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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 Year 3 science, your child 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 using a range of equipment.
  • gather and record data.
  • report their findings orally and in writing.

Science topics in Year 3


  • identifying the functions of parts of plants.
  • understanding what plants need to grow.
  • investigating transportation of water within plants.
  • exploring the life cycle of plants.

Animals, including humans

  • understanding that animals need nutrition to survive.
  • identifying the function of skeletons and muscles.


  • comparing and grouping rocks.
  • investigating fossils.
  • recognising how soil is made.


  • understanding that dark is the absence of light.
  • investigating light reflection from surfaces.
  • looking at how shadows are formed and how they change.

Forces and magnets

  • understanding magnetic attraction and repulsion.
  • determining which materials are magnetic.
  • understanding that magnets have two poles.

Try this at home

  • Plant three sets of cress seeds and then put one in a cupboard, one on the window sill and one outside. Observe the differences in how they grow.
  • Wait for a sunny day and stand in a particular spot in the garden. Draw your shadow with chalk. Do this three times throughout the day. What do you notice about how your shadow changes?
  • Make a list of things around the house. Predict whether you think they are magnetic or not: put a tick if you think they are, and a cross if you think not. Now get a fridge magnet and see what it will stick to. Were your predictions correct?
  • Go to the library and see if you can find any books on rocks and soils or skeletons and muscles. Now you can impress your class with your background knowledge when you get back to school!

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

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