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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


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

Identify, name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body and say which part of the body is associated with each sense (Animals including Humans)



Recognise that we need light to see and dark is the absence of light.


Know that light is reflected from surfaces


Know the dangers of the sun (Protecting eyes)


Know that shadows are formed when light from a light source is blocked by a solid object and find patterns in shadow sizes



Know how light travels (straight lines)


Know that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye


Know why shadows have the same shape as the object that cast them

The similarities and differences between light waves and waves in matter


Light waves travelling through a vacuum; speed of light


The transmission of light through materials: absorption, diffuse scattering and specular reflection at a surface


Use of ray model to explain imaging in mirrors, the pinhole camera, the refraction of light and action of convex lens in focusing (qualitative); the human eye


Light transferring energy from source to absorber, leading to chemical and electrical effects; photo-sensitive material in the retina and in cameras


Colours and the different frequencies of light, white light and prisms (qualitative only); differential colour effects in absorption and diffuse reflection


Possible learning questions




How far can you throw your shadow?




Why is light important to our lives?