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) Pupils should be taught:

1.1a that science is about thinking creatively to try to explain how living and non-living things work, and to establish links between causes and effects [for example, Jenner's vaccination work]

1.1b that it is important to test ideas using evidence from observation and measurement.

Investigative skills

2) Pupils should be taught to:

1.2a ask questions that can be investigated scientifically and decide how to find answers

1.2b consider what sources of information, including first-hand experience and a range of other sources, they will use to answer questions

1.2c think about what might happen or try things out when deciding what to do, what kind of evidence to collect, and what equipment and materials to use

1.2d make a fair test or comparison by changing one factor and observing or measuring the effect while keeping other factors the same

Obtaining and presenting evidence

1.2e use simple equipment and materials appropriately and take action to control risks

1.2f make systematic observations and measurements, including the use of ICT for datalogging

1.2g check observations and measurements by repeating them where appropriate

1.2h use a wide range of methods, including diagrams, drawings, tables, bar charts, line graphs and ICT, to communicate data in an appropriate and systematic manner

Considering evidence and evaluating

1.2i make comparisons and identify simple patterns or associations in their own observations and measurements or other data

1.2j use observations, measurements or other data to draw conclusions

1.2k decide whether these conclusions agree with any prediction made and/or whether they enable further predictions to be made

1.2l use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain observations, measurements or other data or conclusions

1.2m review their work and the work of others and describe its significance and limitations.

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 that the life processes common to humans and other animals include nutrition, movement, growth and reproduction

2.1b that the life processes common to plants include growth, nutrition and reproduction

2.1c to make links between life processes in familiar animals and plants and the environments in which they are found.

Humans and other animals

2) Pupils should be taught:

2.2a about the functions and care of teeth

2.2b about the need for food for activity and growth, and about the importance of an adequate and varied diet for health


2.2c that the heart acts as a pump to circulate the blood through vessels around the body, including through the lungs

2.2d about the effect of exercise and rest on pulse rate


2.2e that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles to support and protect their bodies and to help them to move

Growth and reproduction

2.2f about the main stages of the human life cycle


2.2g about the effects on the human body of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, and how these relate to their personal health

2.2h about the importance of exercise for good health.

Green plants

3) Pupils should be taught:

2.3a the effect of light, air, water and temperature on plant growth

2.3b the role of the leaf in producing new material for growth

2.3c that the root anchors the plant, and that water and minerals are taken in through the root and transported through the stem to other parts of the plant


2.3d about the parts of the flower [for example, stigma, stamen, petal, sepal]and their role in the life cycle of flowering plants, including pollination, seed formation, seed dispersal and germination.

Variation and classification

4) Pupils should be taught:

2.4a to make and use keys

2.4b how locally occurring animals and plants can be identified and assigned to groups

2.4c that the variety of plants and animals makes it important to identify them and assign them to groups.

Living things in their environment

5) Pupils should be taught:

2.5a about ways in which living things and the environment need protection


2.5b about the different plants and animals found in different habitats

2.5c how animals and plants in two different habitats are suited to their environment

Feeding relationships

2.5d to use food chains to show feeding relationships in a habitat

2.5e about how nearly all food chains start with a green plant


2.5f that microorganisms are living organisms that are often too small to be seen, and that they may be beneficial [for example, in the breakdown of waste, in making bread] or harmful [for example, in causing disease, in causing food to go mouldy].

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 and classifying materials

1) Pupils should be taught:

3.1a to compare everyday materials and objects on the basis of their material properties, including hardness, strength, flexibility and magnetic behaviour, and to relate these properties to everyday uses of the materials

3.1b that some materials are better thermal insulators than others

3.1c that some materials are better electrical conductors than others

3.1d to describe and group rocks and soils on the basis of their characteristics, including appearance, texture and permeability

3.1e to recognise differences between solids, liquids and gases, in terms of ease of flow and maintenance of shape and volume.

Changing materials

2) Pupils should be taught:

3.2a to describe changes that occur when materials are mixed [for example, adding salt to water]

3.2b to describe changes that occur when materials [for example, water, clay, dough]are heated or cooled

3.2c that temperature is a measure of how hot or cold things are

3.2d about reversible changes, including dissolving, melting, boiling, condensing, freezing and evaporating

3.2e the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle

3.2f that non-reversible changes [for example, vinegar reacting with bicarbonate of soda, plaster of Paris with water]result in the formation of new materials that may be useful

3.2g that burning materials [for example, wood, wax, natural gas]results in the formation of new materials and that this change is not usually reversible.

Separating mixtures of materials

3) Pupils should be taught:

3.3a how to separate solid particles of different sizes by sieving [for example, those in soil]

3.3b that some solids [for example, salt, sugar]dissolve in water to give solutions but some [for example, sand, chalk]do not

3.3c how to separate insoluble solids from liquids by filtering

3.3d how to recover dissolved solids by evaporating the liquid from the solution

3.3e to use knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated.

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 to construct circuits, incorporating a battery or power supply and a range of switches, to make electrical devices work [for example, buzzers, motors]

4.1b how changing the number or type of components [for example, batteries, bulbs, wires]in a series circuit can make bulbs brighter or dimmer

4.1c how to represent series circuits by drawings and conventional symbols, and how to construct series circuits on the basis of drawings and diagrams using conventional symbols.

Forces and motion

2) Pupils should be taught:

4.2a about the forces of attraction and repulsion between magnets, and about the forces of attraction between magnets and magnetic materials

4.2b that objects are pulled downwards because of the gravitational attraction between them and the Earth

4.2c about friction, including air resistance, as a force that slows moving objects and may prevent objects from starting to move

4.2d that when objects [for example, a spring, a table]are pushed or pulled, an opposing pull or push can be felt

4.2e how to measure forces and identify the direction in which they act.

Light and sound

3) Pupils should be taught:

4.3a that light travels from a source

4.3b that light cannot pass through some materials, and how this leads to the formation of shadows

4.3c that light is reflected from surfaces [for example, mirrors, polished metals]


4.3d that we see things only when light from them enters our eyes

Vibration and sound

4.3e that sounds are made when objects [for example, strings on musical instruments]vibrate but that vibrations are not always directly visible

4.3f how to change the pitch and loudness of sounds produced by some vibrating objects [for example, a drum skin, a plucked string]

4.3g that vibrations from sound sources require a medium [for example, metal, wood, glass, air]through which to travel to the ear.

The Earth and beyond

4) Pupils should be taught:

4.4a that the Sun, Earth and Moon are approximately spherical

Periodic changes

4.4b how the position of the Sun appears to change during the day, and how shadows change as this happens

4.4c how day and night are related to the spin of the Earth on its own axis

4.4d that the Earth orbits the Sun once each year, and that the Moon takes approximately 28 days to orbit the Earth.

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 appropriate scientific language and terms, including SI units of measurement [for example, metre, newton], to communicate ideas and explain the behaviour of 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 6 Themes

To complement teaching in other year groups the curriculum for Year 6 should focus on:

Green plants
Variation and classification
Living things in their environment
Separating mixtures of materials
The Earth and beyond


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

Green plants and the environment

Wiltshire SoW (Tom Robson): 'Green Plants and the Environment'

QCA 5B: Life cycles (Y5)

QCA 6A: Interdependence and adaptation (Y6)

Separating mixtures of materials

Wiltshire SoW (Tom Robson): 'Separating Materials'


Wiltshire SoW (Tom Robson): 'Electricity'

QCA 6G: Changing circuits (Y6)


Wiltshire SoW (Tom Robson): 'Light'

QCA 6F: How we see things (Y6)

The Earth and beyond

Wiltshire SoW (Tom Robson): 'Earth and Beyond'

QCA 5E: Earth, Sun and Moon (Y5)