Science in Key Stage 1
In the first years of schooling, much of the science curriculum is based around real-life experiences for children. This includes everyday plants and animals, as well as finding out about different materials and the four seasons. There are likely to be lots of opportunities for exploring scientific ideas both in the classroom and the local surroundings.
Science in Lower Key Stage 2 (Year 3 and 4)
The strands of science begin to become more recognisable as biology, chemistry and physics, although they will usually be grouped together. Children will continue to carry out their own experiments to find out about the world around them, and to test their own hypotheses about how things work.
During Year 4, children begin to use more scientific vocabulary to describe objects and processes, such as describing solids, liquids and gases, or erosion. Vocabulary is a key part of any area of study, and particularly in science. Learning new words – and their spellings – can often be fun when they relate to experiments and science investigations.
Upper Key Stage 2 (Year 5 and 6)
As children get older they begin to meet more abstract concepts in science – things which are not so easily tested in the classroom, such as the bodies of the solar system, or changes of state. They will continue to carry out experiments but may also use more secondary resources for research or investigation.
Again in Year 6, many of the scientific concepts that children meet are more abstract, such as the study of evolution, or the behaviour of light. There are still plenty of opportunities for investigation, and also to find out about the work of some great scientists of today and the past.
There are no statutory tests for students in Science at Key Stage 2, although a very small number of children from any given school may be selected to be part of the bi-annual science sample testing. This involves taking three short tests of about twenty-five minutes each. The results of these tests are not shared with parents or schools, but are used to get a sense of the national picture.