Science in the National Curriculum (Extract) 2007

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Following a major overhaul of the entire National Curriculum at Key Stage Three, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority produced a version for science with a structure consistent with other subjects. There were no changes to the other Key Stages, so the Attainment Targets (AT) and Programme of Study (PoS) for Key Stages One and Two remained the same as the 1999 version, and the PoS for Key Stage Four remained the same as the 2004 version. 

At Key Stage Three, the processes and nature of science (commonly referred to by this stage as ‘How Science Works’ (HSW)) had a higher profile, although this was separated into a number of different sections. The emphasis had shifted towards the ‘range and content’ as the vehicle to teach the concepts and processes of HSW. The ‘Importance of science’ statement also indicates a greater shift towards HSW.


The curriculum is presented in separate sections:

Key concepts:

*Scientific thinking

*Applications and implications of science

*Cultural understanding

*Collaboration Key processes:

*Practical and enquiry skills

*Critical understanding of evidence

*Communication Range and content: The three ATs and PoS from previous versions that had focused on science ‘content’ (received knowledge and scientific ‘facts’) are replaced with four themes, in which the number of statements for each was reduced since 2004, but there are explanatory notes with greater detail.

*Energy, electricity and forces

*Chemical and material behaviour

*Organisms, behaviour and health

*The environment, Earth and universe

Curriculum opportunities: This outlined the opportunities that should be provided for pupils while the Key Stage is taught, and included other aspects previously covered in ‘Breadth of study’-style statements - such as the place of argument in science; science in local, national and global contexts; science outside the school environment, and in the workplace; creativity and innovation, and contemporary and historical scientific developments and how they have been communicated; and so on.

Attainment targets: These were still broadly the same although renamed to be consistent with the PoS statements:

*AT1: How Science Works

*AT2: Organisms, their behaviour and the environment

*AT3: Materials, their properties and the Earth

*AT4: Energy, forces and space

As well as its own AT, HSW wording is also present in AT2-4. For example, AT2, level 5 students "recognise that both evidence and creative thinking contribute to the development of scientific ideas, such as the classification of living things".

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