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Year 6

Knowledge, Skills and Understanding breakdown for

Working Scientifically


Year 6


Obtaining and presenting evidence


Considering evidence and






•   Can they explore different ways to test an idea,

•   Can they explain why they have chosen specific

Can they find a pattern from their data and

choose the best way, and give reasons?

equipment? (incl ICT based equipment)


explain what it shows?

•   Can they vary one factor whilst keeping the

•   Can they decide which units of measurement

Can they use a graph to answer scientific

others the same in an experiment? Can they

they need to use?



explain why they do this?

•   Can they explain why a measurement needs to

Can they link what they have found out to other

•   Can they plan and carry out an investigation by

be repeated?



controlling variables fairly and accurately?

•   Can they record their measurements in different

Can they suggest how to improve their work and

•   Can they make a prediction with reasons?

ways? (incl bar charts, tables and line graphs)


say why they think this?

•   Can they use information to help make a

•   Can they take measurements using a range of

Can they record more complex data and results


scientific equipment with increasing accuracy


using scientific diagrams, classification keys,

•   Can they use test results to make further

and precision?


tables, bar charts, line graphs and models?

predictions and set up further comparative


Can they report findings from investigations




through written explanations and conclusions?

•   Can they explain, in simple terms, a scientific


•   Can they identify scientific evidence that has

idea and what evidence supports it?



been used to support to refute ideas or

•   Can they present a report of their findings




through writing, display and presentation?


•   Can they report and present findings from




enquiries, including conclusions, causal




relationships and explanations of and degree of




trust in results, in oral and written forms such as




displays and other presentations?





Year 6 (Challenging)

  • Can they choose the best way to answer a question?
  • Can they use information from different sources to answer a question and plan an investigation?
  • Can they make a prediction which links with other scientific knowledge?
  • Can they identify the key factors when planning a fair test?
  • Can they explain how a scientist has used their scientific understanding plus good ideas to have a breakthrough?
  • Can they plan in advance which equipment they will need and use it well?
  • Can they make precise measurements?
  • Can they collect information in different ways?
  • Can they record their measurements and observations systematically?
  • Can they explain qualitative and quantitative data?
  • Can they draw conclusions from their work?
  • Can they link their conclusions to other scientific knowledge?
  • Can they explain how they could improve their way of working?

Living Things, their Habitats and Animals, including humans


Evolution and Inheritance

Living Things & their habitats

Animals, including humans




•   Can they recognise that living things have

•   Can they describe how living things are

•   Can they identify and name the main parts of

changed over time and that fossils provide

classified into broad groups according to

the human circulatory system, and describe

information about living things that

common observable characteristics and

the functions of the heart, blood vessels and

inhabited the earth millions of years ago?

based on similarities and differences including


•   Can they recognise that living things

microorganisms, plants and animals?

•   Can they recognise the impact of diet,

produce offspring of the same kind, but

•   Can they give reasons for classifying plants and

exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way their

normally offspring vary and are not identical

animals based on specific characteristics?

bodies function?

to their parents?


•   Can they describe the ways in which nutrients

•   Can they give reasons why offspring are not


and water and transported within animals,

identical to each other or to their parents?


including humans?

•   Can they explain the process of evolution



and describe the evidence for this?



•   Can they identify how animals and plants



are adapted to suit their environment in



different ways and that adaptation may



lead to evolution?







Year 6 (Challenging)





  • Can they talk about the work of Charles Darwin, Mary Anning and Alfred Wallace?
  • Can they explain how some living things adapt to survive in extreme conditions?
  • Can they analyse the advantages and disadvantages of specific adaptations, such as being on two rather than four feet?
  • Can they begin to understand what is meant by DNA?
  • Can they explain why classification is important?
  • Can they readily group animals into reptiles, fish, amphibians, birds and mammals?
  • Can they sub divide their original groupings and explain their divisions?
  • Can they group animals into vertebrates and invertebrates?
  • Can they find out about the significance of the work of scientists such as Carl Linnaeus, a pioneer of classification?
  • Can they explore the work of medical pioneers, for example, William Harvey and Galen and recognise how much we have learnt about our bodies?
  • Can they compare the organ systems of humans to other animals?
  • Can they make a diagram of the human body and explain how different parts work and depend on one another?
  • Can they name the major organs in the human body?
  • Can they locate the major human organs?
  • Can they make a diagram that outlines the main parts of a body?

Light and Electricity




•  Can they identify and name the basic parts of a simple

•  Can they recognise that light appears to travel in

electric series circuit? (cells, wires, bulbs, switches,

straight lines?


•  Can they use the idea that light travels in straight lines

•  Can they compare and give reasons for variations in

to explain that objects are seen because they give out

how components function, including the brightness of

or reflect light into the eye?

bulbs, the loudness of buzzers, the on/off position of

•  Can they explain that we see things because light


travels from light sources to our eyes or from light

•  Can they use recognised symbols when representing a

sources to object s and then to our eyes?

simple circuit in a diagram?

•  Can they use the idea that light travels in straight lines


to explain why shadows have the same shape as the


objects that cast them?




Year 6 (Challenging)

  • Can they make their own traffic light system or something similar?
  • Can they explain the danger of short circuits?
  • Can they explain what a fuse is?
  • Can they explain how to make changes in a circuit?
  • Can they explain the impact of changes in a circuit?
  • Can they explain the effect of changing the voltage of a battery?
  • Can they explain how different colours of light can be created?
  • Can they use and explain how simple optical instruments work? (periscope, telescope, binoculars, mirror, magnifying glass, Newton’s first reflecting telescope)
  • Can they explore a range of phenomena, including rainbows, colours on soap bubbles, objects looking bent in water and coloured filters.