National Curriculum England

You can use some of these guidelines to help inform your planning. Take from any year-group that will be best suited to your child and your topic.

I use these key points to start a mind map for ideas, then go onto thinking about activities that we can do to address these targets.

Science from Year 1 to Year 6


Statutory requirements

Year 1: Pupils should be taught to:

 identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees

 identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees.

Year 2: Pupils should be taught to:

 observe and describe how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants

 find out and describe how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and stay healthy.

Year 3: Pupils should be taught to:

 identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots, stem/trunk, leaves and flowers

 explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant

 investigate the way in which water is transported within plants

 explore the part that flowers play in the life cycle of flowering plants, including pollination, seed formation and seed dispersal.

Animals - including humans:

Year 1: Pupils should be taught to:

 identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals

 identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores 
 describe and compare the structure of a variety of common animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including pets)

 identify, name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body and say which part of the body is associated with each sense.

Year 2: Pupils should be taught to:

 notice that animals, including humans, have offspring which grow into adults

 find out about and describe the basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival (water, food and air)

 describe the importance for humans of exercise, eating the right amounts of different types of food, and hygiene.

Year 3: Pupils should be taught to:

 identify that animals, including humans, need the right types and amount of nutrition, and that they cannot make their own food; they get nutrition from what they eat

 identify that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement.

Year 4: Pupils should be taught to:

 describe the simple functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans

 identify the different types of teeth in humans and their simple functions

 construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey.

Year 5: Pupils should be taught to:

 describe the changes as humans develop to old age.

Year 6: Pupils should be taught to:

 identify and name the main parts of the human circulatory system, and describe the functions of the heart, blood vessels and blood

 recognise the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way their bodies function

 describe the ways in which nutrients and water are transported within animals, including humans.

Everyday Materials

Year 1: Pupils should be taught to:

 distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made

 identify and name a variety of everyday materials, including wood, plastic, glass, metal, water, and rock  describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials

 compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of their simple physical properties.

Year 2: Pupils should be taught to:

 identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses

 find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.

Year 6: Pupils should be taught to:

 compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties, including their hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity (electrical and thermal), and response to magnets

 know that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution, and describe how to recover a substance from a solution

 use knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated, including through filtering, sieving and evaporating

 give reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials, including metals, wood and plastic

 demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes

 explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible, including changes associated with burning and the action of acid on bicarbonate of soda.

Seasonal Changes

Year 1: Pupils should be taught to:

 observe changes across the four seasons

 observe and describe weather associated with the seasons and how day length varies.

Living Things and their Habitats

Year 1: Pupils should be taught to:  explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive  identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other  identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including microhabitats  describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food

Year 4: Pupils should be taught to:

 recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways

 explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment

 recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things.

Year 5: Pupils should be taught to:

 describe the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird

 describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals.

Year 6: Pupils should be taught to:

 describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including microorganisms, plants and animals

 give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics.


Year 3: Pupils should be taught to:

 compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties

 describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock

 recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter.


Year 3: Pupils should be taught to:

 recognise that they need light in order to see things and that dark is the absence of light

 notice that light is reflected from surfaces

 recognise that light from the sun can be dangerous and that there are ways to protect their eyes  recognise that shadows are formed when the light from a light source is blocked by an opaque object

 find patterns in the way that the size of shadows change.

Year 6: Pupils should be taught to:

 recognise that light appears to travel in straight lines

 use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye

 explain that we see things because light travels from light sources to our eyes or from light sources to objects and then to our eyes

 use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them.

Forces and Magnets

Year 3: Pupils should be taught to:

 compare how things move on different surfaces

 notice that some forces need contact between two objects, but magnetic forces can act at a distance

 observe how magnets attract or repel each other and attract some materials and not others

 compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of whether they are attracted to a magnet, and identify some magnetic materials

 describe magnets as having two poles

 predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, depending on which poles are facing.

Year 5: Pupils should be taught to:

 explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object

 identify the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction, that act between moving surfaces

 recognise that some mechanisms, including levers, pulleys and gears, allow a smaller force to have a greater effect.

States of Matter

Year 4: Pupils should be taught to:

 compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases

 observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (°C)

 identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature.


Year 4: Pupils should be taught to:

 identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating

 recognise that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear

 find patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it

 find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it

 recognise that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases.


Year 4: Pupils should be taught to:

 identify common appliances that run on electricity

 construct a simple series electrical circuit, identifying and naming its basic parts, including cells, wires, bulbs, switches and buzzers

 identify whether or not a lamp will light in a simple series circuit, based on whether or not the lamp is part of a complete loop with a battery

 recognise that a switch opens and closes a circuit and associate this with whether or not a lamp lights in a simple series circuit

 recognise some common conductors and insulators, and associate metals with being good conductors.

Year 6: Pupils should be taught to:

 associate the brightness of a lamp or the volume of a buzzer with the number and voltage of cells used in the circuit

 compare and give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches

 use recognised symbols when representing a simple circuit in a diagram.

Earth and Space

Year 5: Pupils should be taught to:

 describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system

 describe the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth

 describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies

 use the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky.

Evolution and inheritance

Year 6: Pupils should be taught to:

 recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago

 recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents

 identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.

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History from Year 1 to Year 6

Key stage 1 Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. 
In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching about the people, events and changes outlined below, teachers are often introducing pupils to historical periods that they will study more fully at key stages 2 and 3.

