New Oscott Primary School

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Early Years Foundation Stage

Science in EYFS

Science in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is part of Understanding the World (UTW) section of the curriculum. Children are naturally inquisitive and love to ask questions, explore new things and investigate how things work. It is vital, therefore, that we develop their passion of scientific discovery from a young age.

At New Oscott Primary School, we aim to deliver a well-balanced EYFS curriculum, where children can explore, investigate and ask questions about objects, people and resources within their child initiated play and also during adult led and taught sessions.

A fundamental part of the EYFS curriculum is enabling the environment so that children can fully access aspects of UTW within all areas of the classroom, both inside and out.

What Science in Nursery looks like

Communication and Language

*Understand ‘why’ questions, like: “Why do you think the caterpillar got so fat?”

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

*Make healthy choices about food, drink, activity and tooth brushing. 

Understanding the World 

*Use all their senses in hands-on exploration of natural materials.

*Explore collections of materials with similar and/or different properties.

*Talk about what they see, using a wide vocabulary.

*Begin to make sense of their own life-story and family’s history.

*Explore how things work.

*Plant seeds and care for growing plants.

*Understand the key features of the life cycle of a plant and an animal.

*Begin to understand the need to respect and care for the natural environment and all living things.

*Explore and talk about different forces they can feel. 

*Talk about the differences between materials and changes they notice.


What Science looks like in Reception
Communication and Language

*Learn new vocabulary.

*Ask questions to find out more and to check what has been said to them.

*Articulate their ideas and thoughts in well-formed sentences.

*Describe events in some detail.

*Use talk to help work out problems and organise thinking and activities, and to explain how things work and why they might happen.

*Use new vocabulary in different contexts.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development 

*Know and talk about the different factors that support their overall health and wellbeing:

 - regular physical activity

 - healthy eating

 - tooth brushing

 - sensible amounts of ‘screen time’

- having a good sleep routine - being a safe pedestrian


Understanding the World 

*Explore the natural world around them.

*Describe what they see, hear and feel while they are outside.

*Recognise some environments that are different to the one in which they live.

*Understand the effect of changing seasons on the natural world around them.



Reception Early Learning Goals that have a Scientific element 

Communication and Language

Listening, Attention and Understanding


Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Managing Self


Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.


Understanding the World

The Natural World

*Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants.

*Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.

*Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.