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QCA Science Schemes of Work at

key Stages 1, 2 and 3




Growing Plants


Sorting and Using Materials


Plants and Animals in the Local Environment


Helping Plants to Grow Well




Life Cycles


Interdependence and Adaptation






Variation and classification


Energy resources


Ecological relationships


Inheritance and selection


Plants and photosynthesis


Plants for food





Key Ideas


Unit 1B

Growing Plants

Year 1


This unit introduces children to the idea of plants as living things which grow and change.

Children should become aware of similarities and differences in plants.



Section 1:





Children should learn:

that there are different plants in the immediate environment

to treat growing plants with care

  to make careful observations of one or two plants and of where they grow and to communicate these

that plants have leaves, stems and flowers


Find the Flower. Photographs of common wayside flowers.

Detailed diagram of features of flowering plant with worksheet.

Parts of a Plant. Simple interactive on naming major features.

Outline printout to label parts of a plant

* Photographs of common spring flowers.

Growing Plants 1. Help Sparky the Alien with activities on growing plants which include labelling parts of a plant, finding out what a seed needs to grow and the life cycle of plants.

Growing Plants 2. Activities based round the character Sparky the Alien on growing plants. Children can compare vegetables and fruits, label the parts of a tree, spell the parts of a plant and put life cycle pictures in order.

Outstanding series of interactive units on all aspects of tree growth called ’Exploring the Secret Life of Trees’.

Simple ticklist of tree leaf identification

Simple outline of parts of a tree

Learn about Trees. This is a huge and outstanding resource of dozens of pupils’ worksheets and teachers notes on every aspect of trees, woods, animal and plant associations, climate etc.etc. at different levels for KS1 and 2.

Unit 1 is a series of 14 worksheets on features of trees. Suitable for KS1 and lower KS2 covering-

  • Parts of the tree;
  • Fruits and seeds;
  • Trees as homes.

Parts of a plant comprehension and outline.

Diagram of parts of tree with answers and description.

More detailed diagrams and descriptions of plant anatomy

Extensive detailed interactive file on tree and plant features suitable for upper KS2 & KS3. 

Section 2:

Finding Plants

Children should learn:

that plants grow

to make observations of the plants

to use drawings to record their observations and to communicate what happened


Guide to measuring trees

Art and craft activities based on leaf and tree outlines

* Wildflower study, teachers’ notes and worksheets.

* Simple worksheets on tree leaves, flowers and seeds.

* Teachers notes and worksheets on trees.

* Leaf study linked to numeracy.

Section 3:

Watching plants grow

Children should learn:

that plants provide food for humans


Simple printouts on fruit and vegetables.


Section 4:

Plants for our food

Children should learn:

that plants have roots

to observe and compare the roots of different plants

Outline diagram and description of bulbs.

Unit on bulbs and their propagation.

Eating Plants. Interactive on which foods come from plants.



Section 5:

Watering plants

Children should learn:

to make careful observations of the plants and to record these in a simple chart or table provided for them

that plants need water to grow


Helping plants grow well, Interactive game.

Extensive series of worksheets and teachers notes on trees and plant growth. Look at modules 3 & 4.

Fun interactive way to record observations


Section 6:

Plants and light

Children should learn:

that green plants need light to grow

to turn ideas about whether green plants need light to grow into a form that can be tested

to observe and compare green plants grown in light and dark places

to conclude that green plants need light to grow well

What do Plants need to grow? Interactive activity.

Plants need light and water to grow. Attractive interactive whiteboard activities.

Series of interactive units on seeds and propagation


Section 7:

Living and artificial plants

Children should learn:

that plants are living but that an artificial plant is not living

All about Christmas trees, types traditions etc.


Review work carried out in this unit by asking children to draw a picture of a green plant, to label its parts and to indicate eg by drawing, writing or saying what plants need in order to grow healthily eg water/rain, sunlight.


Simple interactives on seed growth and parts of a plant.

Plant Quiz



Sorting and using materials

Year 1

Through this unit children learn about the characteristics and uses of a range of common materials

 and vocabulary for describing and comparing materials


Section 1:

Handling different materials

Children should learn:
that every material has many properties which can be recognised using our senses and described using appropriate vocabulary

to record observations of materials

What we get from Trees

From Wood to Paper: A Diagram of the Process & Chemistry

List of things made from wood.

