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Year 1 science: what your child learns

Little boy studying flower
Got a budding little scientist in the family? Here’s what they will learn to develop their science skills and knowledge in Year 1.

In Year 1 science lessons, your child will use the following methods, processes and skills:

  • asking simple questions (for example, what would happen if I didn't give a plant water? What would happen if I tried to bend some plastic?).
  • observing closely, using simple equipment.
  • identifying and classifying.
  • using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
  • gathering and recording data to help in answering questions.

Year 1 science topics

Children will learn about the following subjects:


  • identify and name a variety of common plants.
  • identify and describe the structure of flowering plants.

Animals, including humans

  • name common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
  • name animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores.
  • compare the structure of different animals.
  • draw and label the basic parts of the human body and say which part is associated with each sense.

Everyday materials

  • name a variety of everyday materials including wood, plastic, glass, metal, water and rock.
  • describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials.
  • compare and group materials.

Seasonal changes

  • observe changes across the four seasons.
  • describe weather and day length associated with the seasons.

Try this at home

  • Have a look at some plants in your garden or on a walk in the park. See if your child can name the different parts of a plant. Explain that part of the plant is under the soil (push some back to show them the roots). Ask them if they know what the roots are for. Get them to draw their own diagram of a plant when they get back inside, labelling all the parts..
  • Turn an A4 sheet so it is landscape and write the following headings along the top: Wood, Plastic, Glass, Metal. Now ask your child to go around the house and make lists under each heading of anything they can find made of that material: windows, radiator, wardrobe etc. Discuss with them why each material is used to make the different objects. Why do we have glass windows rather than wood? Why is food packaged in plastic rather than paper?
  • Show your child a list of the months of the year. Ask them to circle the months that they think are the winter months. Ask them what the weather is like in the winter. What do we do in the winter to help us with the cold? Now ask them to circle the spring months. What is the weather like in the spring? Continue with summer and autumn.
  • See if you can find any books in the library on different types of animals. Read the books with your child and encourage them to become an expert on the subject before they study this topic at school.

Make science real (and fun!) at home with one of our Year 1 science activities and worksheets.

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