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Year 7 science: what your child learns

Bunsen burner
As your child moves up to secondary school, Year 7 science lessons can change a lot as children start working in labs like proper little scientists. Here’s an insight into what they’ll learn In KS3 science.

Science is usually taught in ability sets in Year 7. The curriculum for KS3 is the same for all sets, but higher groups will be working towards attaining higher levels, while the lower sets will be given more support.

The syllabus includes chemistry, physics and biology and is designed to build on the topics the children studied at primary school. Children will be working with familiar subjects but the work will be more advanced. They will be working in laboratories, carrying out more experiments and recording and analysing their results. This will help the children to develop particular areas of scientific learning:

  • Practical and enquiry skills
  • Critical understanding of evidence
  • Communication

Science in Year 7 – what your child will learn:

The science curriculum covers the whole of KS3 so this year your child could be studying one or more of the following topics:

Energy, electricity and forces

  • Light
  • Sound
  • Renewable energy
  • Emerging technologies
  • Electrical circuits
  • How to measure current and voltage
  • Force and its effect on objects
  • Magnetic fields
  • Electromagnets
  • Gravity
  • Friction

Chemical and material behaviour

  • Properties and behaviour of matter
  • Elements in the Periodic Table
  • Atoms and compounds
  • Chemical properties and patterns
  • pH scale for acids, alkalis and bases
  • Solids, liquids and gases

Organisms, behaviour and health

  • Tissues, organs and body systems
  • Plant and animal cells
  • Life processes
  • Human reproduction, including fertilisation and foetal development 
  • Adolescence
  • Importance of healthy eating and exercise
  • Effects of drugs such as tobacco and alcohol
  • Digestion
  • Respiration and breathing
  • Effects of viruses and bacteria
  • Variation in living things
  • Human and animal behaviour
  • Living things and their habitats
  • Food chains
  • Dissection

The environment, Earth and the universe

  • Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock formation
  • Weathering of rocks
  • Motions of the sun, moon, stars and planets
  • Causes of changes in the environment

Supporting Year 7 science at home

  • If your child enjoys experimenting, ask if your school has a science club
  • Buy a pH testing kit and encourage your child to check out some of the foods in your kitchen or the soil in your garden
  • Take a fishing net and investigate habitats – try pond dipping, or if you go to the beach, rock pooling
  • Help your child to experiment with light by making a simple pinhole camera: all you need is a box and some film or light sensitive paper
  • See what happens when you add water to cornflour and then squeeze it. Is it a liquid or a solid? Get your child to investigate
  • Grow your own crystals together, using sugar or salt, boiling water and a jam jar
  • Get your child to try making their own version of a lava lamp using a plastic bottle, coloured water and oil
  • You can make a messy volcano by finding out what happens when an acid (vinegar) mixes with a base (baking soda)
  • Look at the moon and stars through a telescope together
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