Science – helping pupils to use evidence to make sense of the world around them!


In science, we will inspire our pupils by giving them the opportunities to pursue their natural curiosity; promoting the experience of exploring and investigating scientific phenomena, in a range of contexts, to ensure a continually evolving knowledge and understanding of the world around them.

Our pupils will be encouraged to ask questions, take risks, experiment, reflect, make and learn from mistakes, in a safe environment; whereby they acquire and apply core skills which equip them for an ever-changing world.

Science helps us understand our relationships with the world around us (how the physical world behaves, the independence of all living things). Making new discoveries increases our sense of awe and wonder at the complexity of the world we inhabit. At the Holgate and Heritage, our vision is to provide a hands on science curriculum, which empowers pupils to explore and discover the world around them. We aim to do this through practical and exciting experiences, which encourage curiosity and foster learning. Pupils at the Holgate and Heritage are naturally curious and passionate about learning. We aim to provide a stimulating and open-minded curriculum that nurtures pupils’ natural curiosity, independence and their on-going knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Through hands on, enquiry-based activities, pupil will confidently experience the joy of exploration, discoveries and improvements.

End points

  • Understand the human body, our scientific history as a species and our impact on the world ecosystem.
  • Be able to conduct basic chemistry experiments and appreciate the importance of chemistry in industry.
  • Use the ideas of forces, energy and matter to interpret events on both a large and small scale.
  • Develop critical thinking as a tool to evaluate evidence at hand.

Domains of Knowledge


  • The human body
  • Environment, evolution and inheritance


  • Elements, mixtures and compounds
  • Chemistry in our world


  • Energy, forces and the structure of matter
  • Electricity, magnetism and waves

Key Concepts

Key Propositional Knowledge Key Procedural Knowledge
The Human Body

What is the body made of?

Cells are the basic building blocks of all living organisms.

Cells may be specialised to carry out a particular function, eg sperm cells, nerve cells and muscle cells.

A tissue is a group of cells with a similar structure and function.

Organs are aggregations of tissues performing similar functions.

Organs are organised into organ systems which work together.

The human circulatory system consists of the heart, which pumps blood around the body (in a dual circulatory system) and blood, which transports oxygen, proteins and other chemical substances around the body.

The human digestive system contains a variety of organs

Enzymes are used to convert food into soluble substances that can be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Respiration releases the energy needed for living processes.

Lifestyle can have an effect on people’s health e.g .diet and exercise are linked to obesity; smoking to cancer; alcohol to liver and brain function.

Infectious (communicable) diseases are caused by microorganisms called pathogens.

Medical drugs are developed and tested before being used to relieve illness or disease. Drugs change the chemical processes in people’s bodies. People may become dependent or addicted to the drugs and suffer withdrawal symptoms without them.

The human body has automatic control systems, which may involve nervous responses or chemical responses coordinated by hormones.

Reflex actions are automatic and rapid.

What is the body made of?

Students should be able, when provided with appropriate information, to explain how the structure of different types of cell relates to their function.

Students should develop some understanding of size and scale in relation to cells, tissues, organs and systems.

Students should be able to identify the position of the major organs in the human body such as the brain, heart, liver, lungs, kidneys and reproductive organs.

Students should be able to identify the function of the main organ systems.

Students should be able to recognise the different types of blood cell from a photograph or diagram.

Students should be able to identify the position of these organs on a diagram of the digestive system.

Students should know the word equation for respiration.

Investigate the effect of exercise on pulse rate.

Investigate the effect of caffeine drinks on pulse rate.

Students should be able to explain the use of vaccination in the prevention of disease.

Use pre-inoculated agar in Petri dishes to evaluate the effect of disinfectants and antibiotics.

Compare the speed of the catching reflex of two people.

Students should be familiar with a diagram of the menstrual cycle.

Students should be able to evaluate the benefits of, and the problems that may arise from, the use of hormones to control fertility.

What are the feeding relationships between living organisms?

Radiation from the Sun is the source of energy for living organisms.

Green plants and algae absorb a small amount of the light that reaches them and make glucose by photosynthesis. These organisms are called producers.

Animals and plants may be adapted for survival in the conditions where they normally live.

Feeding relationships within a community can be represented by a food chain. All food chains begin with a producer.

A food web can be used to understand the interdependence of species within an ecosystem in terms of food resources.

All materials in the living world are recycled to provide the building blocks for future organisms.

Decay of dead plants and animals by microorganisms returns carbon to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide to be used by plants in photosynthesis.

Plants often compete with each other for light and space, and for water and nutrients from the soil.

Animals often compete with each other for food, mates and territory.

Pollution of the environment can occur.

What are the feeding relationships between living organisms?

Students should know the word equation for photosynthesis.

Investigate the rate of photosynthesis in pond weed.

Students should be able to explain how organisms are adapted to live in their natural environment given appropriate information in image or prose format. Examples may include polar bears in the Arctic, or cacti in deserts.

Investigate the use of choice chambers, e.g. with woodlice or maggots.

Investigate the change in temperature as grass cuttings decay.

