclude – which sets up a good foundation and vocabulary to build their science learning further.  We want to awaken in our children a passion for science and its limitless possibilities. By giving them the confidence to ask questions, take risks and reflect on what they discover we hope we are planting a seed that will last a lifetime.

Our School’s Science provision is recognised by the achievement of the nationally recognised ‘Primary Science Quality Mark’, Gilt Award.

Science Curriculum Overview

In Early Years (Nursery and Reception), Science is part of understanding the world.  The children explore their environment and talk about animals, plants, natural and found objects.  They learn to show care and concern for living things and the environment.  They have the correct vocabulary modelled to them to enable them to talk about their observations and to ask questions.  


In Nursery, the children are curious and interested to explore new and familiar experiences in nature.  The children enjoy stories and singing about animals.  They learn about minibeasts, animals linked to the story they are reading, for example ladybirds when reading ‘What the Ladybird Heard’, and look for animals in the school grounds during their weekly Out and About sessions. During the year the children begin to use their mark making skills to create checklists for what they might see.  Inside the nursery, the children observe the life cycle of the butterfly and are fascinated when watching the chicks hatch.

Our outdoor area in Nursery has many plants for the children to discover and learn about.  There is a herb garden, a vegetable garden and many flowers that the children water and observe. The children use their cutting skills to harvest flowers, such as sweet peas and use magnifying glasses to look closely at the fruit they are growing. The children love to use the herbs in their role play in the mud kitchen!  The children learn about indoor and outdoor plants and throughout the year take part in planting bulbs and seeds.  They take responsibility for watering their plants regularly.

The children learn about the four seasons and during their Out and About sessions they will look for and collect signs of the season.  The children begin to understand the weather and how they dress for it appropriately.

To spark discussions and to encourage the children to ask questions, there are Curiosity Cubes in the Nursery.  Nursery staff model the correct scientific vocabulary and encourage the children to answer ‘I wonder..?’ questions.

The children take part in investigations such as investigating the wind and how it makes things move and investigating water and ice and how the change can be reversed.   The children investigate how to make things move by pushing and pulling. Nursery children begin to investigate different materials and learn language to describe them e.g. heavy/light, soft/hard. Using magnifying glasses, the children enjoy taking a closer look at animals and plants.


The children’s first topic in Reception is ‘Marvellous Me’, and the children have many opportunities to learn the names of the main body parts (including head, neck, arms, elbows, legs, knees, face, ears, eyes, hair, mouth, teeth) through games, actions, songs and rhymes. They also begin to learn about the 5 senses and use their senses to complete different fun activities for example,  investigating what is inside the pots by using their sense of smell.

The children enjoy role playing in Reception and role play people who help us and other occupations.  The children begin to understand ways in which to keep their bodies healthy for example, by exercising and eating vegetables.

There are many opportunities to learn about animals in Reception.  The children take part in songs and stories about animals, for example The Snail and the Whale, and have time to play with small world animals.  The children observe, draw and describe animals.  The children develop an understanding of changes over time through learning about the life cycle of a frog and by beginning to learn about the human life cycle.

Through stories such as The Three Little Pigs, the children learn about materials.  In Reception the children collect and discuss natural objects, investigate floating and sinking and investigate magnets.  They begin to learn the names of different materials and use this to describe an object e.g. the cow is made from plastic.

The children spend a lot of their time outside and enjoy using the school site to spot signs of the seasons changing.  They use the nature materials that they collect to support them in other areas of the curriculum, for example counting conkers in autumn.

In Reception the children enjoy learning about plants and in the summer term plant, water and observe cress seeds.  They develop their understanding of what plants need to grow and name the basic parts of a tree and of a flowering plant.

Children use simple science equipment, for example magnifying glasses, magnets, pipettes and beakers.  The children begin to make predictions for example, the plant might not grow if it does not get watered, and draw conclusions for example, the sky has gone dark, it is about to rain.

