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Harbour Primary


Our Vision and Intent for Science

At Harbour Primary and Nursery School, we believe that science stimulates and excites pupils' curiosity about natural phenomena and events in the world around them.  It also satisfies their curiosity with knowledge.  This body of knowledge will be built up through the experimental testing of ideas including the study of existing evidence. Scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling. Through Science, pupils understand how major scientific ideas contribute toward technological change – impacting on industry, medicine, business and improving quality of life. They learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the directions of society and the future of the world. Through our teaching of science, it will also promote collaborative activity where ideas and suggestions are shared and investigated together. 

Our aims:

  • Preparing our children for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world.
  • Fostering concern about, and active care for, our environment.
  • Helping our children acquire a growing understanding of scientific ideas.
  • Enable pupils to question, hypothesize, test and discover for themselves about our world. 
  • Developing the skills of investigation - including observing, measuring, predicting, hypothesising, experimenting, communicating, interpreting, explaining and evaluating.
  • Developing the use of scientific language, recording and techniques.
  • Developing the use of ICT in investigating and recording.
  • Enabling our children to become effective communicators of scientific ideas, facts and data. 

 We seek to ensure that our 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 knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future

The School Implementation of Science

Planning for science is a process in which all teachers are involved to ensure that the school gives full coverage of the National Curriculum programmes of study for science and ‘Understanding of the World’ in the Early Years Foundation Stage.  Science teaching in the school is about excellence and enjoyment and where possible is cross-curricular. We currently use the Pearsons “Science Bug” programme of study to ensure that the objectives outlined by the National Curriculum are divided and allocated to Year groups, with specific content to cover.  The school ensures that a broad and balanced science curriculum is followed in which enquiry is at the heart of our children’s scientific learning.

Science in Nursery and EYFS 

Play underpins the delivery of all the learning in Nursery and EYFS. Within a secure and challenging environment with effective support, children can explore, develop and experiment as they play to help them make sense of the world.  The EYFS strand ‘Understanding the World’ leads directly to scientific elements of the curriculum and leads to more formalised Science learning in KS1 and then KS2.

Key Stage One 

During Key Stage one, pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and the world around them. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions, find patterns, classify and group objects, research using a variety of sources, observe changes in their environment over time and carry out fair testing.  Pupils use reference materials to find out more about scientific ideas. They share their ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables. Science lessons in Key Stage one are either taught discretely or where possible connected to other curriculum areas. Pupils often use their outdoor areas and garden in their science learning. As Science is a core subject, in KS1 and Foundation stage teachers teach science for a minimum of one hour each week.

Key Stage Two 

Children are encouraged to extend the scientific questions that they ask and answer about the world around them. Pupils carry out a range of scientific enquiries including: observations over time, pattern seeking, classifying, grouping and researching using other sources (including computing resources). Children in Key Stage Two learn to plan science investigations by only changing one variable to make it a fair test. They extend their scientific learning using the outdoor areas. Pupils share their ideas and communicate them using scientific language specific to the topic, diagrams, charts, tables and computerised graphing. Pupils often use their outdoor areas and garden in their science learning.

Cross-curricular Science Opportunities 

Teachers will seek to take advantage of opportunities to make cross-curricular links. They will plan for pupils to practise and apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through science lessons to other areas of the curriculum: 

Sharing strong links with mathematics – taking measurements (length, time, mass, etc), data handling and presenting data in tables and through the use of graphs and pie charts. 

ICT. We recognise the important role computing skills have to play in the development of scientific skills. We also recognise the importance of being computer literate. Computing skills are used to enhance teaching and learning of science and to give all children the opportunity to use computing to research, collect, analyse and present scientific findings. This includes the use of data loggers and microscopes.

Geography shares a ‘natural’ link with science and pupils should have every possible opportunity to explore the science present in and around their school environment. 

To bring in History, children should have the opportunity to research and learn about famous scientists from history and how their achievements have changed or impacted upon our lives – this is particularly relevant in our Quests that have a Science focus. 


We use assessment to inform and develop our teaching.

Topics begin with an assessment of what children already know using activities such as: asking a big question, concept cartoon, grouping or classifying a set of objects/cards, a KWL (what I wonder, what I know, what I learnt), true or false statements, mind maps/word webs etc. which are evidenced in planning or books.

We assess for learning (AfL) throughout the topic. Activities during, and at the end of, each topic record achievement and celebrate success. Types of activities can include reasoning question stems or revisiting pre topic activities:

  • Which one is the odd one out?
  • Always, sometimes, never 
  • True or False – why?
  • Give another, another and another. (Different examples)
  • Convince me
  • Would you rather?
  • What’s the same? What’s different?
  • What is the question if ……………. is the answer.
  • What do you notice?

At the end of each unit, teachers assess each pupil’s progress based on observations, questioning and science work, which will be recorded in Curriculum books; evidence will also be photographic or written on post-its and evident on classroom displays or in floor books.

We have a tracking system to follow children’s progress linked to the Pearsons “Science Bug” online platform. The school science coordinator monitors progress through the school by sampling children’s work at regular intervals. Children who are not succeeding, or children who demonstrate high ability in science, are identified and supported.

The Y2 & Y6 staff assess children’s attainment and progress at the end of each key stage. This is based on assessment records and work samples from across the key stage and is supported by the science coordinator and previous class teachers if needed.

Our Science intent:

The intent is to provide a high-quality science education that enables children to recognise the importance of science in everyday life and in their local context.

The Harbour science curriculum will ensure that children are enquiry-based learners, where they use recall and review to establish what they already know, and use this knowledge as the basis for further investigation.

The curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living around them. They will work scientifically to develop their conceptual understanding and scientific knowledge and skills.

The science curriculum is carefully planned and sequenced through the use of a published scheme which is reviewed regularly and is responsive to pupils needs and gaps in learning.  

Science Implementation

Children will be encouraged to ask questions

Our science curriculum offers a broad range of experiences designed to provide pupils with a progression of scientific understanding, skills and knowledge. Children learn through practical activities which develop their investigative skills and are given opportunities to find out about different scientific professions and famous scientists. Through science we raise aspirations and encourage new ambitions.

Understanding of key ideas in science is built on across the key stages and a progression of skills allows pupils to move from early observations and exploration, to considered questioning and drawing out of ideas.

Years 1 to 6 follow Pearsons Science Bug unit planning. Each lesson has clearly identified objectives for ‘working scientifically’ and ‘subject knowledge’. In the Foundation stage setting, Children will develop their knowledge and understanding of the world through child initiated and adult led activities set up in the free flow environment.




Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6
Seasonal changes
Plants States of matter Properties and changes
Animals including humans
Living things and their habitats
Earth and space
Forces Force and magnets 
Evolution and inheritance
Year Group


‘Sticky’ knowledge focus in green


‘Sticky’ skills in green
Vocabulary Visits, inspirational people and important places

Birth to three years:


Repeat actions that have an effect.

Explore materials with different properties.

Explore natural materials, indoors and outdoors.


Explore and respond to different natural phenomena In their setting and on trips.


Make connections between features and their family and other families.

Notice differences between people.


 3 and 4 year olds:

  • Use all their senses in hands-on exploration of natural materials.
  • Explore collections of materials with similar and different properties.
  • Talk about what they see using a wide vocabulary.


  • Begin to make sense of their own story and family history.
  • Show interest in different occupations.
  • Explore how things work.
  • Plant seeds and care for growing plants.

- Understand the key features of the life cycle of a plant or animal.

- Begin to understand the need to respect and care for the natural environment and all living things.


  • Explore and Talk about different forces they can feel.

- Talk about the differences between materials and changes they notice.

Hard, soft, warm, cold, rough, smooth, shiny, transparent,



Old, young.









Seed, fruit leaf, root.





Push, pull, twist, squash.


Parents and professionals who do different jobs or have different passions and interests.


Animal club: enquiries@animal-club.co.uk



Autumn to Vivaldi

Winter to Vivaldi

Spring to Vivaldi

Summer to VivaldiScience with Hey Duggee on CBeebies example

Year Group


‘Sticky’ knowledge focus in green


‘Sticky’ skills in green
Vocabulary Visits, inspirational people and important places

ELG: The Natural World 

Children at the expected level of development will:


- Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class; 


-Recognise some environments that are different from the one in which they live.


-Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.


-Understand the effect of changing seasons on the natural world around them.

ELG: The Natural World 

Children at the expected level of development will:


- Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants;


- Describe what they see, hear and feel whilst outside.

Spring, summer, autumn, winter.


Melting, cold, hot.


Animals, plants.


Senses, see, hear, feel.


What do scientists do?

