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Statements in red are linked from other topics

Progression in Scientific

knowledge, concepts & skills


(Early Learning Goals)

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4


Year 5


Year 6




Cause and effect

Similarity and difference


Working Scientifically



Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things.


Children talk about features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.


Children make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur and talk about changes.


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


Compare how things move on different surfaces (friction)


Know how magnets attract/ repel some materials (two poles +/-) and make predictions


Know that some forces need contact whereas magnetic forces can act at a distance


Compare and group magnetic/ non-magnetic materials



Explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object


Identify the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction


Recognise that some mechanisms (gears, leavers, pulleys and springs) allow a smaller force to have a greater effect




Magnetic fields by plotting with a compass, representation by field lines.


Earth’s magnetism, compass and navigation.


Forces like pushes or pulls, arising from the interaction between two objects.


Using force arrows in diagrams, adding forces in one dimension, balanced and unbalanced forces


Moment as the turning effect of a force


Forces: associated with deforming objects; stretching and squashing – springs; with rubbing and friction between surfaces; with pushing things out of the way; resistance to motion of air and water


Forces measured in Newtons, measurements of stretch or compression as force is changed


Possible learning questions




Can you feel the force?


How do forces affect our lives?



Can you feel a force?