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Statutory requirements for the teaching and learning of science are laid out in the Science sections of the National Curriculum in England Key Stages 1 and 2 Framework Document (2013) and in the Understanding the World (Specific Area) sections of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2014).

In the Early Years (Nursery and Reception) children are given opportunities to:

  • become immersed in an environment rich in opportunities to explore how the world works
  • encounter creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments and in real life situations
  • learn to use a range of tools safely
  • undertake practical ‘experiments’
  • work with a range of materials

At Key Stage One (Years 1 and 2) pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and physical processes. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas. They begin to evaluate evidence and consider whether tests or comparisons are fair. They use reference materials to find out more about scientific ideas. They share ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables with the help of ICT if it is appropriate.