Let’s be Scientists


Season song Autumn

Hey Duggee seasons songSeasons (American but uses Autumn)Autumn to Vivaldi

Winter to Vivaldi

Spring to Vivaldi

Summer to Vivaldi




Push and Pull Song


Science with Hey Duggee on CBeebies



Year 1 and 2 Skills


  • asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
  • observing closely, using simple equipment
  • performing simple tests
  • identifying and classifying
  • using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
  • gathering and recording data to help in answering questions



Year Group


‘Sticky’ knowledge focus in green


‘Sticky’ skills in green
Vocabulary Visits, inspirational people and important places

Year 1


(SB: Changing Seasons)

Seasonal Changes (ongoing)

  • observe changes across the 4 seasons.
  • observe and describe weather associated with the seasons and how day length varies.
Note: pupils should be warned that it is not safe to look directly at the sun, even when wearing dark glasses.

Observe seasonal changes throughout the year.


Make tables and charts about the weather or the length of day.







Vocab Video

Bitesize Seasons

Timelapse Season changes


Year 1



(SB: comparing materials and Identifying materials)

Everyday materials

  • distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made.
  • identify and name a variety of everyday materials, including wood, plastic, glass, metal, water, rock, brick, paper, fabrics, elastic and foil.
  • describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials such as: hard/soft; stretchy/stiff; shiny/dull; rough/smooth; bendy/not bendy; waterproof/not waterproof; absorbent/not absorbent; opaque/transparent.
  • compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of their simple physical properties.

Ask and answer questions about everyday materials.


Perform simple tests to explore questions, for example: ‘What is the best material for an umbrella? … for lining a dog basket? … for curtains? … for a bookshelf? … for a gymnast’s leotard?

wood, plastic, glass, metal, water, rock, brick, paper, fabrics, elastic, foil.


hard/soft; stretchy/stiff; shiny/dull; rough/smooth; bendy/not bendy; waterproof/not waterproof; absorbent/not absorbent; opaque/transparent.


Year 1


(SB: Parts of animals and Types of animals)

Animals including humans

  • identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
  • identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores.
  • describe and compare the structure of a variety of common animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals including pets).
  • identify, name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body and say which part of the body is associated with each sense.
  • understand how to take care of animals taken from their local environment and the need to return them safely after study.
  • have plenty of 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.

Ask and answer questions about animals in their habitat.


Use observations of primary or secondary (videos and photographs) sources.


Group and classify animals e.g. by what they eat.















Animal Club East Sussex


(School visit)





Steve Irwin YouTube

BBC Bitesize Vocab

Types of animals YouTube

Looking after a pet

BBC Teach identifying animals

STEM Rescources

Cross curricular links:


PE - investigate the effects of exercise on the human body.


Maths -  non standard units of measure for parts of the body.


Art - animal sculptures.

Year 1



(SB: Plants)



  • identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees.
  • identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees.


(Revisit Seasonal Changes)

Ask and answer questions about plants growing in their habitat.


Observe the growth of flowers and vegetables that they have planted.


Record how plants have changed over time.


Draw diagrams showing the parts of different plants.


Observe (using magnifying glasses) and compare plants.

deciduous, evergreen


flowers (blossom) petals










Wakehurst Place – seed bank online resources


Local grounds; Union Woods




Parts of plants

Types of plants

STEM resources

Cross curricular links:


English - writing instructions for planting a seed.


Art - plant collage and label with key vocab.



‘Sticky’ knowledge focus in green


‘Sticky’ skills in green


Visits, inspirational people and important places

Year 2




(SB: Uses of Materials and Changing Shape)

Uses of everyday materials

  • identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses.
  • 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).
  • find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.


Compare the uses of everyday materials in and around the school with materials found in other places (at home, the journey to school, on visits, and in stories, rhymes and songs).


Observe closely, identify and classify the uses of different materials, and record their observations.










Pupils to find out about people who have developed useful new materials, for example John Dunlop, Charles Macintosh or John McAdam.


Dr Frances Ross (contemporary materials scientist) – talks about what ‘materials science is’:

Strange Matter Exhibit

Uses of materials STEM:

STEM video

STEM video

What materials are made of:

Materials and their Properties

BBC Bitesize:

Why is it made from that?

Changing shape of materials

STEM Resources:

Uses of everyday materials

Year 2



(SB: Feeding and Exercise)

Animals, including Humans

  • notice that animals, including humans, have offspring which grow into adults.
  • the following examples might be used: egg, chick, chicken; egg, caterpillar, pupa, butterfly; spawn, tadpole, frog; lamb, sheep. Growing into adults can include reference to baby, toddler, child, teenager, adult.
  • find out about and describe the basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival (water, food and air).
  • describe the importance for humans of exercise, eating the right amounts of different types of food, and hygiene.
Ask questions about what things need for survival and suggest ways to find answers to their questions.



