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PLAN Progression in working scientifically skills

This document shows how the working scientifically statements from the science National Curriculum for England are linked and built on across the three phases. To highlight the links, the skills statements are grouped under the following broader skills definitions.

  • Asking questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways

  • Making observations and taking measurements

  • Engaging in practical enquiry to answer questions

  • Recording and presenting evidence

  • Answering questions and concluding

  • Evaluating and raising further questions and predictions

  • Communicating their findings.

The working scientifically statements from the science National Curriculum for England

are presented in bold. The bullet points that follow each statement are additional guidance

that clarifies the expectations.

Working scientifically statements that feature in more than one of the broader skills definitions are shown in italics.

To assess the working scientifically skills of children, observe their execution of skills that have been previously modeled and take note of those children who are not secure in using them. If children are not secure in the skills, further opportunities should be provided, later in the year, for them to revisit them.


In the EYFS, the characteristics of effective learning from the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage are the foundations on which the working scientifically skills build in Key Stage 1. While children are playing and exploring, teachers should be modelling, encouraging and supporting them to do the following:

  • show curiosity and ask questions

  • make observations using their senses and simple equipment

  • make direct comparisons

  • record their observations by drawing, taking photographs, using sorting rings or boxes and, in Reception, on simple tick sheets

  • use their observations to help them to answer their questions

  • talk about what they have done and found out

  • identify, sort and group.

To download this document, visit the Resources section.

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