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What your child learns in Key Stage 2 science

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Want to know more about what your child gets up to in science class at school? Here’s your guide to the topics they’ll cover.

Science in Years 3 and 4

In Years 3 and 4, children will be encouraged to ask questions about scientific concepts and then carry out experiments to find out the answers. In doing this they will:

  • learn what a 'fair test' is.
  • take measurements from a range of equipment.
  • gather and record data.
  • report their findings orally and in writing.

Science in Years 5 and 6

In Years 5 and 6, children will continue to practise the above skills, but with more depth and precision. When carrying out experiments they will:

  • understand what variables are and how to control them.
  • take measurements from a range of equipment, understanding the need for repeated measures to increase accuracy.
  • gather and record data using labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.
  • use test results to make further predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests.
  • make conclusions on the test carried out, orally and in writing.

Key Stage 2 science topics year by year

Year 3 science

  • Plants, including parts of plants, needs of plants and their life cycle.
  • Animals, including humans, focusing on nutrition, skeletons and muscles.
  • Rocks, including comparing rocks, looking at fossils and understanding how soil is made.
  • Light, looking at how light is reflected, how shadows are formed and can change.
  • Forces and magnets, focusing on attraction and repulsion of magnets, magnetic materials and the two poles of a magnet.

Year 4 science

  • Living things and their habitats, including classifying living things and looking at changes to environments.
  • Animals, including humans, focusing on eating: teeth, the digestive system and food chains.
  • States of matter, including grouping materials, changing state, evaporation and condensation.
  • Sound, looking at creation of sound through vibration and changes in pitch and volume.
  • Electricity, including constructing a circuit and understanding conductors and insulators.

Year 5 science

  • Living things and their habitats, including life cycles of a mammal, amphibian, insect and bird.
  • Animals, including humans, focusing on changes from birth to old age.
  • Properties and changes of materials, including dissolving, separating and reversible changes.
  • Earth and space, looking at the movement of the sun, earth and moon.
  • Forces, including gravity, air resistance, water resistance and friction.

Year 6 science

  • Living things and their habitats, including classifying micro-organisms, plants and animals.
  • Animals, including humans, focusing mainly on diet and exercise.
  • Evolution and inheritance, looking at fossils, reproduction and adaptation.
  • Light, looking closely at how it travels and how shadows are made.
  • Electricity, analysing the function of lamps, buzzers, cells and switches.
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