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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

(States of Matter)

Year 5

Year 6






Cause and effect

Similarity and Difference


Working Scientifically




Children know about similarities and difference 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 and name a variety of everyday materials (wood, plastic, glass, metal, water and rock)


Distinguish between an object and the materials from which it is made


Describe physical properties of everyday materials


Compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their simple physical properties



Know the uses of different everyday materials (wood, metal, plastic, glass, rock, brick, paper, cardboard)


Classify and group materials based on their suitability for particular uses


Find out how solid objects can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching


Compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties


Describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock (Rocks)


Notice that some forces need contact between two objects, but magnetic forces can act at a distance (Forces and Magnets)

Compare and group materials according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases


Know that some materials change state (heating and cooling; no baking)


Identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle

Compare and group everyday materials based on their properties including their hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity (electrical and thermal) and response to magnets


Know that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution and describe how to recover a substance from a solution


Use knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated including through filtering, sieving and evaporating.


Give reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials, including metals, wood and plastic


Demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes


Explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible, including changes associated with burning and the action of acid on bicarbonate of soda


Chemical reactions as the rearrangement of atoms


Representing chemical reactions using formulae and using equations


Combustion, thermal decomposition, oxidation and displacement reactions


Defining acids and alkalis in terms of neutralisation reactions


The pH scale for measuring acidity/alkalinity; and indicators.


Possible Learning Challenge Questions


Which materials should the Three Little Pigs have used to build their house?



What is our school made from?


Can materials be changed?


How would we survive without water?

Is it gone forever?