The principal focus of Science in key stage 1 is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly-constructed world around them. They should be encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. 


National Curriculum for KS1


Year 1 

  • Identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees.

  • Identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees. 

Year 2

  • Observe and describe how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants 

  • Find out and describe how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and stay healthy.

Animals including humans:

Year 1

  • Identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

  • Identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores 

  • Describe and compare the structure of a variety of common animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including pets) 

  • identify, name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body and say which part of the body is associated with each sense.

Year 2

  • Explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive 

  • Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other  

  • Identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including microhabitats  

  • Describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food.


Year 1: 

  • Distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made 

  • Identify and name a variety of everyday materials, including wood, plastic, glass, metal, water, and rock  

  • Describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials.

  • Compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of their simple physical properties. 

Year 2:

  • identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses  

  • Find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.

Seasonal changes:

  • observe changes across the four seasons  

  • observe and describe weather associated with the seasons and how day length varies.


Home challenge ideas:



Group and order a variety of different bulbs and seeds. Draw a picture of which plant the bulb or seed may grow into. 

Research their names and what conditions they prefer to grow in. 

Research and find out the names of the plants and trees you can find in your local environment. 

Create a my street tree poster

Draw and label the features of a plant.

How do stems work investigation.

You could use a real flower for this and take apart the different sections. Do all plants have the same parts?

Dissect a plant investigation

Go on a flower/ plant hunt (where safe to do so). How many different varieties can you find?

Woodland scavenger hunts.

Observe how the trees are changing - take a photo of your favourite tree or plant each week. Create a book of how your tree is changing over time. Write a sentence about each photo. What you notice?

How has the apple tree changed over time?

Grow your own plants, vegetables, flowers etc in different conditions.

Create a plant maze

And answer the question: Do all plants grow towards the light?

Animals including humans 

Walk into your garden or local woodland aream (where safe to do so) what animals can you spot?wildlife spotting sheets

Create a home for an animal. What does it need to survive?

How to build a bug hotel

Make a shoebox model of an animal's habitat. Does the habitat have everything your animal needs?

How to build a shoebox habitat

Research your favourite animal. What habitat does it live in? What does it eat? What is a foodchain?

Draw a picture of 2 contrasting animals. How do they differ? Learn about the different characteristics of an animal. Videos to support animal classification 



Go on a material hunt around your house. 

Can you describe its properties of the material and how it is suited for that object? 

Using materials from your house predict and test whether they are waterproof or not. 

From your investigation choose which material is the most waterproof. Could you make a boat for a pirate?

What is the best insulator. Which material will keep an ice cube frozen the longest?

Don't melt the ice cube experiment 

Can you build a tower out of paper? 

Have a go at trying these STEM newspaper challenges. 

Newspaper challenge

How can you keep the egg safe?

Egg drop challenge

Build a house for the three little pigs. What material will keep them safe from the Big Bad Wolf? Use a hair dryer to try and blow your house down.

Three little pig house experiement

Seasonal changes

Can you use the sun to tell the time? 

Create a sundial


Observe what happens to plants and trees over the next few weeks. Take a photo each day of your favourite tree or plant. Can you make it into an imovie to show how it changes?

Create a weather diary.

Can you complete the quiz?

Can you measure how much rainfall we have in a day/ week/ month?

Make your own Rain gauge

Make it rain activity. 

Find a green leaf and take it indoors. 

Draw a picture of what you think might happen to the leaf in a day, a week and a month. 

What did you notice?

Where your predictions correct?

Working Scientifically: 

During years 1 and 2, pupils should be taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:  

  • asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways  

  • observing closely, using simple equipment  performing simple tests  

  • identifying and classifying  

  • using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions  

  • gathering and recording data to help in answering questions.


Websites for investigation ideas: