At Prendergast Primary School we have worked hard to raise the profile of science for our pupils. We advocate for practical experiences in science, as in all areas of learning, focused on developing skills of working scientifically. In partnership with a STEM Enthuse consultant, we have developed science trails that make the most of our learning environment, including using playground equipment to learn about materials and magnets, tracking changes in floral to identify seasonal transitions and using our variety of trees to discover light and shadow.

Science/STEM clubs have enabled  children to extend their interest in science beyond the classroom and we will be working closely with the Secondary school this year to support delivery of these clubs, opening them up to parents/carers as well as children. Parents are also encouraged to support their child’s engagement with science through parent workshops that focus on developing important working scientifically skills.




Year 1 

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4 

Year 5

Year 6


Define, describe, identify, match, order, outline, recognize, relate, recall, reproduce

Classify, convert, defend, discuss, explain, extend, infer, predict, review, summarise

Apply, change, discover, interpret, modify, prepare, produce, show, solve, use

Analyse, breakdown, criticise, differentiate, examine, infer, question, test

Compose, construct, create, develop, devise, explain, plan, prepare, reconstruct, summarize

Appraise, argue, assess, conclude, estimate, evaluate, judge, predict, value


Identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen.

Identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees.


Observe and describe how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants 

Find out and describe how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and stay healthy. 


Identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots, stem/trunk, leaves and flowers. 

Explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant. 

Investigate the way in which water is transported within plants. 

Explore the part that flowers play in the life cycle of flowering plants, including pollination, seed formation and seed dispersal. 





Animals, including humans 

Identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. 

Identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores 

Describe and compare the structure of a variety of common animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including pets). 

Identify, name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body and say which part of the body is associated with each sense. 


Notice that animals, including humans, have offspring which grow into adults 

Find out about and describe the basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival (water, food and air) 

Describe the importance for humans of exercise, eating the right amounts of different types of food, and hygiene. 


Identify that animals, including humans, need the right types and amount of nutrition, and that they cannot make their own food; they get nutrition from what they eat. 

Identify that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement. 


Describe the simple functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans. 

Identify the different types of teeth in humans and their simple functions. 

Construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey. 


Describe the changes as humans develop to old age. 


Identify and name the main parts of the human circulatory system, and describe the functions of the heart, blood vessels and blood. 

Recognise the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way their bodies function. 

Describe the ways in which nutrients and water are transported within animals, including humans. 


(Uses of) everyday materials

Distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made 

Identify and 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 together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of their simple physical properties. 


Identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses. 

Find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching. 






Seasonal changes

Observe changes across the four seasons. 

Observe and describe weather associated with the seasons and how day length varies. 







All living things and their habitats 


Explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive. 

Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other 

Identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including micro-habitats. 

Describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food. 



Compare how things move on different surfaces. 

Notice that some forces need contact between two objects, but magnetic forces can act at a distance.  

Observe how magnets attract or repel each other and attract some materials and not others describe magnets as having two poles. 

Predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, depending on which poles are facing. 

Compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of whether they are attracted to a magnet and identify some magnetic materials. 


Describe the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird. 

Describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals. 


Describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including micro- organisms, plants and animals. 

Classify plants and animals based on specific characteristics, explaining reasons





Compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties. 

Describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock. 

Recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter. 








Recognise that they need light in order to see things and that dark is the absence of light. 

Notice that light is reflected from surfaces. 

Recognise that light from the sun can be dangerous and that there are ways to protect their eyes. 

Recognise that shadows are formed when the light from a light source is blocked by a solid object. 

Find patterns in the way that the size of shadows change. 




Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye. 

Explain that we see things because light travels from light sources to our eyes or from light sources to objects and then to our eyes. 

Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them. 


Forces and magnets 




Compare how things move on different surfaces. 

Notice that some forces need contact between two objects, but magnetic forces can act at a distance. 

Observe how magnets attract or repel each other and attract some materials and not others describe magnets as having two poles. 

Predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, depending on which poles are facing. 

Compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of whether they are attracted to a magnet and identify some magnetic materials. 



Explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object. 

Identify the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction, that act between moving surfaces. 

Recognise that some mechanisms, including levers, pulleys and gears, allow a smaller force to have a greater effect. 



States of matter




Compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases. 

Observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (°C). 

Identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature. 








Identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating. 

Recognise that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear. 

Find patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it. 

Find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it. 

Recognise that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases. 








Identify common appliances that run on electricity. 

Construct a simple series electrical circuit, identifying and naming its basic parts, including cells, wires, bulbs, switches and buzzers. 

Identify whether or not a lamp will light in a simple series circuit, based on whether or not the lamp is part of a complete loop with a battery. 

Recognise that a switch opens and closes a circuit and associate this with whether or not a lamp lights in a simple series circuit. 

Recognise some common conductors and insulators, and associate metals with being good conductors. 



Associate the brightness of a lamp or the volume of a buzzer with the number and voltage of cells used in the circuit. 

Compare and give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches. 

Use recognised symbols when representing a simple circuit in a diagram. 


Earth and space 





Describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system. 

Describe the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth. 

Describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies. 

Use the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky. 



Properties and change of materials 





Compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties, including their hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity (electrical and thermal), and response to magnets. 

Name some materials that will dissolve in liquid to form a solution and describe how to recover a substance from a solution. 

Apply knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated, including through filtering, sieving and evaporating. 

Reason, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, the particular uses of everyday materials, including metals, wood and plastic. 

Demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes.

Explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible, including changes associated with burning and the action of acid on bicarbonate of soda. 




Evolution and inheritance 






Recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago. 

Recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents. 

Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution. 


Working Scientifically 

Key Stage 1:


Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways 


Observe closely, using simply equipment, to suggest answers to questions 


Perform simple tests


Identify and classify 


Gather and record data to help in answering questions



Lower Key Stage 2:


Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them. 

Set up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests. 

Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, take accurate measurements using standard units. 

Gather, record, classify and present data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions. 

Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts and tables. 

Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions. 

Use results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions and suggest improvements. 

Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes. 

Use scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings. 



Upper Key Stage 2:

Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary. 

Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate. 

Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs. 

Use tests results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests. 

Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.

Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.