Year 1

In Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2), children are taught to ask simple questions, observe closely using simple equipment, perform simple tests, use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions, gather and record data and identify and classify. They take part in experiments

They continue to enjoys stories linked to their science learning for example in Year 1, The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle when learning about plants and in Year 2, The Journey Home by Frann Preston-Gannon when learning about living things and their habitats.

In Year 1, children use the local environment throughout the year to explore and answer questions about plants. They become familiar with common names of flowers, examples of deciduous and evergreen trees, and plant structures (including leaves, flowers (blossom), petals, fruit, roots, bulb, seed, trunk, branches, stem).  They enjoy using magnifying glasses to compare and contrast familiar plants; describing how they identified and grouped them, and drawing diagrams showing the parts of different plants including trees.

Children in Year 1 also become familiar with the common names of some fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including those that are kept as pets and can describe their structure. The children sort animals into groups and can explain their reasons e.g. carnivores, herbivores and omnivores.  In the summer term the children learn about bears and use their knowledge to write a poem called ‘At the Bear School’.  The children explain what different parts of their bodies do and use their senses to write a poem.

They also explore, name, discuss and answer questions about everyday materials so that they become familiar with the names of materials and properties such as: hard/soft; stretchy/stiff; shiny/dull; rough/smooth; bendy/not bendy; waterproof/not waterproof; absorbent/not absorbent; opaque/transparent. They take part in many experiments throughout the year to test different materials e.g. which material will protect the egg when it is dropped, and use their knowledge to design a car for their book character ‘Traction Man’.

As part of learning about the seasons, the children explore our school grounds to look for signs of autumn, winter, spring and summer. Then children describe how day length varies with the changing seasons. Each Year 1 class has a 'tree' in their classroom which changes with the seasons.

Year 2

In Year 2, children are introduced to the idea that all living things have certain characteristics that are essential for keeping them alive and healthy. The children take part in experiments to help them understand the importance of brushing their teeth and the effect drinking sugary drinks will have on their teeth.  Children enjoy sorting and classifying things according to whether they are living, dead or were never alive, and recording their findings using charts. They construct a simple food chain that includes humans (e.g. grass, cow, human) and learn about the lifecycles of certain animals : egg, chick, chicken; egg, caterpillar, pupa, butterfly; spawn, tadpole, frog; lamb, sheep.

They raise and answer questions that help them to become familiar with the life processes that are common to all living things. Children are introduced to the terms ‘habitat’ (a natural environment or home of a variety of plants and animals) and ‘micro-habitat’ (a very small habitat, for example for woodlice under stones, logs or leaf litter) and have lots of fun building their own bug hotel. Year 2 children visit the London Wetland Centre to discover which minibeasts live in a wetland.

Children use the local environment, books and the internet to observe how different plants grow and why they are suited to their habitat. The children have the opportunity to plant bulbs and seeds and investigate how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and stay healthy.

They identify and discuss the uses of different everyday materials so that they become familiar with how some materials are used for more than one thing (metal can be used for coins, cans, cars and table legs; wood can be used for matches, floors, and telegraph poles) or different materials are used for the same thing (spoons can be made from plastic, wood, metal, but not normally from glass). Children will think about the properties of materials that make them suitable or unsuitable for particular purposes and are encouraged to think about unusual and creative uses for everyday materials. At the end of the autumn term, the children always enjoy testing different materials to see which would be the best to make a parachute for Santa’s elves!

National Curriculum

The Science curriculum at Burlington follows the National Curriculum.  You can find the appropriate extract of this National Curriculum for Science here: 

National Curriculum in KS1 - Science

Please note this extract covers KS1 (Years 1 and 2) and Key Stage 2 which is followed by the Junior School (Years 3 to 6).

The curriculum maps below gives you a complete summary of the Science skills, knowledge and key vocabulary that we teach our children, during each term as they progress from Nursery / Reception and through to Years 1 and 2.

