Science can involve many exciting curricular activities.
The Science National Curriculum in England presents a programme of study for primary and secondary
school aged children
that ensures pupils build secure foundations in the subject of science. At Hands-on Education we closely
national curriculum for science throughout our activities, worksheets and science videos. By following
scientific methods processes and taking into account the skills and areas of scientific knowledge needed
children, our programmes focus on designing suitable, challenging and engaging activities.
Hands-On Education answer relevant scientific questions using everyday materials commonly found in
homes and classrooms.
We aim to support primary school teachers as well as home educating parents and families. Children will
scientific knowledge and skills through the use of simple scientific language, presenting data, and
vocabulary to develop methods processes and skills.
When presenting data primary and secondary school children should use
simple scientific enquiries to gather scientific
data and answer relevant scientific questions. Pupils can also prepare oral and written explanations
if appropriate and
in line with their ability.
Our science concepts cover the entire English science curriculum for year one, year two and year three.
All of our
activities within the national curriculum for science focus on encouraging children to participate in
enquiries of investigation and experimentation. In using the science curriculum as a guide, we are able
scientific vocabulary and ideas without the need for expensive scientific equipment. Pupils are provided
opportunities to develop some of the following key disciplines of biology chemistry:
Make comparative and fair tests
Answer scientific questions using scientific vocabulary
Spend time gathering and recording data to develop scientific knowledge
Learn how components function and suggest improvements
Group materials to understand simple scientific ideas and draw conclusions
In this comprehensive article on the national curriculum for science in England we will look at the
ways in which our
exclusive hands-on activities support children in developing their scientific knowledge and conceptual
a range of key stage one topics.
What is the National Curriculum for England?
National Curriculum Map published by the British Government
The National Curriculum is a framework that sets out what children should learn and be able to do at
different stages of
their education. The national curriculum is used in schools from the ages of 5 to 16. Throughout this
article we will
take a deep look into the science curriculum and how Hands-On Education’s topics can help in your
Preparing a Programme of Study
Home educated and school going children should be taught about science using
a range of tools provided by parents and
educators. As science is a broad programme of study there are many topics such as: plants,
everyday materials and
animals including humans that can be used to enhance a student’s scientific knowledge. Within
this suggested programme
of study pupils should be taught about a range of concepts that include but are not limited to:
Animals including humans
Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals
Gathering and recording data on how different habitats live
The human body and it’s lifecycle
Common flowering plants
Everyday materials as a scientific concept
Within this key stage one science curriculum focused article we will look at
what home educated and school children
should be taught in their programme of study and how our activities will help them meet these
appropriate technical terminology.
Developing Scientific Knowledge
When implementing a solid programme of study students should be taught about
scientific concepts and ideas. These can
reflect straightforward scientific methods that are age appropriate and follow the guidance of
the national curriculum
for science for key stage one.
Hands-On Education look at the local and wider environment involving everyday
materials, animals and the human body.
Teaching students’ new ideas and the disciplines of biology chemistry can be a challenge; so, we
like to focus on
expanding their existing knowledge. Pupils should be taught appropriately to their level; hence
our activities do not
focus on oral and written forms, we often use artistic projects when fulfilling the science
Here are a few science national curriculum topics we offer and will look at
in more detail:
As outlined in the national curriculum for science for children in year 1, our plants and nature
activities focus on
encouraging children through careful observations to spot a variety of common plants and trees in their
local and wider
environment which includes taking accurate measurements.
Through local and wider environment nature hunts year one children will learn to identify and name a
variety of common
plants including garden flowers, wildflowers and trees both deciduous and evergreen. Students should
learn to answer
science related questions using the appropriate scientific vocabulary. Hands-On Education use practical
methods processes to present data, then compare and group together plant types helping children to draw
While on a nature hunt students will identify the basic structure of plants including roots, stems,
leaves, flowers and
tree trunks. This will help them to understand the lifecycle of common plants and trees. Other
activities looking at the
life process within your local and wider environment can include designing a garden collage, leaf
printing and bark
rubbing. All of this involves gathering straightforward nature processes and methods in a fun and
To develop a scientific understanding of the lifecycle of plants, year two children will plant a seed
observe its growth. Through this process students will be encouraged to draw simple conclusions to
observe how different
habitats, including soil conditions, affect common flowering plants. Without the assistance of evidence
but still taking
accurate measurements your child can draw simple conclusions on how the seeds will germinate in their
The growing cycle of a cress seed (for example) in water, soil, sand or even cotton wool will require
observations. A pupil may wish to apply their various methods processes and skills to questions at the
start of the
experiment. In the right local and wider environment pupils will watch as the seed germinates, growing
shoots, roots and
even leaves. However, this process will differ greatly within each environment and will certainly
observation before any scientific questions are answered with certainty.
