A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world's future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things behave and analyse causes.
The 'Skills of Scientific Enquiry' are crucial in supporting scientists of the future.
See the progressions through the key stages below:
- Asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
- Observing closely, using simple equipment
- Performing simple tests
- Identifying and classifying
- Using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
- Gathering and recording data to help in answering questions
- Asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them
- Setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests
- Making systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers
- Gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions
- Recording findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts and tables
- Reporting on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions
- Using results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions
- Identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes
- Using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings
- Planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
- Taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate
- Recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs
- Using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests
- Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and a degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations
- Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.