A Progression Map for Disciplinary Knowledge in Science (EYFS-KS3)

Last week Ofsted published a report on science teaching in English primary and secondary schools: Finding the optimum: the science subject report (2023). It’s a very useful and accessible report, but it is very long. One of the key findings is:

Leaders’ plans to develop pupils’ disciplinary knowledge were usually much less developed than their plans to develop pupils’ substantive knowledge. In general, not enough consideration was given to identifying the disciplinary knowledge, including concepts, that are needed to work scientifically. This limited how effectively leaders could plan a curriculum for pupils to get better at working scientifically over time. Too often, the focus was simply on identifying practical activities for pupils to complete.

Ofsted 2023

Below is my attempt to map out a progression map for disciplinary scientific knowledge for EYFS to KS3. I hope it will be useful for primary and secondary colleagues.

The columns were taken from the Ofsted document and populated with the National Curriculum. I have added examples and opinions on how this ought to be taught using explicit teaching techniques.

Please let me know if you find errors, or find it helpful.


PS – you can find my progression maps for EYFS-KS2 physics substantive knowledge here.

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