UK Primary Curriculum


What are the key changes for Science?

If you only have a couple of minutes, here are the key changes for science plus some practical advice from Anne Goldsworthy. Anne is a Primary Science Consultant who runs INSET sessions and co-authored New Star Science.

Greater range of investigative activities

Working scientifically (the new name for scientific enquiry) looks fairly familiar but now has a lot more work on different types of science enquiry such as looking for naturally occurring patterns and relationships, observing something change over time and classifying as well as the good old fair test. This should help to broaden the range of investigative activities that you can do with your children and there are suggestions for some things you could do in the accompanying Notes and Guidance.

More on identifying and naming living things especially in KS1

There is a danger that this could all be done as extremely boring naming exercises but you could also use it as a chance to get your children outside doing things which reconnect them with the natural world. Try playing plant tag (first one to touch a daisy leaf/birch tree trunk etc.) or having scavenger hunts. Continue to find out about local animals such as mini-beasts/birds/mammals but also look for information about weird and wonderful living things in other environments (sea/polar regions/rainforests).

Seasonal changes including day length in Y1

Don’t panic over this one – it is only making something out of the daily weather board but you will need to plan to do this through the year rather than as a half-termly topic.

Basic digestive system for lower KS2

This is a great one for finding out their ideas about what happens to their food in their body, researching the answers and then looking back to find out what they have learnt.

Evolution and Inheritance in upper KS2

An important scientific idea to introduce to Y6 but remember that the evidence will come from secondary sources rather than hands-on investigations. Start looking out for fossils.

The programme of study is set out on a year-by-year basis

...but schools can decide for themselves when to teach the content in each key stage. One thing worth noting is that there are five topics per year group so if you do one per half term you will have a half term spare for being creative, carrying out extended investigations, going into more depth, making cross-curricular links, making a science trail, writing a science newspaper or just generally enjoying science.