Skills development in third and fourth 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 and their relationships
    What animals and plants live here?
    How can we find out what snails like to eat?
    How do the plants and animals depend on each other?
    Are there any signs of animals eating plants or smaller animals in this area?
  • Ask questions that will identify problems to be solved
    Do birds like all red berries?
    Are all materials waterproof?
  • Ask questions that will help in drawing conclusions and interpreting information
    Did the type of soil make any difference to the way the seeds grew?


  • Observe and describe natural and human elements and processes in the immediate environment variety of flora and fauna to be found in a range of environments effects of heating and cooling on a variety of substances
  • Observe and describe characteristics such as the shape, size, colour, pattern, texture and interrelationships of elements in the local environment
    describe weight, lengths and capacity
    use lenses, scales, timers and rulers to aid observations


  • Offer suggestions (hypotheses) based on observations about the likely results of the investigation
    make suggestions based on observations over a period suggest what effects a cause will produce

Investigate and experiment

  • Collect information and data from a variety of sources, including observations in the environment, classroom observations and experiments, photographs, books, maps and information and communication technologies
  • Design, plan and carry out simple investigations
  • Identify one or two obvious variables relevant to the investigation
  • Realise that an experiment is unfair if relevant variables are not controlled
    each tray of seeds must be given an equal amount of water temperature must be recorded at the same site each day to enable reliable comparisons to be made

Estimate and measure

  • Measure, compare and record mass, weight, capacity, time and temperature using appropriate standard units of measurement and simple equipment
    rulers, rain gauges, thermometers, scales