Life cycle





  • Nurse
  • Dentist
  • Ask if parent can bring baby in to school



Jane Goodall

David Attenborough (1926 - )

What animals need to survive

Animal life cycles

Healthy Eating BBC Teach


STEM Resources

Cross curricular links:

PE - investigate the effect of exercise.

English - writing a pet owners guide

Year 2




(SB: Growing Plants)


  • observe and describe how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants.
  • find out and describe how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and stay healthy.
  • pupils should be introduced to the requirements of plants for germination, growth and survival, as well as the processes of reproduction and growth in plants.
Note: seeds and bulbs need water to grow but most do not need light; seeds and bulbs have a store of food inside them.

Observe how plants grow in the local environment throughout the year.


Observe and record, with some accuracy, the growth of a variety of plants as they change over time from a seed or bulb, or observing similar plants at different stages of growth.


Set up a comparative test to show that plants need light and water to stay healthy.










A day in the life of a plant scientist

What plants need to grow

How plants grow

The plant life cycle

STEM resource - Plants

Year 2




(SB: Livings Things and Habitats)

Living Things in their Habitats

  • explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive
  • identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other
  • identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including microhabitats
  • describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food
  • construct a simple food chain that includes humans (eg, grass, cow, human). They could describe the conditions in different habitats and microhabitats (under log, on stony path, under bushes); and find out how the conditions affect the number and type(s) of plants and animals that live there.

Ask and answer questions about the local environment that help them to identify and study a variety of plants and animals within their habitat and observe how living things depend on each other, for example, plants serving as a source of food and shelter for animals.


Pupils should compare animals in familiar habitats with animals found in less familiar habitats, for example, on the seashore, in woodland, in the ocean, in the rainforest.


Sort and classify things according to whether they are living, dead or were never alive, and recording their findings using charts. They should describe how they decided where to place things, exploring questions like: ‘Is a flame alive? Is a deciduous tree dead in winter?’

‘habitat’ (a natural environment or home of a variety of plants and animals) and ‘microhabitat’ (a very small habitat, for example for woodlice under stones, logs or leaf litter). 



Food chain





  • Lewes nature reserve
  • Newhaven nature reserve


Kate Humble (1968 - ) – naturalist and presenter on BBC of wildlife programs

Steve Backshall

Animal Habitats

What is a habitat?

Identifying the natural habitats of animals - BBC Teach


Living things and their habitats


Year 3 and 4 skills

  • asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them
  • setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests
  • making systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers
  • gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions
  • recording findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables
  • reporting on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions
  • using results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions
  • identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes
  • using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.
Year Group


‘Sticky’ knowledge focus in green


‘Sticky’ skills in green
Vocabulary Visits, inspirational people and important places

Year 3




(SB: Rocks and Soils)


  • 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

Linked with work in geography, pupils should explore different kinds of rocks and soils, including those in the local environment.


Observe rocks, including those used in buildings and gravestones, and exploring how and why they might have changed over time.


Identify and classify rocks according to whether they have grains or crystals, and whether they have fossils in them.


Research and discuss the different kinds of living things whosefossils are found in sedimentary rock and explore how fossils are formed.


Explore different soils and identify similarities and differences between them and investigate what happens when rocks are rubbed together or what changes occur when they are in water.


Ask and answer about the way soils are formed.







Mary Anning


BBC Bitesize what is a rock

BBC Bitesize Fossils

BBC Clips Rocks and Soils

Types of rock song

How soil is made

STEM - Year 3 Rocks

Year 3





(SB: Magnets and Forces)

Forces and Magnets

  • compare how things move on different surfaces
  • notice that some forces need contact between 2 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 2 poles
  • predict whether 2 magnets will attract or repel each other, depending on which poles are facing

Observe that magnetic forces can act without direct contact, unlike most forces, where direct contact is necessary (for example, opening a door, pushing a swing).


Explore the behaviour and everyday uses of different magnets (for example, bar, ring, button and horseshoe).


Compare how different things move and group them accordingly. 


Ask questions and carry out comparative tests to find out how far things move on different surfaces, and gather and record data to find answers to their questions.