Useful resource pack on studying trees

Fun Facts about wood

Attractive information sheets called ‘Incredible Wood’  on use of wood

Eaten any Wood Today?

Attractive series of interactive activities on tree growth and wood products

* Find the Tree in Your Classroom. Simple activity sheet.

How to make paper with teachers notes.

Greenpeace book campaign to use recycled paper

Making paper.

Huge wordsearch on forest products

 Outstanding bank of teacher resources on waste and recycling

On the Friends of the Earth website is an outstanding series of information booklets, brightly coloured worksheets and teacher resources on all aspects of climate change, resources and habitats.

Interactive activities and information on forest conservation, tropical hardwoods etc.

Simple information on facts about trees around the world.

Worksheets to record wood use around school

Wood products trail; teachers notes and worksheets on the uses of wood.

What is Made of wood and Paper? A simple but attractive worksheet

Simple pictures and descriptions of tools

Diagram and labelling worksheet of woodworking tools


Plants and animals

in the local environment

Year 2


Through this unit children learn about plants and animals in their immediate environment

and how differences between places very close to each other result in a different range of plants and animals being found.

They learn that like humans, plants and other animals reproduce.


Section 2:

Looking for plants and animals

Children should learn:

that there are different kinds of plants and animals in the immediate environment

to treat animals and the environment with care and sensitivity

to recognise hazards in working with soil

to observe and make a record of animals and plants found

to present results in a table

Three hugely attractive and enjoyable interactive activities on woodland, grassland and pond habitats.

Series of excellent puzzles, wordsearches and crosswords on trees, leaves and creatures.

Worksheet outline of sprouting bean to label

* Worksheets and teachers notes on investigations of Minibeasts.

Simple colouring sheet on features of earthworms

Colouring sheet and description of features of ants

Colouring sheet and description of mallard duck.

A minibeast hunt

Creatures in the forest; a simple crossword

* Worksheets and teachers notes on Woodlice

Section 3:

Describing local habitats

Children should learn:

that there are differences between local habitats

to make predictions about the animals and plants found in different local habitats and to investigate these

to use drawings to present results and make comparisons saying whether their predictions were supported

Who Lives Here? Units on habitats and seed dispersal.

* Worksheets and teachers notes on Grasses.

A Walk in The Woods. A superb interactive Woodland Walk. Childrens activities and hundreds of useful links.

Section 4:

Flowering plants

Children should learn:

that flowering plants produce seeds

Fruit and Seed matching Activity.


Useful Ticklist of Photographs of tree Fruit and Seeds.

Diagram and worksheets on flower anatomy

What do different plant parts do?

Flower anatomy interactive


Section 5:

Growing seeds

Children should learn:

to turn ideas of their own, about what plants need to begin to grow, into a form that can be tested

to observe and make a day-by-day record of observations

to use the results to draw a conclusion about what seeds need to begin to grow and decide whether this is what they expected

that seeds produce new plants

Guide to Growing Seeds

Set of plant life cycle sequencing cards

Diagram of features of a bean seed

Sprouting bean diagram to label.

Investigating seed growth

The response of seedlings to light

Growing radishes in film cans

Template for a model flower

Ideas and worksheets for maths in the school garden.

Section 6:

Comparing growing conditions

Children should learn:

to recognise when a comparison is unfair


Section 7:

Animal reproduction and growth

Children should learn:

that animals reproduce and change as they grow older

The Swan Story, a very attractive interactive book. See also the rest of this superb series of books on Sebastian Swann’s website.


These very attractive interactive whiteboard activities will show pupils the stages of growth in the life cycle of both plants and animals (including humans).


Draw together work in this unit by discussing the habitats with the children and asking them to produce an information sheet, for their parents, about these habitats and the animals and plants that are found there. 

Unit 3B:

 Helping plants grow well

Year 3


In this unit children learn about what plants need to grow well and why it is important that they do.

Section 2:

Plants for food

Children should learn:

  • that plants can provide food for us and some plants are grown for this


Plants help the environment (and us!) in many different ways: Includes a song about the role of plants.


Plants for food. All food comes directly or indirectly from plants.


Which plants give us Food? Attractive interactive whiteboard activities.


