Skills development in first and second classes

The skills of working scientifically

Through completing the strand units of the science curriculum the child should be enabled to:


  • Ask questions about animals, plants, objects and events in the immediate environment What is it? What animals and plants are here? How heavy/long/wide/far can it move in a minute? How many cabbage leaves will this snail eat in one day? Which food type is the woodlouse’s favourite? Which material is the best for bouncing?
  • Ask questions that may lead to investigations
    What will happen if we add water? How will we move the box? Will the ball bounce better on the carpet or on the tarmac?


  • Observe accurately both inside and outside the classroom
    use all the senses, separately or in combination, to explore living things,
    objects and events in the immediate environment
  • Observe differences and similarities in the environment e.g. different plants and animals in contrasting environments
  • Observe gradual changes in living things and familiar objects and events over a period e.g. growth of seed / weather diary / evaporation of puddles in the yard


  • Suggest outcomes of an investigation, based on observations
  • Suggest outcomes in the course of an activity (e.g. I think the object will move faster on a rough surface)
  • Suggest outcomes over a longer period (e.g. I think that more seeds will germinate by next week in tray A than tray B)

Investigate and experiment

  • Carry out simple investigations where the problem, materials and method are suggested by the teacher e.g. explore how to make a paper bridge stronger
  • Begin to suggest approaches and methods of solving problems
  • Begin to identify one or two variables with guidance from the teacher e.g. that heat and water are necessary for growth

Estimate and measure

  • Begin to use simple methods to estimate, measure and compare observations
    use non-standard units and some standard units to measure length, mass, time
    and temperature
  • Compare and identify differences in measurements e.g. fast/slow, heavy/light
  • Appreciate the need for standard units