Explore the strengths of different magnets and find a fair way to compare them.


Sort materials into those that are magnetic and those that are not.


Look for patterns in the way that magnets behave in relation to each other and what might affect this, for example, the strength of the magnet or which pole faces another.


Identify how these properties make magnets useful in everyday items and suggest creative uses for different magnets







William Gilbert

Biography of William Gilbert

Amazing Magnets 1

Amazing Magnets 2

Year 3 Forces and Magnets

Year 3




(SB: What Plants need and Parts of Plants)



  • 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 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
  • introduce pupils to the relationship between structure and function: the idea that every part has a job to do. They should explore questions that focus on the role of the roots and stem in nutrition and support, leaves for nutrition and flowers for reproduction.
  • Note: pupils can be introduced to the idea that plants can make their own food, but at this stage they do not need to understand how this happens.

Compare the effect of different factors on plant growth, for example, the amount of light, the amount of fertiliser.


Discover how seeds are formed by observing the different stages of plant life cycles over a period of time.


Look for patterns in the structure of fruits that relate to how the seeds are dispersed.


Observe how water is transported in plants, for example, by putting cut, white carnations into coloured water and observing how water travels up the stem to the flowers.









Seed formation

Seed dispersal

STEM Year 3 Plants

Parts of a plant function

Changing Plants



Water transport in plants


Year 3




(SB: Movement and Feeding)

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.
  • continue to learn about the importance of nutrition and should be introduced to the main body parts associated with the skeleton and muscles, finding out how different parts of the body have special functions.

Compare the effect of different factors on plant growth, for example, the amount of light, the amount of fertiliser.


Discover how seeds are formed by observing the different stages of plant life cycles over a period of time.


Look for patterns in the structure of fruits that relate to how the seeds are dispersed.


Observe how water is transported in plants, for example, by putting cut, white carnations into coloured water and observing how water travels up the stem to the flowers.






Diane France (1954 - ) Diane France solves mysteries and crimes by deciphering the stories bones tell her.

Unit Support

Animal Movement

How do bones and muscles work

How strong are bones

Feeding types BBC Teach

Animals including humans

Year 3





(SB: Light and Shadows)


  • 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 light source is blocked by an opaque object.
find patterns in the way that the size of shadows change.

Identify and group animals with and without skeletons and observing and comparing their movement.


Explore ideas about what would happen if humans did not have skeletons.


Compare and contrast the diets of different animals (including their pets) and decide ways of grouping them according to what they eat.


Research different food groups and how they keep us healthy, and design meals based on what they find out.



Light source





Thomas Edison produced the first, long-line electric lightbulb in 1879.

James Clerk Maxwell (1831- 1879)

What is light?

What are shadows?

STEM resources - Year 3 Light.

Year Group


‘Sticky’ knowledge focus in green


‘Sticky’ skills in green
Vocabulary Visits, inspirational people and important places




Year 4



(SB: Dangers to living things and Grouping Living things)

Living things and their habitats

  • recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways
  • begin to put vertebrate animals into groups, for example: fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals; and invertebrates into snails and slugs, worms, spiders, and insects.
  • explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment
  • recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things

explore examples of human impact (both positive and negative) on environments, for example, the positive effects of nature reserves, ecologically planned parks, or garden ponds, and the negative effects of population and development, litter or deforestation

Make and use simple guides or keys to explore and identify local plants and animals.


Ask and answer questions based on their observations of animals and what they have found out about other animals that they have researched.










Year 4



(SB: human nutrition)

Animals including humans

  • describe the simple functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans
  • identify the different types of teeth in humans and their simple functions
  • find out what damages teeth and how to look after them.
  • construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey


Observe and compare the teeth of carnivores and herbivores and suggesting reasons for differences;


Draw and discuss their ideas about the digestive system and compare them with models or images.







Small intestine

Large intestine

Food chain












Year 4



(SB: Changes of state)

States of matter

  • compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases
  • explore a variety of everyday materials and develop simple descriptions of the states of matter (solids hold their shape; liquids form a pool not a pile; gases escape from an unsealed container).
  • 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 (°C)
identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature.

Observe water as a solid, a liquid and a gas and should Note the changes to water when it is heated or cooled.


Group and classify a variety of different materials.


Explore the effect of temperature on substances such as chocolate, butter, cream (for example, to make food such as chocolate crispy cakes and ice-cream for a party).


