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Year 1 science attainment


What should my child be able to do by the end of Year 1?

Every child is different and parents should not be concerned if their child is not able to do all of these things.

As a rough guide, by the end of Year 1 science many children will be able to:

  • Observing closelyRecognise and name the main external parts of animals and plants, such as leaf, flower, head, wings, legs, gills.
  • Recognise and identify a range of common animals, such as a fly, goldfish, robin, frog or rabbit, and use simple scientific language to describe some of their features.
  • Recognise and name common materials, such as metal, plastic, wood, paper and rock, and talk about aspects such as their texture and appearance.
  • Recognise that sound and light come from a variety of sources and name some of these.
  • Point out changes in light sound or movement that result from actions (eg switching on a simple electrical circuit, pushing and pulling objects or tapping a drum gently or with more force).
  • Communicate their findings in simple ways, such as talking about their work or drawing.


How can I help my child at home?

  • Encourage your child's natural curiosity about the world and be prepared to answer lots of questions.
  • Use cookery as an exciting opportunity to discover how things change when heated or cooled.
  • Talk about and discover more about the weather and seasons as you look out of the window and visit local parks.
  • Take children on family days out to science centres, museums, aquariums and conservation centres.
  • Make a windowsill garden with cress, herbs and a bean in a jam jar so the roots can be seen and keep a diary to track the growth.
  • Visit the local pet shop or a zoo and talk about the different animals, where they come from and how they are looked after.
  • Encourage your child to talk about everyday objects, noticing the different materials used in their construction and whether the materials are man-made, naturally occurring or have ever been alive.
  • Look out for everyday examples of pushing and pulling, such as when they push their scooter, when you push them on the swings or pull along a toy. What happens when we push or pull harder? How long will it take to stop?


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Last updated: about 3 years ago