Here you will find all our Lower Key Stage Two Science topics.
Here you will find all our Lower Key Stage Two Science topics.

Science Subjects

Core Lower Key Stage Two Science Topics

Exploring the Science Curriculum in England

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 follow the national curriculum for science throughout our activities, worksheets and science videos. By following practical scientific methods processes and taking into account the skills and areas of scientific knowledge needed for young 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 develop their scientific knowledge and skills through the use of simple scientific language, presenting data, and using proper 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 simple practical enquiries of investigation and experimentation. In using the science curriculum as a guide, we are able to introduce scientific vocabulary and ideas without the need for expensive scientific equipment. Pupils are provided with 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 skills throughout a range of key stage one topics.

    What is the National Curriculum for England?

    National Curriculum Map published by the British Government

    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 teaching journey.

    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 requirements using 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 curriculum.

    Here are a few science national curriculum topics we offer and will look at in more detail:

  • Year 1 Exploring Everyday Materials
  • Year 2 Properties of Materials
  • Year 1 Human Body
  • Year 1 Animals
  • Year 1 Plants Around Us
  • Year 2 How Plants Grow
  • Exploring Plants in Science

    Plants Around Us - year one worksheet

    Plants Around Us - year one worksheet

    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.

    Nature Hunt

    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 scientific methods processes to present data, then compare and group together plant types helping children to draw simple conclusions.

    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 engaging way.

    How Plants Grow

    To develop a scientific understanding of the lifecycle of plants, year three children will plant a seed and closely 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 different habitats.

    The growing cycle of a cress seed (for example) in water, soil, sand or even cotton wool will require careful 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 require careful observation before any scientific questions are answered with certainty.

    Deciduous And Evergreen Trees

    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 students will 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 evidence. Students should understand that deciduous trees lose their leaves in the autumn, while evergreen trees retain their leaves year-round.

    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 common and observable characteristic of these trees is their bark texture and growth patterns. Thanks to dedicated observations you child or student should be able to identify and name these common trees throughout the year.

    Common Flowering Plants

    Presenting straightforward and scientific evidence of all things and their habitats is important for a child’s 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 flowers are 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 understanding of 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 year-round.
  • 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 water and energy.
  • There are many different types of trees, each with their own unique characteristics and adaptations.
  • 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.

    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 lessons will look at the seasons as they change. The changing seasons in your local and wider environment affect different habitats 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 simple 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 habitats become apparent. Students should be able to recognize how habitats change and describe weather patterns as the air becomes colder leading animals to hibernate, migrate or grow thicker fur.

    Where I live

    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 develop methods, processes and skills to draw simple conclusions on what season it is in their town or city. By going on nature walks they can observe different habitats and even notice changes in their own body. Can your child recognize any similarities in changes of animals including humans? For example: animals grow thicker fur while humans tend to wear more clothing. 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 STEM activity.

    The Weather

    There are many ways to describe weather in your local and wider environment. Hands-On Education have created many engaging activities for key stage one and two sciences for pupils to build secure foundations in the English national curriculum. Our aim is to help children develop scientific knowledge through natural process and methods. Answering scientific questions to describe weather in your local area is not always engaging to school going and homeschool 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 observations and 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 and careful observations 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 small 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.

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