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Working Scientifically

Years Three and Four
  • Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them;
  • Set up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests;
  • Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, take accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers;
  • Gather, record, classify, and present data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions;
  • Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables;
  • Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions;
  • Use results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions;
  • Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes;
  • Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings;
  • Responsibility – Take responsibility for recording and reporting findings. What do they mean?;
  • Resilience – Plan different types of scientific enquiry to answer relevant questions if results are unexpected. Have the resilience to make systematic and careful observations during investigations.
Years Five and Six
  • Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary;
  • Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate;
  • Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs;
  • Use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests;
  • Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations;
  • Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments;
  • Morality – is animal experimentation acceptable?;
  • Resilience – the need for repeat reading and not giving up when things don’t go to plan.

Year Three

Living Things


  • Identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots stem/trunk, leaves and flowers;
  • Explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from the soil and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant;
  • Investigate the way in which water is transported within plants;
  • Explore the part that flowers play in the life cycle of flowering plants, including pollination, seed formation, and seed dispersal;
  • Well-being – what do plants require to live well? How might his differ for humans?;
  • Resilience – Resilience of plants in the natural world. Can we learn from this?;
  • Morality – Is GM food acceptable?;
  • Diversity – Diversity of plant life and habitats. How can we ensure this is enhanced, not damaged?
Animals, including humans
  • Identify that animals, including humans, need the right types and amount of nutrition, and that they cannot make their own food; they get nutrition from what they eat;
  • Identify that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement;
  • Morality – Should people eat meat?;
  • Well-being – How can we promote good bone and muscle health? Why is this important?


  • Compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties;
  • Describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock;
  • Recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter;
  • Diversity – Understand the huge diversity of rock formations that are generated by three very simple processes.
Physical Processes


  • Recognise that they need light in order to see things and that dark is the absence of light;
  • Notice that light is reflected from surfaces;
  • Recognise that light from the sun can be dangerous and that there are ways to protect their eyes;
  • Recognise that shadows are formed when the light from a source is blocked by a solid object;
  • Find patterns in the way that the size of shadows change;
  • Responsibility/Well-being – Understand the potentially harmful effects of the Sun and how to protect ourselves from these.

Forces and Magnets

  • Compare how things move on different surfaces;
  • Notice that some forces need contact between two objects, but magnetic forces can act at a distance;
  • Observe how magnets attract or repel each other and attract some materials and not others;
  • Compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of whether they are attracted to a magnet, and identify some magnetic materials;
  • Describe magnets as having two poles;
  • Predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, depending on which poles are facing.

Year Four

Living Things


  • Recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways;
  • Explore and use classification keys to help group, identify, and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment;
  • Explain how environmental changes may have an impact on living things;
  • Responsibility – what impact do humans have on living things? What is our responsibility towards the planet we live on?;
  • Well-being – How can we ensure/work towards the well-being of all living things?
Animals, including humans
  • Describe the simple functions of the different parts of the digestive system in humans;
  • Identify the different types of teeth in humans and their simple functions;
  • Construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators, and prey;
  • Well-being – How can we maintain healthy teeth?;
  • Community – Develop understanding of inter-reliance among animal/plant communities. How can we learn from this?

States of matter

  • Compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids, or gases;
  • Describe the characteristics of different states of matter;
  • Describe how materials change state at different temperatures and observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius;
  • Using the above objective to explain everyday phenomena, including the water cycle, identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature;
  • Well-being – Appreciate the fact that every living thing has a reliance on water to some degree for survival and well-being.
Physical Processes


  • Identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating;
  • Recognise that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear to explain how sounds are heard;
  • Find patterns and describe the relationship between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it;
  • Find patterns and describe the relationship between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it;
  • Recognise that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases;


  • Identify common appliances that run on electricity;
  • Construct a simple series electrical circuit, identifying and naming its basic parts, including cells, wires, bulbs, switches, and buzzers;
  • Identify whether or not a lamp will light in a simple series circuit, based on whether or not the lamp is part of a complete loop with a battery;
  • Recognise that a switch opens and closes a circuit and associate this with whether or not a lamp lights in a simple series circuit;
  • Recognise some common conductors and insulators, and associate metals with being good conductors;
  • Morality/Responsibility/Community/Well-being – Electricity is vital to life. Are current generating methods sustainable?

Year Five

Living Things

Living things and their habitat

  • Describe and compare different reproductive processes and life cycles in animals;
  • Name, locate and describe the functions of the main parts of plants, including those involved in reproduction.
Animals, including humans
  • Describe the changes as humans develop to old age;
  • Well-being – How can we maintain good health as we get older?

Properties & changes of materials

  • Group and identify materials in different ways according to their properties, based on first-hand observation;
  • Justify the use of different everyday materials for different uses, based on their properties;
  • Identify and describe what happens when dissolving occurs in everyday situations;
  • Describe how to separate mixtures and solutions into their components;
  • Identify, with reasons, whether changes in materials are reversible or not;
  • Morality/Responsibility – Do we use the world’s resources responsibly? How can we improve this?
Physical Processes

Earth & space

  • Describe the shapes and relative movements of the Sun, Moon, Earth, and other planets in the solar system;
  • Explain the apparent movement of the sun across the sky in terms of the Earth’s rotation and that this results in day and night.


  • Describe the effects of simple forces that involve contact (air and water resistance, friction) and gravity;
  • Identify simple mechanisms, including levers, gears, and pulleys that increase the effect of a force.

Year Six

Living Things

Living things and their habitat

  • Describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including micro-organisms, plants, and animals;
  • Classify and identify micro-organisms, plants, and animals into broad groups using keys or other methods;
  • Give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics;
  • Community – animal communities, how can they live in harmony?;
  • Diversity – animal and plant diversity, why is this important?

Evolution and inheritance

  • Use the basic ideas of inheritance, variation, and adaptation to describe how living things have changed over time and evolved;
  • Provide evidence for evolution;
  • Spirituality – Can you believe in both evolution and God?
Animals, including humans
  • Identify, describe, and name the main parts of the human circulatory system, and describe the functions of the heart, blood vessels, and blood;
  • Recognise the impact of and describe the effects of diet, exercise, drugs, and lifestyle on the way their bodies function;
  • Describe the ways in which nutrients and water are transported within animals, including humans;
  • Well-being – Why are physical and mental well-being important? How can we maintain/improve this?
Physical Processes


  • Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye;
  • Explain that we see things because light travels from light sources to our eyes or from light sources to objects and then to our eyes;
  • Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them.


  • Use simple apparatus to construct and control a series circuit, and describe how the circuit may be affected when changes are made to it;
  • Use recognised symbols to represent simple series circuit diagrams;
  • Morality/Responsibility/Community/Well-being – Electricity is vital to life. Are current generating methods sustainable?