Research the temperature at which materials change state, for example, when iron melts or when oxygen condenses into a liquid.


Observe and record evaporation over a period of time, for example, a puddle in the playgroundor washing on a line.


Set up a fair test to investigate the effect of temperature on washing drying or snowmen melting. Take accurate measurements using standard unit.








Water cycle






Year 4


(SB: Sound)


  • identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating
  • recognise that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear
  • find patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it
  • find patterns 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

Explore and identify the way sound is made through vibration in a range of different musical instruments from around the world.


Investigate out how the pitch and volume of sounds can be changed in a variety of ways.


Find patterns in the sounds that are made by different objectssuch as saucepan lids of different sizes or elastic bands of different thicknesses.


Make earmuffs from a variety of different materials to investigate which provides the best insulation against sound.









Year 4


(SB: Electricity)


  • 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
Note: pupils might use the terms current and voltage, but these should not be introduced or defined formally at this stage. Pupils should be taught about precautions for working safely with electricity.

Construct and test simple series circuits, trying different components, for example, bulbs, buzzers and motors, and including switches, and use their circuits to create simple devices.


Draw the circuit as a pictorial representation, not necessarily using conventional circuit symbols at this stage; these will be introduced in year 6.

Observe patterns, for example, that bulbs get brighter if more cells are added, that metals tend to be conductors of electricity, and that some materials can and some cannot be used to connect across a gap in a circuit.










Year 5 and 6 Skills

  • planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary
  • taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate
  • recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs
  • using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests
  • reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and a degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations
  • identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments
Year Group


‘Sticky’ knowledge focus in green


‘Sticky’ skills in green
Vocabulary Visits, inspirational people and important places

Year 5



(SB: Earth and Space)

Earth and Space

  • describe the movement of the Earth and other planets relative to the sun in the solar system
  • describe the movement of the moon relative to the Earth
  • describe the sun, Earth and moon as approximately spherical bodies
  • use the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky
  • describe the movement of the Earth and other planets relative to the sun in the solar system
  • describe the movement of the moon relative to the Earth
  • describe the sun, Earth and moon as approximately spherical bodies
  • use the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky

(Note: pupils should be warned that it is not safe to look directly at the sun, even when wearing dark glasses)

Research and compare the time of day at different places on the Earth through internet links and direct communication.

Create simple models of the solar system.


Constructing simple shadow clocks and sundials, calibrated to show midday and the start and end of the school day.


Find out why some people think that structures such as Stonehenge might have been used as astronomical clocks.

Solar system









Year 5

Autumn 2




(SB: Forces)


  • explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object
  • identify the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction, that act between moving surfaces
  • recognise that some mechanisms including levers, pulleys and gears allow a smaller force to have a greater effect explore the effects of levers, pulleys and simple machines on movement.
  • experience forces that make things begin to move, get faster or slow down.
  • explore the effects of friction on movement and find out how it slows or stops moving objects, for example, by observing the effects of a brake on a bicycle wheel.

Explore the effects of air resistance by observing how different objects such as parachutes and sycamore seeds fall.


Design and make a variety of parachutes and carrying out fair tests to determine which designs are the most effective.


Explore resistance in water by making and testing boats of different shapes.


Design and make products that use levers, pulleys, gears and/or springs and explore their effects.


Air resistance

Water resistance





Year 5



(SB: Separating Mixtures, Types of change, Materials)

Properties and Changes of materials

  • Compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties, including their hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity (electrical and thermal), and response to magnets
  • know that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution, and describe how to recover a substance from a solution
  • use knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated, including through filtering, sieving and evaporating
  • give reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials, including metals, wood and plastic
  • demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes
  • explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible, including changes associated with burning and the action of acid on bicarbonate of soda
They should explore reversible changes, including evaporating, filtering, sieving, melting and dissolving, recognising that melting and dissolving are different processes. Pupils should explore changes that are difficult to reverse, for example, burning, rusting and other reactions, for example, vinegar with bicarbonate of soda.

Carry out tests to answer questions, for example, ‘Which materials would be the most effective for making a warm jacket, for wrapping ice cream to stop it melting, or for making blackout curtains?’


Observe and compare the changes that take place, for example, when burning different materials or baking bread or cakes.


Research and discuss how chemical changes have an impact on our lives, for example, cooking, and discuss the creative use of new materials such as polymers, super-sticky and super-thin materials.