Section 3:

Growing plants

Children should learn:

  • to make careful observations and measurements of plants growing
  • to use simple apparatus to measure the height of plants in standard measures
  • to use results to draw conclusions
  • that plants need leaves in order to grow well


Many useful teachers resources on growing plants .

Easy PEAsy plant germination. Excellent series of worksheet activities on germination requirement experiments.

Seeds and Plant Growth Discovery Pack. An outstanding pack of resources on seeds, germination and plant growth.



 Characteristics of Materials

Year 3

Review children's knowledge of materials and their properties by presenting them with a collection of everyday materials and asking them what they know about the materials.

 Talk about responses with the class, drawing out similarities and differences between materials.


Material Matters. Detailed exploration of characteristics of a range of materials.




Year 4

Through this unit children will begin to understand the concept of a habitat, how it provides organisms found there with conditions for life and how animals depend on plants or other animals which eat plants for food. Throughout the unit ways in which organisms are suited to the habitat should be emphasised.


Section 2:

Finding different habitats

Children should learn:

to identify different types of habitat

Maps and information on world habitats or ‘biomes’.

Lesson plans on habitats of the world.

Extensive information on forest clearance, illegal loggging etc.

Excellent interactive games on forests and deforestation.

* Wordsearch on Woodland Habitats.

* * Worksheets on Woodland Habitats.

Section 3:

Different animals in different habitats

Children should learn:

that different animals are found in different habitats

to make predictions of organisms that will be found in a habitat

to observe the conditions in a local habitat and make a record of the animals found

that animals are suited to the environment in which they are found

Downloadable photographs of animals, birds, flowers etc.

Simple interactive on habitats.

See ‘Woodlice Habitat’ for an interesting example of how to record a simple habitat preference test.

*Series of Worksheets and teachers notes on Studying Slugs and Snails.

Activity matching animals to habitats with links to many animal info. sites

Introduction to Rainforests with maps and simple worksheets

Printout outlines of animals and birds of different habitats

Making Biodiversity Happen. This is an absolutely outstanding site on habitats and huge attractive linked databases on animals and plants.

Interactive exploration of different British habitats.

Interactive exploration of different British habitats.

Interactive on Exploring Pond Habitats.

Interactive activity on endangered forest habitats of the world.

Excellent series of interactive activities on habitats and environmental problems, including a new wildlife garden interactive.

Section 4:

Grouping living things

Children should learn:

to group organisms according to observable features


This unit looks at minibeasts and may be useful either prior to embarking on work of a practical nature or after a practical session collecting and observing bugs. This activity should not replace the practical task of collecting bugs.


Pond Explorer and virtual pond dip with teachers notes.


Excellent series of interactive units based on the earthworm including classification and life cycle. Teachers’ guide and kid’s fun activities.

Section 5:

Using keys to identify plants and animals

Children should learn:

to use keys to identify local plants or animals

Interactive pond life keys

Key to British trees

Excellent pond life keys.

Identification Charts of Tree Twigs, Leaves and Flowers.


Section 6:

Investigating plants and animals

Children should learn:

to pose questions about organisms and the habitat in which they live and make predictions

to decide what evidence to collect and to design a fair test

to make reliable observations of organisms

to indicate whether their prediction was valid and to explain findings in scientific terms

Superb series of interactive units called ‘Let’s talk about Insects’.

Superb series of activities on the locust. Includes maths and literacy activities. Great for a mini topic.

See the ‘Ants’ and ‘Earthworms’ powerpoints.

Real Bugs. An absolutely fantastic series of worksheets and activities that could form the basis for a whole mini topic.

*Series of Worksheets and Teachers notes on Investigating Minibeasts.

* Key to Woodland Minibeasts

Section 7:

Finding out about food sources

Children should learn:

to identify the food sources of different animals in different habitats

Interactive game on bird feeding


Section 8:

Identifying food chains

Children should learn:

to identify the structure of a food chain in a specific habitat

that animals are suited to the habitat in which they are found

that most food chains start with a green plant

Extensive series of units on Adaptation, Habitats etc. related to Birds.

Interactive quizzes on Food Chains

*Are our School Grounds Hedgehog Friendly? Series of worksheets, teachers notes and card game on Food Chains in the School Grounds.

Pond Web, An interactive book on pond foodchains.

Interdependence and adaptation of woodland wildlife interactive.


