Year 3 science: what your child learns

Got a mini Einstein in the family? Here’s what they will be learning in year 3 to help develop their scientific knowledge.

In KS2, science lessons are still planned around the three main subject areas of  KS1 (see below), but now the children are learning in greater detail. With each topic they study, they’ll be learning in a practical and experimental way, and they will be encouraged to think about methods of ‘scientific enquiry’, which include:

Ideas and evidence

  • Explaining how living and non-living things work
  • Thinking about the links between cause and effect
  • The importance of testing ideas using evidence

Investigative skills

  • Planning
  • Obtaining and presenting evidence
  • Drawing conclusions and explaining results

Science in Year 3 – what your child will learn:

There are three main subject areas for science and your child will probably study topics from one or more.

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

Try this at home

  • Get in the kitchen – if your child is studying micro-organisms, making bread is a great way to see yeast in action
  • If your child has a magnifying glass or microscope, go on a nature walk and encourage them to look at different plants and flowers
  • Look at the sky at bedtime, and point out how the moon changes shape as it orbits the earth
  • If you see a sundial, explain how the sun and shadow can be used to tell the time

Make science investigation part of your child's everyday life with our Year 3 science worksheets and practical activities.


I am not a natural lover of science but I could not help but learn alongside my kids with this simplified science curriculum. It is simply fantastic. Thanks to schoolrun.