Science @ Burlington - Curriculum Map

Here are some photos of our teaching and learning for Science across the school: 

News and Events

Science Day 2024

Friday 12 January marked our annual Science Day and this year's theme was bubbles!

Science Day 2024 summary and photos

Science Selfie Challenge

Please email your science selfie to and please let me know if you would allow for it to be shared in the school newsletter and on our school website. I look forward to seeing your Science Selfies!  

Science Selfie Challenge Photos



Primary Science Quality Mark 2023

We are delighted to let you know that Burlington Infant School has been successful in our submission for Primary Science Quality Mark Gilt.  

For more information, please click here.


Science Whizz Bags - new for 2022

Each week a child from each KS1 class is chosen to take home our new Science Whizz Bags. The bags contain books and jigsaws linked to their science topics, magnifying glasses and bug spotter viewers.

Outside Experts

We bring in outside experts such as the space dome and provide a number of educational visits to places such as The Wetland Centre, Wisely, Hobbledown Farm, a local allotment and Beverly Park.  We have also had an author who writes children’s books based on Science visit us! As part of Healthy Living Week, the children took part in a virtual assembly from a dentist to help them to understand the importance of brushing their teeth.

If your job or hobby is linked to Science and you would like to share this with our children, please record a video and send it in for us to share in class.

Lottie the Scientist

Lottie is going to help our Reception children with science at school, but she would love to do experiments with you at home or come with you on trips. If you are off to somewhere involving science for example the Science Museum, The Royal Observatory, Kew Gardens, the farm or the zoo, please sign up to take Lottie with you.
There will be a class sign up sheet on your child's door for you to write your name on. Beginning after the half term, Lottie will be sent home on a Friday and we would ask that she is returned on the Wednesday.
All we request is a photo and a brief explanation of what you did or saw. You could upload this onto Tapestry or record it in the book that we will send home with Lottie. If you send it to the office it will be included in the Science Selfie Section of the school newsletter.

Lottie can't wait to learn with you!


How to Help at Home

Talk, talk and talk some more….

The most useful and important thing you can do is to talk to your child about the world around them. Asking questions and talking about what they see happening around them is truly the best way for a young child to learn.

In March 2023, we ran a Science Parent Information meeting and a copy of the presentation is below:

Science Information Morning March 2023

Useful Websites

These provide a range of activities and information to support your child’s learning.

Explorify - Free resource of engaging, creative science activities which has been designed to spark curiosity, discussion and debate. Lots of videos, photos and hands-on activities.


Science Kids -  Science Kids is the online home of science & technology for children! You will find resources on a range of different science topics covering everything from plants to space, animals, chemistry, biology and more!  You will find experiments, quizzes, videos, images  and games! 

Science Kids

NASA - a place to play games and learn about NASA!

NASA Kids Club

Love Science? Then maybe you will use your science knowledge when you grow up!  Find out what jobs you can do if you are particularly interested in plants, rocks, animals, space and many more science topics!

Primary Careers Tool - Science

BBC Bitesize is great to help support learning in Science

BBC Bitesize Science in KS1

Learn some interesting facts about Science topics!

National Geographic Kids

Crick Web has excellent science games for children, interactive resources and activities.  You can learn science facts about animals, materials, your body , weather and much more!:

Crick Web KS1 Science

Places to Visit

There are Science opportunities all around.

  • Museums, farms, parks, gardens, aquariums and zoos are wonderful places to learn.
  • Visit the library too to find books on different topics.

Resources to Investigate at Home

Many things may be close at hand!

  • Magnifying glass to investigate things more closely
  • Old or broken items to take apart
  • Old logs, broken flower pots to make bug homes
  • Jars with holes in the lid to collect mini-beasts
  • Bucket, tray or bowl to float and sink objects
  • Seeds to grow and plants to look after
  • Materials and objects to observe and sort