When presenting data homeschool children should use simple scientific enquiries to gather scientific
data and answer
relevant scientific questions. Pupils can also prepare oral and written explanations if appropriate and
in line with
their ability. As educators it is our job to suggest simple scientific ideas as to how the trees are
able to grow and
offer various practical scientific methods processes for answering scientific questions. Your child or
gather and record data by drawing diagrams as the plant grows. When gathering data on deciduous and
evergreen trees a
student needs to ensure precise observations to help them gather straightforward and scientific
should understand that deciduous trees lose their leaves in the autumn, while evergreen trees retain
Through systematic and diligent observation of the plant’s, pupils will notice the leaves of deciduous
trees tend to be
broader and flatter, while the leaves of evergreen trees are often needle-like and narrower. Another
observable characteristic of these trees is their bark texture and growth patterns. Thanks to dedicated
child or student should be able to identify and name these common trees throughout the year.
Presenting straightforward and scientific evidence of all things and their habitats is important for a
understanding of nature. When teaching key stage one students the complete loop of flowering plants be
sure to include
the presence of flowers, leaves, stems, and roots. Upon careful observation pupils will notice that
typically brightly coloured and fragrant, this is primarily used for reproduction and to attract animals
such as birds,
bees and butterflies. The leaves of flowering plants are typically green, their stems provide support
for the plant and
transport nutrients and water. During the gathering and recording phase on flowering plants one should
not leave out the
roots which anchor the plant in the soil and support the lifecycle of all plants.
Notes And Guidance
Through careful observations of common observable characteristics school going and homeschool
children will understand
the differences between deciduous and evergreen trees and common plants while growing their overall
nature. Here are some simple scientific beliefs pupils should be taught:
Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the autumn, while evergreen trees keep their leaves
The leaves of deciduous trees change colour in the autumn before falling off. This is due to
changes in the amount of
sunlight and outside temperature.
Evergreen trees have adapted to retain their leaves throughout the year as a way to conserve
There are many different types of trees, each with their own unique characteristics and
By collecting and identifying leaves from different trees, children can learn to recognise the
different types of
trees in their local and wider environment and understand how they contribute to the ecosystem.
Observing the changes made by deciduous trees throughout the year can provide children with a
deeper understanding of
the natural world and its lifecycle.
How Seasons Affect Nature
Learn about the nature all around us all.
Primary and secondary school aged children working within the national curriculum for science will be
asked to draw
simple conclusions during activities. By comparing and grouping together different characteristics these
look at the seasons as they change. The changing seasons in your local and wider environment affect
in various ways. By gaining an overall understanding of the four seasons home educated and school
children are taught
that during the spring season, plants begin to grow and animals come out of hibernation.
Fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals adapt to the weather in the summer months as their
habitats become drier.
Animals including humans tend to migrate to cooler areas during this season. In the autumn, one can draw
conclusions and describe weather conditions as leaves change colour and many animals prepare for winter
by storing food
or migrating. As winter approaches, further understanding of the complete loop of animals and their
apparent. Students should be able to recognize how habitats change and describe weather patterns as the
colder leading animals to hibernate, migrate or grow thicker fur.
Pupils will use oral and written explanations when taught to describe weather conditions during the
different seasons in
their local and wider environment. By gathering straightforward and scientific evidence pupils can
processes and skills to draw simple conclusions on what season it is in their town or city. By going on
they can observe different habitats and even notice changes in their own body. Can your child recognize
in changes of animals including humans? For example: animals grow thicker fur while humans tend to wear
The primary stages of the seasons can be easily observed locally through systematic and careful
observations of things
and their habitats. Have your child answer science related questions to help demonstrate their
understanding of this
There are many ways to describe weather in your local and wider environment. Hands-On Education have
engaging activities for key stage one and two sciences for pupils to build secure foundations in the
curriculum. Our aim is to help children develop scientific knowledge through natural process and
scientific questions to describe weather in your local area is not always engaging to school going and
children. We understand this and aim to make all our activities fun and engaging.
Notes And Guidance
Pupils should gain an understanding of the essential aspects of the seasons and their changes. The
seasons can affect
the social and economic implications of things and their habitats. This can be seen through systematic
in a variety of ways across various regions of the United Kingdom. Here are some observable
characteristics that primary
and secondary home educated and school children should be taught:
In the springtime, migratory birds return to the local and wider environment while systematic
of nature will easily reveal that nesting has begun for many species.
