Science describes the intellectual and practical activity allowing children to study the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. 

Studying science at South Lee is about sparking the curiosity of the children in the world around them and beyond.  They can explore and answer their own questions as well as understanding how scientists as questions to develop theories and scientific ideas.  Scientific thinking skills and the ability to plan, conduct, analyse and evaluate experimental hypotheses are accessible to all children and children thrive and excel in this subject due to their ability to apply their reasoning and logic to their scientific thinking. 

Children explore the historical development of scientific theories, gaining an understanding of how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change, industry, business, medicine, and education, thus impacting on the quality of life on Earth and beyond.  

Our programme of study comprises four areas: scientific enquiry, life processes and living things (Biology), materials and their properties (Chemistry), and physical processes (Physics). These subjects are often taught in a cross-curricular way and children will not always have a topic identified as falling into one of these areas discreetly.   

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them” – Gallileo Gallilei 


The focus in Reception class is on the children achieving the Early Learning Goals in the Understanding the World Area of Learning. 

Years 1 and 2 

In Years 1 and 2, the teaching of science falls under the banner of Topic.  These are cross-curricular lessons where children cover certain aspects of Science, along with humanities subjects. 

Year 1 Topic covers the following aspects of science:  

  • Materials - Natural and man-made, clothing 

  • Forces – Push and Pull 

  • Light and sound 

  • World weather - hot places cold places 

  • Animals, including humans 

  • Plants  

Year 2 Topic covers the following aspects of science: 

  • Weather and symbols 

  • All about me 

  • What do I need  

  • Human life cycles 

  • Looking after ourselves 

  • [diet exercise medicine germs] 

  • My skeleton 

  • The Nile flooding 

  • Food and farming 

  • Materials natural and manmade  

  • Properties of materials  

  • Key inventions 

  • Forces- explore Ramp height/ surfaces Friction 

  • Pollution/ caring for the environment Great Barrier Reef  

  • Signs of life Differences animals/humans Classification Habitats and associated animals Food sources and chains/Parts of a plant, needs to grow, types of plants/ new plants life cycles  

  • How materials change Electricity and sources of light 

In Years 3-8, the children have Science lessons in the lab and can participate fully in practical aspects of the subject.

Year 3 

Michaelmas Term 

  • Animals including humans 

  • Rocks and Soils 

Lent Term 

  • Forces and Magnets 

  • Plants 1 

Summer Term 

  • Plants 2 

  • Light 

Year 4 

Michaelmas Term 

  • Electricity 

  • States of Matter 

  • Water Cycle 

Lent Term 

  • Digestion and Teeth 

  • Sound 

Summer Term 

  • Food chains 

  • Living things, classification and the environment 

Year 5 

Michaelmas Term 

  • Earth and Space 

  • Forces 

Lent Term 

  • Materials 

  • Reversible and irreversible reactions 

Summer Term 

  • Life cycles of animals and plants 

Year 6 

Michaelmas Term 

  • Electricity 

  • Light 

Lent Term 

  • Properties of materials and separating materials 

  • Living things 

Summer Term 

  • Humans as organisms 

  • Genetics and Inheritance 

Year 7 

Michaelmas Term 

  • Atoms and the Periodic Table 

  • Pure and Impure substances 

Lent Term 

  • Gas exchange and cells 

  • Health and reproduction in plants and animals 

Summer Term 

  • Forces 

  • Waves 

Year 8 

Michaelmas Term 

  • Photosynthesis and respiration 

  • Space and the Universe 

Lent Term 

  • Electricity and magnetism 

  • Chemical reactions 

Summer Term 

  • Chemical reactions 

  • Inheritance