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Knowledge and skills covered

The Early Years Foundation Stage

In their Reception year, children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. Science knowledge and understanding is in the section: Understanding the World. The end of year expectation is for each child to reach the Early Learning Goal (ELG) in this section detailed below: 



Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants;

Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.


They will be taught basic scientific skills (on the same lines as those detailed below) and will experience lots of interesting scientific topics.


Topics covered: 

Children in each class follow a rolling program over two years. They will cover all of the topics by the time they leave Church Lench First School. The table below details the science Programmes of Study from the National Curriculum covered in each class. 


Topics covered:


Plants, animals including humans, everyday materials, seasonal changes.


Rocks and soils, living things and their habitats, animals including humans, light, plants, everyday materials, forces and magnets.


Earth and space, forces, sound, electricity, animals including humans, living things and their habitats, states of matter, plants, properties and changes of materials.


Science Skills

From Years 1 to 5, the children are taught key scientific skills to allow them to explore and gain a good understanding of different scientific concepts. These skills are planned into each Programme of Study and are differentiated for each year group. 


Each skill has a 'Plan, do and review' section. Key skills with some examples:


Observation over time- Children may watch plants grow from seeds, mould grow on bread (for 'germ type' experiments), chickens hatch from eggs or how shadows change over the day/month/season. They would record data over time to look at changes. 


Identifying and classifying- Children will be taught how to use different sorting diagrams such as Venn or Carroll diagrams up to sorting keys and branching databases. They will look for similarities and differences between groups of items, animals or plants. 


Pattern seeking- Children will work on collecting data using a range of sources e.g. measures, observation or data loggers. They will record this data in a variety of ways (tables, graphs etc.) to look for patterns and be able to draw conclusions. 


Research- Children are given, or may decide upon an area to research and will use primary and secondary sources to find answers to questions. 


Fair testing- Children will design experiments and learn how to control variables so that their test is fair. They will work on the skills of predicting, working out methods, collecting/presenting results and drawing conclusions.