During the summer months pupils can observe how different habitats change. Things and their
habitats dry up and food
can become scarce. This is part of the key stages of life for animals that rely on insects or
mammals for food.
The autumn months reveal, with careful observation, how animals such as squirrels begin to
stockpile food. Many
species of birds also begin their migration to warmer climates.
Local and wider environmental changes to the weather in winter bring even more changes. Pupils
should be taught how
animals such as hedgehogs will hibernate to conserve energy and avoid the harsh weather. Other
animals, such as sheep,
will grow thicker fur to help keep them warm.
School going and homeschool pupils should note that the changing seasons can have both positive and
negative effects on
a variety of habitats and the species that rely on them adapt. Some animals struggle during certain
times of the year
while others are better at adapting to this natural life process.
Animals Including Humans
As outlined in the national curriculum for science for England, our hands-on programme of study
provides children with
the opportunity to learn about a variety of animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and
mammals. Within the
Hands-On Education animal STEM activities children will identify, name, compare and describe a variety
animals. Pupils should be reminded that humans are also animals and may look to articulating the
complete loop of
natural life related to this fact.
Handprints on stone.
Young learners should be taught essential aspects making up the lifecycle and
key stages of a variety of animals
including: fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. To enable pupils to build secure
foundations in this science
curriculum subject we encourage the use of a variety of solid objects and everyday materials
such as binoculars,
microscopes, art materials, videos and worksheets. When presenting data school going and
homeschool children should use
both oral and written explanations in-line with their abilities and be aware of all things and
When presenting data school going and homeschool children should use both
oral and written explanations in-line with
their abilities and be aware of all things and their habitats.
Following practical scientific methods processes and gathering everyday materials children will create
a paper plate
fish to help demonstrate the life process and key stages of a fish’s life. By closely observing the
lifecycle of fish
from birth to death students will use these things and their habitats to gain scientific evidence on the
lifecycle of a
single fish species.
Global warming, pollution and human intervention all involve gathering information on fish and how
their habitats are
affected. Year one activities from hands-on education offer include labelling fish varieties, making
enquires on fish diets and suggesting answers or write explanations of why their habits may be so. Fish
varied and its important children build secure foundations and are understanding of the essential
aspects of these
Hands-On Education make sure to answer science related questions when looking at animals including
humans, this includes
our amphibians’ topic. Year one pupils will be taught to identify and name amphibians including newts,
toads and frogs
through videos and relevant worksheets. The science curriculum is clear in asking one to describe and
compare the basic
structure of these animals by labelling diagrams and creating posters showing their key features. Simple
language should be used by year one and year two children to describe and compare the similarities and
between toads and frogs. They will identify and name different images of these two specifies throughout
Home educated and school children should be taught while visiting a local or wider environment pond how
to spot frog
spawn, froglets, toads and frogs. Through systematic and careful observations of nature children will be
learn of the
lifecycle of various amphibians including toads and frogs. Ultimately, pupils should be taught how to
compare and group
together the complete loop of amphibians such as newts, toads and frogs.
Scientific evidence has shown us that reptiles are cold blooded animals. Using straightforward
scientific methods and
equipment students should be able to demonstrate this fact through oral and written explanations based
individual ability and age. Looking at reptile bone structure, diets and their different habitats is one
understanding how the human body and reptile body differ. Year one children will find answers to common
well as suggest improvements to the natural habitats of these animals. Pupils can gather scientific
demonstrate their scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding when writing explanations or
comprehension of reptiles.
School going and home school pupils should be taught to compare and group together a variety of birds
and show how a
variety of habitats are used by this common animal. Children will be taught to identify and name birds
found in the UK
such as robins, sparrows and blackbirds, which all nest in trees. Pupils will also learn how swans and
ducks build quite
different habitats on the edge of waterways. Gaining an overall understanding of birds through common
characteristics, children will use practical scientific methods processes such as worksheets to answer
questions and write explanations.
Children will compare a variety of birds in their local area, observing closely using simple tools such
Children should look to build secure foundations in this STEM activity as they draw simple conclusions
on the life of
birds by labelling diagrams and creating posters showing their main changes of life. In order to gain
understanding pupils will use systematic and careful observations pupils will answer science related
identify and name a variety of birds that are carnivores, herbivores or omnivores.
What is a mammal? Children will answer science related questions, suggest answers and run comparative
and fair tests to
gain an overall understanding of this seemingly simple question. Mammals are a diverse group of animals
that can be found throughout world, from the deserts of Africa to the rainforests of South America.