Pupils should be taught about:

changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life

events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries]

the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods [for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, William Caxton and Tim Berners-Lee, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and LS Lowry, Rosa Parks and Emily Davison, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell]

significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.

Key stage 2 Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.

Pupils should be taught about:

changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age 
Examples - This could include:  late Neolithic hunter-gatherers and early farmers, for example, Skara Brae  Bronze Age religion, technology and travel, for example, Stonehenge  Iron Age hill forts: tribal kingdoms, farming, art and culture

the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain 
Examples - This could include:  Julius Caesar’s attempted invasion in 55-54 BC  the Roman Empire by AD 42 and the power of its army  successful invasion by Claudius and conquest, including Hadrian’s Wall  British resistance, for example, Boudica  ‘Romanisation’ of Britain: sites such as Caerwent and the impact of technology, culture and beliefs, including early Christianity 

Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots 
Examples - This could include:  Roman withdrawal from Britain in c. AD 410 and the fall of the western Roman Empire  Scots invasions from Ireland to north Britain (now Scotland)  Anglo-Saxon invasions, settlements and kingdoms: place names and village life  Anglo-Saxon art and culture  Christian conversion – Canterbury, Iona and Lindisfarne 

the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor
Examples - This could include:  Viking raids and invasion  resistance by Alfred the Great and Athelstan, first king of England  further Viking invasions and Danegeld  Anglo-Saxon laws and justice  Edward the Confessor and his death in 1066 

a local history study
Examples -  a depth study linked to one of the British areas of study listed above  a study over time tracing how several aspects of national history are reflected in the locality (this can go beyond 1066)  a study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066 that is significant in the locality. 

a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066

Examples -  the changing power of monarchs using case studies such as John, Anne and Victoria  changes in an aspect of social history, such as crime and punishment from the Anglo-Saxons to the present or leisure and entertainment in the 20th Century  the legacy of Greek or Roman culture (art, architecture or literature) on later periods in British history, including the present day  a significant turning point in British history, for example, the first railways or the Battle of Britain 

the achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China 
 Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world 
 a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300.

Geography from Year 1 to Year 6

Key stage 1 Pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They should understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness. 
Pupils should be taught to: 
Locational knowledge  name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans  name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas 
Place knowledge  understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country 
Human and physical geography  identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles  use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to:  key physical features, including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather  key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop 
Geographical skills and fieldwork  use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied at this key stage  use simple compass directions (North, South, East and West) and locational and directional language [for example, near and far; left and right], to describe the location of features and routes on a map 
 use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features; devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key  use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment.

Key stage 2 Pupils should extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. 
Pupils should be taught to: 
Locational knowledge  locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe (including the location of Russia) and North and South America, concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities  name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, key topographical features (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers), and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time  identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the Prime/Greenwich Meridian and time zones (including day and night) 
Place knowledge  understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom, a region in a European country, and a region within North or South America 
Human and physical geography  describe and understand key aspects of:  physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle  human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water 
Geographical skills and fieldwork  use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied  use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world  use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies.

ICT from Year 1 to Year 6

A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems.

Key stage 1 Pupils should be taught to:

understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions

create and debug simple programs

use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs

use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content

recognise common uses of information technology beyond school

use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.

Key stage 2 Pupils should be taught to:

design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts

use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output

use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs

understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the world wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration

use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content

select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information

use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.

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This is one example of how a school might plan to cover these aspects.


Autumn - Settling into Nursery - New Routines - Autumn - Ourselves - Our Families - Bears

Spring - Winter - Weather - Animals

Summer - Growing - The Garden - The Sun - Getting ready for Reception


Autumn - Settling In - Ourselves - Our Family - Our School - Autumn - Night Time

​Spring - Winter - Dinosaurs - Transport

Summer - Animals - Summer

Year One

Autumn - Local Area - Now and Then - Animals - Seasonal Change

Spring - In the Garden - Weather Patterns - Toys

Summer - Changes within living memory - Castles

Captain Cook - lives of significant individuals


Plants and Trees

Animals including Humans

Everyday Materials

Seasonal Changes

Year Two

Autumn - Come Fly With Me - Forces - Fire of London - Heating and Cooling​

Spring - Island Explorers - Electricity - Night Time - Science Variation​

Summer - Nocturnal Animals - Plants and Animals - Around the World - Staying Healthy


Living things and their Habitats


Animals including Humans

Uses of Everyday Materials

Year Three

Autumn - Angry Earth - Stone Age - Rocks and Soils - Balanced Diets​

Spring - Ancient Greeks - Living Things - Still Life Drawing - Charles Darwin

Summer - Ancient Egyptians - Properties of Materials - Plants



Animals including Humans

Rocks and Soils


Forces and Magnets

Year Four

Autumn - Rainforest/Brazil - Life Processes - USA​

Spring - The Vikings - Moving and Growing - London - Romans

Summer - The Tudors - Friction - Electricity - Normans - First Lawmakers


Living things and their Habitiats

Animals including Humans

States of Matter



Year Five

Autumn - Anglo Saxons - The Gunpowder Plot - States of Matter - Gasses Around Us​

Spring - Victorians - WW2 - Changing Sound - Life Cycles​

Summer - Water/Rivers - Settlements - Sun and Moon - Keeping Healthy - Ancient Greece


Living things and their Habitats

Animals including Humans

Properties and Changes of Materials

Earth and Space


Year Six

Autumn - Get Me Out of Here (maps and fieldwork) - Islamic Civilisation - Shakespeare

Spring - SAT's Boosters - Vikings​

Summer - Space Race - Astronaut Training


Living things and their Habitats

Animals including Humans

Evolution and Inheritance