These are the National Curriculum statements for Science.

Sc1: Scientific Enquiry: knowledge, skills and understanding

Teaching should ensure that 'scientific enquiry' is taught through contexts taken from the sections on 'life processes and living things', 'materials and their properties' and 'physical processes'.

Ideas and evidence in science

1.1) Pupils should be taught that it is important to collect evidence by making observations and measurements when trying to answer a question.

Investigative skills

2) Pupils should be taught to:

1.2a ask questions [for example, 'How?', 'Why?', 'What will happen if ... ?']and decide how they might find answers to them

1.2b use first-hand experience and simple information sources to answer questions

1.2c think about what might happen before deciding what to do

1.2d recognise when a test or comparison is unfair

Obtaining and presenting evidence

1.2e follow simple instructions to control the risks to themselves and to others

1.2f explore, using the senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste as appropriate, and make and record observations and measurements

1.2g communicate what happened in a variety of ways, including using ICT [for example, in speech and writing, by drawings, tables, block graphs and pictograms]

Considering evidence and evaluating

1.2h make simple comparisons [for example, hand span, shoe size]and identify simple patterns or associations

1.2i compare what happened with what they expected would happen, and try to explain it, drawing on their knowledge and understanding

1.2j review their work and explain what they did to others.

Sc2: Life Processes & Living Things: knowledge, skills and understanding

Teaching should ensure that 'scientific enquiry' is taught through contexts taken from the section on 'life processes and living things'.

Life processes

1) Pupils should be taught:

2.1a the differences between things that are living and things that have never been alive

2.1b that animals, including humans, move, feed, grow, use their senses and reproduce

2.1c to relate life processes to animals and plants found in the local environment.

Humans and other animals

2) Pupils should be taught:

2.2a to recognise and compare the main external parts of the bodies of humans and other animals

2.2b that humans and other animals need food and water to stay alive

2.2c that taking exercise and eating the right types and amounts of food help humans to keep healthy

2.2d about the role of drugs as medicines

2.2e how to treat animals with care and sensitivity

2.2f that humans and other animals can produce offspring and that these offspring grow into adults

2.2g about the senses that enable humans and other animals to be aware of the world around them.

Green plants

3) Pupils should be taught:

2.3a to recognise that plants need light and water to grow

2.3b to recognise and name the leaf, flower, stem and root of flowering plants

2.3c that seeds grow into flowering plants.

Variation and classification

4) Pupils should be taught to:

2.4a recognise similarities and differences between themselves and others, and to treat others with sensitivity

2.4b group living things according to observable similarities and differences.

Living things in their environment

5) Pupils should be taught to:

2.5a find out about the different kinds of plants and animals in the local environment

2.5b identify similarities and differences between local environments and ways in which these affect animals and plants that are found there

2.5c care for the environment.

Sc3: Materials & Their Properties: knowledge, skills and understanding

Teaching should ensure that 'scientific enquiry' is taught through contexts taken from the section on 'materials and their properties'.

Grouping materials

1) Pupils should be taught to:

3.1a use their senses to explore and recognise the similarities and differences between materials

3.1b sort objects into groups on the basis of simple material properties [for example, roughness, hardness, shininess, ability to float, transparency and whether they are magnetic or nonmagnetic]

3.1c recognise and name common types of material [for example, metal, plastic, wood, paper, rock]and recognise that some of them are found naturally

3.1d find out about the uses of a variety of materials [for example, glass, wood, wool]and how these are chosen for specific uses on the basis of their simple properties.

Changing materials

2) Pupils should be taught to:

3.2a find out how the shapes of objects made from some materials can be changed by some processes, including squashing, bending, twisting and stretching

3.2b explore and describe the way some everyday materials [for example, water, chocolate, bread, clay]change when they are heated or cooled.

Sc4: Physical Processes: knowledge, skills and understanding

Teaching should ensure that 'scientific enquiry' is taught through contexts taken from the section on 'physical processes'.


1) Pupils should be taught:

4.1a about everyday appliances that use electricity

4.1b about simple series circuits involving batteries, wires, bulbs and other components [for example, buzzers, motors]

4.1c how a switch can be used to break a circuit.

Forces and motion

2) Pupils should be taught:

4.2a to find out about, and describe the movement of, familiar things [for example, cars going faster, slowing down, changing direction]

4.2b that both pushes and pulls are examples of forces

4.2c to recognise that when things speed up, slow down or change direction, there is a cause [for example, a push or a pull].

Light and sound

3) Pupils should be taught:

4.3a to identify different light sources, including the Sun

4.3b that darkness is the absence of light

Making and detecting sounds

4.3c that there are many kinds of sound and sources of sound

4.3d that sounds travel away from sources, getting fainter as they do so, and that they are heard when they enter the ear.

Breadth of study

1) During the key stage, pupils should be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through:

B.1a a range of domestic and environmental contexts that are familiar and of interest to them

B.1b looking at the part science has played in the development of many useful things

B.1c using a range of sources of information and data, including ICT-based sources

B.1d using first-hand and secondary data to carry out a range of scientific investigations, including complete investigations.

2) During the key stage, pupils should be taught to:

B.2a use simple scientific language to communicate ideas and to name and describe living things, materials, phenomena and processes

Health and safety

B.2b recognise that there are hazards in living things, materials and physical processes, and assess risks and take action to reduce risks to themselves and others.

Year 1 Themes

To complement teaching in other year groups the curriculum for Year 1 should focus on:

Life processes
Humans and other animals
Grouping materials
Changing materials
Forces and motion


You are not expected to use these units of work. If you have better ideas for content that will let you teach the essential skills and concepts more imaginatively then you should use those, though you may wish to use these resources as a starting point. Alternatively, if it is suitable, select a unit of work and use it as it stands.

Published Units of Work

Life processes and humans

Wiltshire SoW (Tom Robson): 'Humans'

Wiltshire SoW (Tom Robson): 'Life Processes'

QCA 1A: Ourselves (Y1)

QCA 2A: Health and growth (Y2)

Grouping materials & Changing materials

Wiltshire SoW (Tom Robson): 'Grouping Materials'

Wiltshire SoW (Tom Robson): 'Changing Materials'

QCA 1C: Sorting and using materials (Y1)

QCA 2D: Grouping and changing materials (Y2)

Forces and motion

Wiltshire SoW (Tom Robson): Force

QCA 1E: Pushes and pulls (Y1)

QCA 2E: Forces and movement (Y2)


Wiltshire SoW (Tom Robson): Sound

QCA 1F: Sound and hearing (Y1)