Through the disciplines of biology and chemistry and physics pupils can make scientific enquiries and
scientific ideas to conclude that mammals come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny shrews to massive
should be taught to identify and name a variety of mammals and recognize the social and economic
implications that come
with ignoring the important roles non-human mammals play in our local and wider environments. Year one
suggest improvements in how we live alongside nature and methods processes and skills to answer to these
One STEM activity looks at pupils presenting data on physical skills and
exercise. As pupils build secure foundations of
the human body, its physical limits and even one’s own bone structure their future scientific
knowledge has a pathway to
Using straightforward nature processes and methods to engage young learners in the physical properties
of the body year
two pupils should be taught along a clear programme of study. Children will identify, name and label the
basic parts of
the body through taking accurate measurements (their height), write explanations (engaging worksheets),
and discover how
components function (videos) within their body. Pupils should be taught about bone structure at the
school going and
homeschool primary level and how nature processes and methods can trace the body back to its primal
form. Students can
answer questions about the body within this STEM activity.
Hands-On Education encourage children to make their own scientific evidence of the human body by
drawing around their
own body. This will involve taking accurate measurements of bone structure and having to answer
Following this a pupil should be able to label all their primary body parts.Hands-On Education encourage
children to make their own scientific evidence of the body by drawing around their own
body. This will involve taking accurate measurements of bone structure and having to use methods
processes and skills
learnt. Following this a pupil should be able to label all their primary body parts.
Pupils will learn to compare and group together the simple physical properties beyond their bone
structure that are
shared between us and animals. Following practical scientific methods processes to view scientific
evidence pupils will
describe and compare the bone structure of the body to that of an animal body, such as fish, amphibians,
Scientists have been gathering and recording data on the human body for as long as humans have had
ideas. The scientific concepts surrounding humans have changed as our understanding of who we are both
scientifically has grown. While these ideas can be controversial, the evidence for now shows that
humans share many of the same DNA traits.
Science reflects that it is important within our social groups to help shape our scientific beliefs
nature processes and methods. The disciplines of biology and chemistry helps to describe weather and
many other unknown
questions. A conceptual understanding is required to work through these important topics. Understanding
how things and
their habitats not only survive but evolve may be a key cog in the long-term survival of humans.
Students should be
taught to compare and group together the natural processes and methods humans live by.
One STEM activity looks at pupils presenting data on physical skills and exercise. As children develop
foundations of the body, its physical limits and even one’s own bone structure their gained knowledge
has a pathway to
Due to the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics and the use of scientific equipment to answer
long sought after
scientific ideas humans can now gain straightforward nature processes and methods on the evolution of a
body and its
lifecycle. Pupils will identify and name the five human senses including smell, taste, sight, touch and
throughout this STEM activity topic. By collecting data and taking accurate measurements children will
draw and label
the human face. Through oral and written explanations appropriate for their age and scientific
vocabulary pupils will
identify which parts of the body are associated with each sense.
Using common materials such as: coffee (smell), oranges (taste), peas (touch), different coloured
peppers (sight), a
crunchy carrot (sound), children will learn how parts function within the body. Natural processes and
methods are used
to make simple practical enquiries which will bring simple scientific notions to life. Using comparative
and fair tests
to investigate how humans use these five senses pupils will describe weather within the disciplines of
chemistry and physics.
Notes And Guidance
The scientific study to compare and group together animals including humans is an essential part of
curriculum of England. Gaining an overall understanding of this science reflects the acceptance of
ideas. Here are some relevant points that help pupils build secure foundations in the STEM activities
Pupils should be taught essential aspects in the study of animals to help understand the evolution
of life on Earth
and the diversity of species that exists.
Using simple scientific language key stage one pupils studying human anatomy and physiology can
gain a better
understanding of how the body works. All things and their habitats are impacted through a variety of
factors such as
diet, exercise, and disease.
The scientific enquiries of animals including humans can help pupils understand the social and
our actions on animals and the environment makes. A basic level of scientific and a conceptual
understanding of this
topic is beneficial to pupils.
Lastly, students should develop scientific diagrams of this topic through presenting data.
Exploring scientific ideas
in this way can expand their understanding.
Future Scientific Knowledge
Investigate materials in lots of different fun ways.
Following straightforward scientific methods our hands-on activities will help pupils in using solid
objects as everyday
materials. Children will group materials and make simple practical enquires to investigate the simple
properties of materials using basic everyday equipment. This may be as simple as recording how
unsupported objects fall
differently. Comon scientific equipment can include a variety of common materials found in a home or
classroom such as
microscopes, binoculars, a compass or even a smart phone. Helping year one pupils in the scientific
required to properly suggest improvements, take notes and guidance and answer scientific questions is
key to their home
By using a variety of objects and everyday materials to group materials key stage one pupils will
identify and name
objects by their simple physical properties. Children will also compare and group together everyday
demonstrate an overall understanding. Students will use comparative and fair tests to distinguish
between a variety of
accurate measurements asking relevant scientific enquiries to suggest improvements and answers.
