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Science

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What your child will learn at school during each Key Stage in Science:

Key Stage 1

Year 1

Living things

  • Humans and other animals: recognising the major external parts of the body; how we grow; the importance of food and exercise; using our senses
  • Plants: identifying the leaf, flower, stem and root; finding out that plants need water and light to grow; how plants grow from a seed
  • Living things in their environment: discovering different kinds of plants and animals in the local environment, for example, in the playground, or a local park; how to care for the environment
  • The difference between living things and things which have never lived

Materials

  • Exploring different materials using the senses
  • How to group materials according to their properties, eg, hard, soft, shiny
  • Recognising and naming common materials, eg wood, plastic, metal
  • How some materials can change if they are heated or cooled

Physical processes

  • Light and dark: identifying sources of light; learning that dark is an absence of light
  • Sound: where sounds come from; how we can hear when sound enters our ears
  • Forces and motion: pushing and pulling; movement and speed
  • Electricity: discovering which everyday appliances use electricity; how a simple circuit works

 

Year 2

Life processes and living things

  • Differences between things which are alive and those which have never lived
  • How living things (animals and humans) move, feed, grow, use their senses and reproduce
  • External parts of the body for humans and animals
  • Importance of exercise and healthy eating
  • How to treat animals with care
  • Plants: how they grow from seeds using water and light
  • Naming and recognising the leaf, flower, stem and root
  • Living things in their environment: what sort of plants and animals live locally; care for the environment

Materials and their properties

  • Recognising and naming common types of material (for example, wood, plastic, metal, paper)
  • Sorting materials into groups according to various qualities
  • Using their senses to explore materials and look at differences and similarities
  • Thinking about how different materials are used for different purposes
  • How some materials can change, for example, if they are bent, stretched, heated or cooled

Physical processes

  • Electricity: everyday appliances; simple circuits using batteries, wires and bulbs; how a switch can break a circuit
  • Forces and motion: speed and direction; pushing and pulling
  • Light: sources of light, including the sun; how dark is a lack of light
  • Sound: making and detecting sound; how sound can get fainter; how we hear sound when it enters the ear

Key Stage 2

Year 3

Life processes and living things

  • Humans and other animals: nutrition, circulation, movement, growth, reproduction and health
  • Living things in their environment: how plants and animals adapt to their habitat; food chains; micro-organisms

Materials and their properties

  • Comparing materials according to various criteria (conductors)
  • Differences between solids, liquids and gases
  • How materials change state 
  • Evaporation and condensation

Physical processes

  • Electricity
  • Forces and motion
  • Light and sound
  • Sun, Earth and Moon
.
Year 4
The three main areas of study include the following topics, but different schools and different teachers will choose to approach the topics differently in KS2. 

Life processes and living things

  • Humans and other animals
  • Green plants
  • Materials and their properties

Physical processes

  • Electricity
  • Forces and motion
  • Light and sound
  • Sun, Earth and moon
.
Year 5
The three main areas of study include the following topics. In year 5 your child may study one or more of these subjects:
Life processes and living things

  • Humans and other animals
  • Green plants

Materials and their properties

  • Thermal insulators and electrical conductors
  • Rocks and soils

Physical processes

  • Electricity and circuits
  • Forces and motion (magnets, friction, gravity)
  • Light and sound
  • Sound and vibration
  • Pitch and volume

Sun, Earth and moon

.
Year 6
Life processes and living things
Humans and other animals

  • Nutrition: why we need food and a healthy diet
  • Care of our teeth
  • Circulation: how the heart pumps blood around our bodies; how exercise affects our pulse rate
  • Movement: how our skeleton and muscles help us and some animals to move
  • Growth and reproduction: the human life cycle
  • Health: the importance of exercise; harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco and drugs

Life processes and living things

Green plants

  • How growth is affected by light, air, water and temperature
  • What roots do
  • How leaves help a plant to grow
  • Parts of a flower
  • Life cycle: pollination; seed formation and dispersal; germination
  • Identification and grouping of plants and animals
  • Living things in their environment: how plants and animals adapt to their habitat; food chains; micro-organisms

Materials and their properties

  • Comparing materials according to various criteria
  • Thermal insulators
  • Electrical conductors
  • Rocks and soils
  • Differences between solids, liquids and gases
  • Changes to materials when they are mixed, heated or cooled
  • Temperature
  • Evaporation and condensation
  • How to separate particles, for example, by sieving or filtering

Physical processes

Electricity

  • Building a simple circuit
  • How to make a light dimmer or brighter
  • Drawing a circuit

Forces and motion

  • Magnets
  • Gravity
  • Friction
  • Pushing and pulling
  • How to measure force

Light and sound

  • Properties of light, including reflection and shadow
  • How we need light to see
  • Sound and vibration
  • Pitch and volume

Sun, Earth and moon

  • Day and night
  • How the sun moves
  • Orbits of the Earth and moon
Key Stage 3
 
Your child will be working with familiar subjects but the work will be more advanced. Work will be done in laboratories, with your child carrying out more experiments and recording and analysing their results. This will help the children to develop particular areas of scientific learning:

  • Practical and enquiry skills
  • Critical understanding of evidence
  • Communication

Years 7–9

Energy, electricity and forces

  • Light
  • Sound
  • Renewable energy
  • Emerging technologies
  • Electrical circuits
  • How to measure current and voltage
  • Force and its effect on objects
  • Magnetic fields
  • Electromagnets
  • Gravity
  • Friction

Chemical and material behaviour

  • Properties and behaviour of matter
  • Elements in the Periodic Table
  • Atoms and compounds
  • Chemical properties and patterns
  • pH scale for acids, alkalis and bases
  • Solids, liquids and gases

Organisms, behaviour and health

  • Tissues, organs and body systems
  • Plant and animal cells
  • Life processes
  • Human reproduction, including fertilisation and foetal development 
  • Adolescence
  • Importance of healthy eating and exercise
  • Effects of drugs such as tobacco and alcohol
  • Digestion
  • Respiration and breathing
  • Effects of viruses and bacteria
  • Variation in living things
  • Human and animal behaviour
  • Living things and their habitats
  • Food chains
  • Dissection

The environment, Earth and the universe

  • Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock formation
  • Weathering of rocks
  • Motions of the sun, moon, stars and planets
  • Causes of changes in the environment
 .

Key Stage 4

Various topics are covered in years 10 and 11.    

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