Year 5



(SB: Life Cycles)

Living Things and Their Habitat

  • describe the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird
  • describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animal
  • find out about different types of reproduction, including sexual and asexual reproduction in plants, and sexual reproduction in animals.

Raise questions about their local environment throughout the year.


Observe life-cycle changes in a variety of living things, for example, plants in the vegetable garden or flower border, and animals in the local environment.

Compare the life cycles of animals and plants in the local environment with other plants and animals around the world (in the rainforest, in the oceans, in desert areas and in prehistoric times).



Life cycles




Year 5


(SB: Life Cycles)


Animals, including humans

  • describe the changes as humans develop to old age
  • draw a timeline to indicate stages in the growth and development of humans.
  • learn about the changes experienced in puberty.

Research the gestation periods of other animals and compare them with humans.


Find out and record the length and mass of a baby as it grows.







‘Sticky’ knowledge focus in green


‘Sticky’ skills in green
Vocabulary Visits, inspirational people and important places

Year 6



(SB: Classifying living things)

Living Things and Their Habitats

  • 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
  • give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics
  • build on their learning about grouping living things in year 4 by looking at the classification system in more detail.
  • be introduced to the idea that broad groupings, such as micro-organisms, plants and animals can be subdivided. Through direct observations where possible, classify animals into commonly found invertebrates (such as insects, spiders, snails, worms) and vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals).
  • discuss reasons why living things are placed in one group and not another.

Use classification systems and keys to identify some animals and plants in the immediate environment.


Research unfamiliar animals and plants from a broad range of other habitats and decide where they belong in the classification system.






Year 6




(SB: Light and Sight)


  • recognise that light appears to travel in straight lines
  • 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
Pupils should build on the work on light in year 3, exploring the way that light behaves, including light sources, reflection and shadows. They should talk about what happens and make predictions

Decide where to place rear-view mirrors on cars.


Design and make a periscope and using the idea that light appears to travel in straight lines to explain how it works.


Investigate the relationship between light sources, objects and shadows by using shadow puppets.


Through observation, extend their experience of light by looking a range of phenomena including rainbows, colours on soap bubbles, objects looking bent in water, and coloured filters (they do not need to explain why these phenomena occur).





Year 6





(SB: Changing Circuits)


  • associate the brightness of a lamp or the volume of a buzzer with the number and voltage of cells used in the circuit
  • compare and give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches
  • use recognised symbols when representing a simple circuit in a diagram
  • Building on their work in year 4, pupils should construct simple series circuits, to help them to answer questions about what happens when they try different components, for example, switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors.
  • They should learn how to represent a simple circuit in a diagram using recognised symbols.


Note: pupils are expected to learn only about series circuits, not parallel circuits. Pupils should be taught to take the necessary precautions for working safely with electricity.

Systematically identify the effect of changing one component at a time in a circuit.


Design and make a set of traffic lights, a burglar alarm or some other useful circuit.





simple circuit





Year 6






(SB: Evolution and Inheritance)

Evolution and Inheritance

  • recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago
  • recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents
  • identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution
  • Building on what they learned about fossils in the topic on rocks in year 3, pupils should find out more about how living things on earth have changed over time.
  • They should be introduced to the idea that characteristics are passed from parents to their offspring, for instance by considering different breeds of dogs, and what happens when, for example, labradors are crossed with poodles. They should also appreciate that variation in offspring over time can make animals more or less able to survive in particular environments, for example, by exploring how giraffes’ necks got longer, or the development of insulating fur on the arctic fox.


Note: at this stage, pupils are not expected to understand how genes and chromosomes work.

Observe and raise questions about local animals and how they are adapted to their environment; comparing how some living things are adapted to survive in extreme conditions, for example, cactuses, penguins and camels.


Analyse the advantages and disadvantages of specific adaptations, such as being on 2 feet rather than 4, having a long or a short beak, having gills or lungs, tendrils on climbing plants, brightly coloured and scented flowers.





Year 6




(SB: our bodies)


Animals Including Humans

  • identify 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 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
  • build on their learning from years 3 and 4 about the main body parts and internal organs (skeletal, muscular and digestive system) to explore and answer questions that help them to understand how the circulatory system enables the body to function.
learn how to keep their bodies healthy and how their bodies might be damaged – including how some drugs and other substances can be harmful to the human body.

Through comparative testing, explore the correlation between exercise and heart rate.


Discuss historical ideas about the heart and how they have changed. Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments

circulatory system


blood vessels