Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

(Science programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2, National curriculum in England, DfE, 2013)

Most children have a natural curiosity about their world asking "Why?", "How?” and "What will happen if?". The teaching of science builds on this, helping to develop the basic knowledge, skills and understanding the children will need to enable them to cope with a life increasingly influenced by science. 

All children are encouraged to develop their investigative skills by carrying out practical activities so that they can see themselves as scientists. They work in a scientific way: making observations; asking why things are the way they are and what happens when things change; recording and reporting their findings; grouping and classifying; carrying out comparative tests; drawing conclusions. Additionally, children are taught to select and use equipment safely to carry out their own experiments and link their experiences with major scientific ideas.

All science work is based on the following areas;

  • Experimental and investigative work (working scientifically)
  • Life and living processes (plants; animals, including humans; living things and their habitats; evolution and inheritance)
  • Materials (uses; properties; changes)
  • Physical processes (seasonal changes; rocks; light; forces and magnets; states of matter; sound; electricity; Earth and space)

Through their work in Science, children learn to develop an enquiring approach when faced with new situations and are encouraged to make informed conclusions.