Upper Key stage 2 Science
The principal focus of science teaching in upper key stage 2 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas.
They will do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically.
At upper key stage 2, they will encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates.
They will also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They will select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information.
Pupils will draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.
‘Working and thinking scientifically’ is described separately at the beginning of the programme of study but is always taught through and clearly related to the science content.
- Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary
- Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate
- Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs
- Use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests
- Report and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and a degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations
- identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments
Living things and their habitats
- Describe the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird
- Describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals
- Describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including micro-organisms, plants and animals
- Give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics
Animals, including humans
- Describe the changes as humans develop to old age
- Identify and name the main parts of the human circulatory system, and describe the functions of the heart, blood vessels and blood
- Recognise the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way their bodies function
- Describe the ways in which nutrients and water are transported within animals, including humans
Evolution and inheritance
- Recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago
- Recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents
- Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution
- Recognise that light appears to travel in straight lines
- Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye
- Explain that we see things because light travels from light sources to our eyes or from light sources to objects and then to our eyes
- Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them
- Associate the brightness of a lamp or the volume of a buzzer with the number and voltage of cells used in the circuit
- Compare and give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches
- Use recognised symbols when representing a simple circuit in a diagram
Properties and changes of materials
- Compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties, including their hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity (electrical and thermal), and response to magnets
- Know that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution, and describe how to recover a substance from a solution
- Use knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated, including through filtering, sieving and evaporating
- Give reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials, including metals, wood and plastic
- Demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes
- Explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible, including changes associated with burning and the action of acid on bicarbonate of soda
Earth and space
- Describe the movement of the Earth and other planets relative to the sun in the solar system
- Describe the movement of the moon relative to the Earth
- Describe the sun, Earth and moon as approximately spherical bodies
- Use the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky
- Explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object
- Identify the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction, that act between moving surfaces
- Recognise that some mechanisms including levers, pulleys and gears allow a smaller force to have a greater effect