Year 2 Science
Pupils in Year 2 should explore the world around them and raise their own
They should experience different types of scientific inquiries, including
practical activities, and begin to recognise ways in which they might answer scientific
They should use simple features to compare objects, materials and living
things and, with help, decide how to sort and group them, observe changes over time,
and, with guidance, they should begin to notice patterns and relationships.
ask people questions and use simple secondary sources to find answers. They should
use simple measurements and equipment (for example, hand lenses, egg timers) to
gather data, carry out simple tests, record simple data, and talk about what they have
found out and how they found it out.
With help, they should record and communicate
their findings in a range of ways and begin to use simple scientific language.
are not expected to cover each aspect for every area of study
Living things and their habitats
Pupils should be introduced to the idea that all living things have certain characteristics
that are essential for keeping them alive and healthy. They should raise and answer
questions that help them to become familiar with the life processes that are common to
all living things.
Pupils should be introduced to the terms ‘habitat’ (a natural environment
or home of a variety of plants and animals) and ‘micro-habitat’ (a very small habitat, for
example for woodlice under stones, logs or leaf litter). They should raise and answer
questions about the local environment that help them to identify and study a variety of
plants and animals within their habitat and observe how living things depend on each
other, for example, plants serving as a source of food and shelter for animals.
should compare animals in familiar habitats with animals found in less familiar habitats,
for example, on the seashore, in woodland, in the ocean, in the rainforest.
Pupils might work scientifically by: sorting and classifying things according to whether
they are living, dead or were never alive, and recording their findings using charts. They
should describe how they decided where to place things, exploring questions for
example: ‘Is a flame alive? Is a deciduous tree dead in winter?’ and talk about ways of
answering their questions. They could construct a simple food chain that includes
humans (e.g. grass, cow, human). They could describe the conditions in different
habitats and micro-habitats (under log, on stony path, under bushes) and find out how
the conditions affect the number and type(s) of plants and animals that live there.
Pupils should use the local environment throughout the year to observe how different
Pupils should be introduced to the requirements of plants for germination,
growth and survival, as well as to the processes of reproduction and growth in plants.
Note: Seeds and bulbs need water to grow but most do not need light; seeds and bulbs
have a store of food inside them.
Pupils might work scientifically by: observing and recording, with some accuracy, the
growth of a variety of plants as they change over time from a seed or bulb, or observing
similar plants at different stages of growth; setting up a comparative test to show that
plants need light and water to stay healthy.
Animals, including humans
Pupils should be introduced to the basic needs of animals for survival, as well as the
importance of exercise and nutrition for humans. They should also be introduced to the
processes of reproduction and growth in animals. The focus at this stage should be on
questions that help pupils to recognise growth; they should not be expected to
understand how reproduction occurs.
The following examples might be used: egg, chick, chicken; egg, caterpillar, pupa,
butterfly; spawn, tadpole, frog; lamb, sheep. Growing into adults can include reference to
baby, toddler, child, teenager, adult.
Pupils might work scientifically by: observing, through video or first-hand observation
and measurement, how different animals, including humans, grow; asking questions
about what things animals need for survival and what humans need to stay healthy; and
suggesting ways to find answers to their questions.
Uses of everyday materials
Pupils should identify and discuss the uses of different everyday materials so that they
become familiar with how some materials are used for more than one thing (metal can
be used for coins, cans, cars and table legs; wood can be used for matches, floors, and
telegraph poles) or different materials are used for the same thing (spoons can be made
from plastic, wood, metal, but not normally from glass). They should think about the
properties of materials that make them suitable or unsuitable for particular purposes and
they should be encouraged to think about unusual and creative uses for everyday
Pupils might find out about people who have developed useful new materials,
for example John Dunlop, Charles Macintosh or John McAdam.
Pupils might work scientifically by: comparing the uses of everyday materials in and
around the school with materials found in other places (at home, the journey to school,
on visits, and in stories, rhymes and songs); observing closely, identifying and
classifying the uses of different materials, and recording their observations.