Year 2 science: what your child learns

Little girl with sunflower
Your child will be learning about everything from animals to electricity in Year 2 science. Read on for the full overview of what they’ll be taught in school.

During Year 2 more work will be done to develop the core scientific skills of observation and investigation. The children will work on a different topic each term, designed to encourage them to ask questions about the world around them, and they will be taught the importance of gathering evidence and carrying out experiments. They will start to think about the importance of planning before they start a task: how they will find the answers, what questions they will need to ask, and what the result might be. They will also be thinking of the best ways to present their results; for example, they could be using drawings, charts, diagrams, ICT, or standing up and speaking to the class.

Science in Year 2 – what your child will learn:

There are a range of topics for science in KS1, divided into three main groups, and your child will probably study one or more of these. You may find your child returning to a topic they have covered before, but this time in greater detail.

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

Try this at home

  • Play games with your senses: use a blindfold and try to identify objects just by touch, sound, smell and taste
  • Plant some seeds: sunflowers are fast growing and the results can be spectacular
  • Get out some baby photographs and see if you can child can tell who they are
  • Start a collection: it could be anything – stones, shells, plastic dinosaurs – and sort it by size, colour, shape
  • Make ice lollies and talk about what happens to water when it goes in the freezer

Our Year 2 science worksheets and activities will help you reinforce the theory with some practical, hands-on experimentation.