Through systematic and careful observations year one pupils should be able to group materials by the
properties they are
made from. Children will compare and group together everyday objects by how they function through the
use of proper
equipment and scientific enquiries. Using technical scientific terminology accurately during oral and
explanations (according to their appropriate level) homeschool pupils will build secure foundations
within the science
Year two pupils will create scientific diagrams using the scientific knowledge required to write
complete both oral and written forms through worksheets. Making scientific enquiries into which
materials are made from
the same simple physical properties including: glass, plastic, wood and metal. Primary school aged
children will label
and group everyday materials as a way of presenting data. Through simple scientific language children
will develop an
understanding of which objects can be recycled based on the nature processes and methods and the
understanding of which physical properties are recyclable.
Using the right phrases pupils will perform a number of experiments and investigations on solid
objects. This will be
achieved by making comparative and fair tests to gather and record data on written forms. By taking
measurements, making systematic and careful observations of a variety of common materials children
will further develop
their scientific knowledge required and an overall understanding of the disciplines of biology and
practical scientific methods processes while investigating which everyday materials are waterproof,
children will use
articulating scientific beliefs and perform a simple test on how various components function when wet.
Pupils will then
group materials based on the straightforward and scientific evidence gathered.
After being made aware of the essential aspects of if a material is waterproof the year two pupil
will answer scientific
questions to suggest improvements to the investigation using the technical terminology accurately and
within their conclusion.
Hands-On Education's Strongest Paper Investigation activity.
Home educated children and school attending students will be set the challenge of following practical
processes and making their own scientific enquires to investigate how to make a piece of wood sink and
a rock float.
Using the scientific knowledge required to understand how this variety of everyday materials will sink
or float is an
important STEM concept. While investigating which everyday objects made from simple physical
properties sink or float in
water children will ask questions using technical terminology as well as perform a variety of tests
Pupils will identify and name which variety of common materials which sink or float. By answering
questions on various objects, they will closely observe and make comparative and fair tests. Students
will use their
observations to gather and then enjoy presenting data to suggest answers as well as suggest
improvements to the test.
Another simple test may be to record how unsupported objects fall differently.
Year one children will perform simple practical enquiries and use simple scientific ideas to discover
group of materials is the strongest. Learning how such components function will help grow their
through taking accurate measurements to determine the strength of a variety of common materials. By
using such everyday
materials children will perform comparative and fair tests. Students will achieve this by closely
gathering data and use their scientific ideas to find a cognitive conclusion. Another fun STEM
activity uses performing
simple practical enquiries whereby children will find out which common materials with different simple
properties are magnetic. Pupils will use scientific awareness and comprehension to make their oral and
Notes And Guidance
School going and home school aged pupils should be taught using a solid programme of study for
science as reflected in
the science curriculum. Developing a use of technical terminology accurately and the ability to take
measurements is key to their future scientific knowledge. Learning how these function and developing
knowledge in a range of ways including disciplines of biology and chemistry and physics allows pupils
to strive when
working on practical scientific methods processes and skills relating to a wider variety of everyday
To further enhance a students' understanding of the science curriculum and STEM activities try out
Bouncing balls off different surfaces encourage students to ask simple questions and use
By following straightforward scientific methods have your child perform a strongest paper
investigation involving a
variety of everyday materials found in many homes and classrooms.
Find out how the shapes of objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending,
stretching through simple melting and moulding activities. Use accurate measurements of solid
objects, such as
chocolate, to make an engaging and enjoyable STEM activity.
Using a variety of common materials found around the house explore and evaluate a range of
existing products alongside
worksheets and videos to aid scientific enquiries and write explanations.
Explore the natural processes and methods of recycling through various STEM activities that ask
enquires through engaging worksheets, art and the human imagination.
Teaching primary-aged students about the scientific understanding of everyday materials should
include introducing them
to concepts such as bar and line graphs, recycling and grouping materials of our changing environment
disciplines of biology and chemistry. As educators you can introduce pupils to explore how materials
can change state,
for example from solid to liquid, as well as the properties and uses of different group materials such
plastics, and wood. Having children write explanations and discussing the role of chemistry and other
developing new materials and technologies broaden their understanding of how science positively
reflects and impacts our