Section 9:

Protecting habitats

Children should learn:

to recognise ways in which living things and the environment need protection

Interactive activity on endangered forest habitats of the world.

Save Our Wood. An interactive exploration of an Ancient Woodland and a Campaign to Save it.





 Life Cycles

Year 5


Through this unit children learn that plants and animals reproduce as part of their life cycle and that in every life cycle there are distinct processes and stages. They should begin to understand how reproduction is important to the survival of the species.


Section 1:

Fruits and seeds


Children should learn:

that flowering plants reproduce

Crossword on Life Cycle of Flowering Plants


Section 2:

Seed dispersal

Children should learn:

that seeds can be dispersed in a variety of ways

to make careful observations of fruits and seeds, to compare them and use results to draw conclusions

that many fruits and seeds provide food for animals including humans

Suggested experiments on seed dispersal.


Section 3:

Seed germination

Children should learn:

that plants reproduce

to consider conditions that might affect germination and plan how to test them

how to alter one factor at a time in order to carry out a fair test

that several seeds should be used in each set of conditions in order to get reliable evidence

to make careful observations and comparisons and use these to draw conclusions

that seeds need water and warmth (but not light) for germination


Suggested experiments on seed growth and germination.

Section 4:

Insect pollination

Children should learn:

that insects pollinate some flowers

Learn to do the Waggle Dance. Activity based on Bees.


Biology of pollination. Animation and a pollination song!


Pollen Park. Great fun. A website with superb graphics featuring an interactive on flower parts, plant growth, pollination and dispersal.


Section 5:

Flower parts for reproduction

Children should learn:

that plants produce flowers which have male and female organs, seeds are formed when pollen from the male organ fertilises the ovum

 These very attractive activities investigate plant reproduction through a series of whiteboard activities.


*Comprehension exercise on How Plants Reproduce.

Section 6:

The life cycle of flowering plants

Children should learn:

about the life cycle of flowering plants including pollination, fertilisation, seed production, seed dispersal and germination


Attractive interactive whiteboard activities on plant life cycles.


Diagram and activity on parts of flowering plants.


Simple worksheet on life cycle of trees


Interactive programme exploring the importance of plants


*Series of worksheets and teachers notes on Plant Cells and Pollination


attractive Interactive activities on growth and life cycle of a tree.


Excellent page including animation on mechanics of seed dispersal



Human and Animal Life Cycles

Children should learn:

that adults have young and that these grow into adults which in turn produce young
that human young are dependent on adults for a relatively long period

Frog life cycle printout

Excellent interactive whiteboard activity on butterfly life cycle.

Butterfly life cycle printout



Section 8:

What is reproduction for?

Children should learn:

that if living things did not reproduce they would eventually die out



 Interdependence and Adaptation

Year 6


In this unit children extend their knowledge of the way in which plants and animals in different habitats depend upon each other and are suited to their environment. They relate feeding relationships to knowledge of plant nutrition.


Section 2:

Plants and light

that green plants need light in order to grow well
to make careful observations of plant growth and to explain these using simple scientific knowledge and understanding
that green plants make new plant material using air, water in the presence of light
that for this to take place the green plant requires leaves

Photosynthesis Explored. Useful series of worksheet activities.


*Series of worksheets and teachers notes on all aspects of tree studies.

Section 3:


Children should learn:

that fertilisers are often added to soils to provide plants with the nutrients they need


Section 4:

Animals and plants in the local habitat

Children should learn:

to use keys to identify animals and plants in a local habitat

*Series of worksheets and teachers notes on Pond Studies.

Section 5:

Interdependence of plants and animals

Children should learn:

that animals and plants in a local habitat are interdependent

how animals and plants in a local habitat are suited to their environment

Games to play to illustrate interdependence and adaptation

Series of units on birds adaptation to habitat

Interactive investigation of trees and woodland habitats.

*Worksheets and Teachers notes on Owls

Investigative Unit on migratory birds


Section 6:

Food chains

Children should learn:

that food chains can be used to represent feeding relationships in a habitat

that food chains begin with a plant (the producer)

Simple food chain interactive activity


*Series of worksheets and teachers notes on Environment and Feeding Relationships.

