A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science.
Key Stage 1
The principal focus of science teaching in key stage 1 is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena (observable facts), looking more closely at the natural and humanly-constructed world around them.
Students are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice.
They are helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information.
They also begin to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways.
Pupils should read and spell scientific vocabulary at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.
Lower KS2 Years 3-4
The principal focus of science teaching in lower key stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They do this by exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions.
They ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out.
Pupils should read and spell scientific vocabulary correctly and with confidence, using their growing word reading and spelling knowledge.
Upper KS2 Years 5-6
The principal focus of science teaching in upper key stage 2 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas.They do this by exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically.
At upper key stage 2, they encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They should select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. Pupils draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.