Back to blog

Key Stage 2 science: what your child will learn

By Atom | Oct 23, 2023, 10:36 AM

Two young schoolgirls wearing labcoats looking through a microscope in a school science lab

Science is one of the compulsory subjects on the Key Stage 2 national curriculum. As a hands-on subject, many children enjoy learning about science by interacting with the world around them.

In this article, we’ll help you understand what your child will learn in Key Stage 2 science. Keep reading to find out:

  • Which topics are on the KS2 science curriculum

  • How to help your child build science skills at home

What is the national curriculum?

The national curriculum is a programme of study for primary and secondary schools in England. State schools teach the same subjects and standards so that children across the country all learn the same things.

The national curriculum is organised into ‘key stages’, which span different age groups. Tests at the end of each key stage assess your child’s performance and understanding of what they have learnt.

  • Early years: ages 3–5 (nursery and reception)

  • Key Stage 1: ages 5–7 (years 1–2)

  • Key Stage 2: ages 7–11 (years 3–6)

  • Key Stage 3: ages 11–14 (years 7–9)

  • Key Stage 4: ages 14–16 (years 10–11)

Years 3–6

Award-winning online learning

Learn English, maths and science with Atom. Get confident in tricky topics with engaging bitesize lessons and over 70,000 interactive questions. Inspire your child to love learning!

Discover Atom

What’s on the KS2 science curriculum?

Here’s a breakdown of the topics your child will learn on KS2 science national curriculum.

Year 3 science curriculum

  • Describe the functions of parts of flowering plants

  • Understand how the requirements for life and growth vary between plants

  • Investigate how water is transported within plants

  • Understand the role of flowers, including pollination, seed formation and seed dispersal

Here’s an example of a Year 3 science question on Atom – the online learning platform for ages 7–11.

A question about light and how we see things on a Year 3 science learning journey on Atom

Year 4 science curriculum

  • Recognise and use classification to group, identify and name living things in the environment

  • Understand that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things

Take a look at an example Year 4 science question on Atom.

A teeth and digestion question on a Year 4 science learning journey on Atom

Year 5 science curriculum

  • Describe the life cycles of mammals, amphibians, insects and birds

  • Describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals

Here’s a science question appropriate for Year 5 on Atom.

A question about properties of materials on a Year 5 science learning journey on Atom

Year 6 science curriculum

  • Classify microorganisms, plants and animals based on similarities and differences

  • Give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics

Take a look at a Year 6 science question on Atom below.

A question about variation, adaptation and evolution on a Year 6 science learning journey on Atom

Year 3 & Year 4 science worksheets

Download free English, maths and science worksheets to support your child's learning! Includes Year 3 and 4 science worksheets covering:

  • Plants

  • Animals including humans

Download now

How is KS2 science tested?

Key Stage 2 science is no longer formally tested. Only English and maths are tested in Year 6 SATs.

Instead, your child’s scientific knowledge and skills will be assessed by their class teacher. They will look at whether your child is working at the expected standard in each topic. This information is usually available in your child’s school report.

KS2 science experiments to try at home

Here are some practical activities you and your child can try at home!

1. Plants: experimenting with flowers

In this activity, your child will need to identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants. They will see how the relationship works between structure and function. They will observe the way that water is transported in plants.

Parts of flowering plants lesson on Atom

  • White flowers (white carnations work well)

  • Food colouring (a variety of colours)

  • Drinking glasses

  • Water

  • A spoon

  • A pair of scissors

  • A kitchen knife

2. Changing materials: make bath bombs

In this activity, your child will learn how some changes are irreversible and result in the formation of new materials. They will observe what a chemical change looks like.

A screenshot from a lesson about irreversible changes on a science learning journey on Atom

  • Food colouring

  • Flower petals or biodegradable body glitter

  • Sweet almond oil

  • A scented oil of your choice (e.g. lavender)

  • A small glass jar

  • A muffin tin

  • Bicarbonate of soda

  • Citric acid

  • Two large bowls

  • Rubber gloves

  • A tablespoon

3. Gravity-defying magnets

In this experiment, your child will learn how magnetic forces can act at a distance and how they attract or repel each other.

A magnets lesson on a science learning journey on Atom

  • A stick

  • String

  • Paperclips

  • A pair of scissors

  • Tale

  • Strong magnets

  • A metal ruler

  • A few books

Learn English, maths and science with Atom

Is your child looking for an extra challenge? Watch them build knowledge, develop confidence, and put their problem-solving skills to the test with award-winning online learning.

Spark their curiosity

Let Atom take your child on a learning adventure with English, Maths and Science! Answer puzzles and watch video lessons, earn coins and explore new worlds. We’re here to help if they get stuck.

Try it for free

Watch them progress

Atom adapts to your child. It fills learning gaps and encourages them to try new challenges. Track their knowledge as their independence grows.

Try it for free

Start your child's learning adventure.

Join over 75,000 children who love learning with Atom. Find out more and get started for free today.

Get started today

Atom Learning Ltd. is registered and incorporated in England and Wales. Company Registration Number: 10867907 VAT number: 316903508 Copyright Atom Learning Ltd. All rights reserved.