Section 7:

Plants adapting to soil conditions

Children should learn:

that different plants grow in different soil conditions

that water and nutrients are taken in through the root

that roots anchor the plant in the soil

Interactive activity on soils and plant growth


Section 8:

Testing soil

Children should learn:

to make careful, relevant observations of soils

to draw conclusions from observations and to explain these using scientific knowledge and understanding

*Series of worksheets and teachers notes on Soil Studies.


 Soil layers. Description and diagrams.


Soil Layers diagram to print out and annotate with descriptions


Outstanding interactive activities on soil structure and experiments.



Section 9:

Animals and plants in a different habitat

Children should learn:

that different animals and plants are found in different habitats

how animals and plants in a second habitat are suited to their environment

Series of units on habitats, adaptation and interdependence based on the water vole.

Series of activities on where animals live and care for the environment.

Explore the environment of a rocky shoreline.

Excellent site on animal and plant adaptation. Includes many teachers resources and  0an adaptation song!

Take a virtual tour of a rainforest

Passport to Pond Life. Format for a book on pond creatures and webs.

*Worksheets on Adaptation to Woodland Environment

*Worksheet on Identification of Woodland Birds

Section 10:

Tracing food chains

Children should learn:

to construct food chains in a particular habitat

RSPB food web games, with cards and teacher resources.

* * * Series of worksheets and Card Game on Woodland Foodchains

Food chains and webs crossword with clues and answers.


Key Stage 3 Science Schemes of Work

Resource Links




Unit 7a. Cells

cells are the basic units of life and are organised into tissues from which organs are made

cell structure and differences between plant and animal cells

some functions of cells

Build your own cell. Very useful activity sheets.


label a plant cell diagram


Clear and simple explanation of plant cell structure.


Unit 7B: Reproduction

human reproduction and how offspring are protected and nurtured

consider and compare reproductive patterns in other animals with those in humans

relate what they know of the way their bodies change during adolescence to knowledge about human reproduction, growth and the menstrual cycle


Unit 7D: Variation and classification


 variation within and between species

why classification is important and are introduced to scientific classification of animals

patterns of variation in living things and ways of representing and explaining the occurrence of variations

DNA in the Garden. Series of worksheets or Powerpoints.


Unit 7I: Energy resources


 the concept of energy in the context of fuels as convenient and therefore valuable sources

 the nature and origin of fossil fuels and renewable sources of energy and how their use has implications for the environment

 energy resources for living things: food for people and sunlight for plants

link the energy resources to the role of the Sun as the ultimate source of most of the Earth's energy resources

National Energy Foundation site.


Presentation on some advantages of wood fuel.


29 reasons for planting trees


Unit 8D: Ecological relationships

study a habitat in detail and learn how:

    • organisms can be identified and sizes of populations compared
    • feeding relationships can be modelled quantitatively
    • living things within a community influence each other and are affected by the environment

Teachers TV ‘Scientific Eye’ 20 minute video on habitats and habitat creation.


Biodiversity; What on earth is that?


Unit 9A: Inheritance and selection

that characteristics are inherited and how this is used in selective breeding

why selective breeding is important

 variations arising from environmental differences

Through this ‘Discovering DNA Workshop’ a basic understanding of the role of DNA within the cells of the human body and an appreciation that it is the uniqueness of their DNA "recipes" which makes them all very different people.

In "Ethics, Morality and Animal Biotechnology", Roger Straughan examines the ethical, moral and social issues surrounding relatively recent developments that involve the genetic modification of animals, and cloning by nuclear transfer.


Unit 9C: Plants and photosynthesis

photosynthesis as the key process producing new plant biomass

carbon dioxide for photosynthesis comes from the air and that the water is absorbed through the roots

chlorophyll enables a plant to utilise light in photosynthesis

the role of the leaf in photosynthesis

the importance of photosynthesis to humans and other animals

Teachers TV ‘Scientific Eye’ 20 minute video of visit to Eden Project to see how plants grow.


Science Through Seeds is a series of practicals designed to help 12 - 16 year olds to explore the factors affecting plant growth; reproduction; variation and classification and adaptation.


The Life of the Forest. Excellently illustrated pages on tree anatomy and growth.


Unit 9D: Plants for food

humans as part of a complex food web

factors affecting plant growth

management of food production has many implications for other animal and plant populations in the environment

issues involved in sustainable development of the countryside