2014 Science – Changes to Key Stage 1

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By Gillian Ravenscroft

Explore changes to the Key Stage 1 Science curriculum and try two fun lesson ideas including curriculum checklists.

2014 National Curriculum logo

As we roll out the new curriculum in our classrooms, much of its content may already seem quite familiar. However, in order to meet the new criteria and ensure our teaching achieves the highest standard, we will need to embrace a number of changes. Knowing what is required will be key to ‘keeping calm and carrying on’ with confidence this year.


When should the new Science curriculum be taught?

Before looking in detail at the Key Stage 1 science curriculum, it’s worth pointing out that for this academic year, pupils in Years 2 and 6 are to be taught the pre-2014 programmes of study in English, Mathematics and Science. The new curriculum will be fully rolled out to these year groups in September 2015.

It is also important to note that while the new document is divided into distinct year bands, the stipulation is that children cover the included content within a two year framework. Teachers have some flexibility over introducing concepts early, or choosing to postpone them according to the needs of their pupils. The three deadlines to bear in mind are the end of Key Stage 1, followed by the end of lower and then upper Key Stage 2. This also applies to the ‘Working Scientifically’ strand, which appears at the beginning of the programmes of study for each of these phases, rather than being specifically assigned to a particular year.


Changes to Key Stage 1 Science

The new statutory requirements state that by the end of Key Stage 1, pupils should have been taught a number of practical scientific methods, processes and skills. Six concise bullet points replace the ‘Ideas and Evidence in Science’ section and the ten ‘Investigative Skills’ statements of the old Sc1. The accompanying non-statutory guidance in the 2014 curriculum identifies a variety of scientific enquiries, including:
  • making comparisons
  • sorting and grouping
  • observing changes over time
  • beginning to notice patterns and relationships
  • asking questions/finding answers from simple secondary sources
  • using simple measurements and equipment
  • carrying out simple tasks
  • recording data and talking about their findings.
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