Compare the growth of plants when seeds are planted at different densities.

Students should recognise that rapid growth in human population means that more resources are used and more waste is produced.

Investigate whether rainwater in a city is more acidic than rainwater in the countryside.

Compare the quality of water from different sources e.g. running water and still water.

How life has developed on Earth

Darwin’s theory of evolution states that all species of living things have evolved from simple life forms that first developed more than three billion years ago.

In natural selection, individuals with characteristics most suited to their environment are most likely to survive to breed successfully.

Artificial selection (selective breeding) is the process by which humans breed plants and animals for particular genetic traits

The genetic material in the nucleus of a cell is made of a chemical called DNA, which is contained in structures called chromosomes.

Chromosomes carry genes that control the characteristics of the body. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Only one pair carries the genes that determine sex: females have the same sex chromosomes (XX); in males the chromosomes are different (XY).

In genetic engineering, genes from chromosomes of humans and other organisms can be ‘cut out’ and transferred to the cells of other organisms.

How life has developed on Earth

Asexual reproduction: investigate how alike the plants grown from runners are, e.g. mint or strawberries.

Students should know that a cell consists of a nucleus that controls the actions of the cell, and cytoplasm.

Investigate whether or not two characteristics are linked, e.g. finger length and height.

Students should be aware of the potential benefits and risks of genetic engineering.

Elements, Mixtures and Compounds

Atoms, elements and compounds

All substances are made of atoms. An atom is the smallest part of an element that can exist.

A substance that is made of only one sort of atom is called an element.

There are about 100 different elements. Elements are shown in the periodic table. Metals are towards the left and the bottom of the periodic table and non-metals towards the right and the top of the periodic table.

Elements in the same group of the periodic table have similar chemical properties.

When elements react, their atoms join with other atoms to form compounds.

Some compounds are made from metals combined with nonmetals, for example sodium chloride and magnesium oxide.

Some compounds are made from only non-metals, for example carbon dioxide.

Atoms, elements and compounds

Students should know that most of the elements are metals.

Students should be able to recognise simple compounds from their names, e.g. sodium chloride, magnesium oxide, carbon dioxide.

How structure affects properties

The three states of matter are solid, liquid and gas. Melting and freezing take place at the melting point, boiling and condensing take place at the boiling point. The three states of matter can be represented by a simple model. In this model, particles are represented by small solid spheres.

When a solid melts to become a liquid the particles are able to move about but stay close together. When a liquid boils and becomes a gas the particles separate and move about rapidly. Substances with high melting points have strong forces that hold their particles together. Substances with low boiling points have weak forces between their particles.

Diamond and graphite are forms of the element carbon with different properties because of their different structures. Diamond is hard because the carbon atoms are joined together in a giant three dimensional structure. Graphite is slippery because the carbon atoms are joined together in layers that can slide over each other.

How structure affects properties

Students should be able to use models of particles as small spheres to represent the three states of matter.

Compare the melting points of a range different substances, e.g. candle wax, beeswax polish, butter, margarine, cooking fat.

Students should be able to recognise diamond and graphite from diagrams of their structures.

Students should be able to select methods from those given to separate simple mixtures.

Separating mixtures

A mixture contains two or more substances not chemically combined together. Mixtures can be separated by processes such as filtration, distillation, crystallisation and chromatography.

Paper chromatography can be used to separate mixtures and can give information to help identify substances. In paper chromatography a solvent moves through the paper carrying different compounds different distances.

Separating mixtures

Compare the time needed to filter mixtures of water and calcium carbonate that has different particle sizes.

Investigate the different colours in inks or food colours using paper chromatography.

Metals and alloys

Unreactive metals, such as gold, are found in the Earth as the metal itself, but most metals are found as compounds that require chemical reactions to extract the metal.

Metals less reactive than carbon can be produced by heating the metal compounds in the ore with carbon.

Ores contain enough metal to make it economic to extract the metal. Large amounts of rock need to be quarried or mined to get metal ores.

We should recycle metals to save resources and limit environmental impacts.

Metals have giant structures of atoms with strong bonds between the atoms and so most metals have high melting points.

Metals are good conductors of electricity and thermal energy. Copper has properties that make it useful for electrical wiring and plumbing.

Aluminium is a useful metal because of its low density and resistance to corrosion.

Most metals in everyday use are alloys. Pure iron, gold and aluminium are too soft for many uses and so are mixed with small amounts of other elements to make alloys, which are harder for everyday use.

Metals and alloys

Students should be able to describe the social, economic and environmental impacts of mining ores and recycling metals.

Compare the properties, such as conductivity or density, of some metals.

The properties of copper are limited to its ability to conduct electricity easily and the ease with which it can be worked.

No knowledge of the extraction process of aluminium is required.

Investigate the hardness of different alloys or steels.



Polymers such as poly(ethene), poly(propene) polystyrene and PVC are made from small compounds called monomers that join together to form very long chains.

Polymers are waterproof, resistant to chemicals, and can be moulded, so they have many useful applications as packaging materials, pipes and containers.

Many polymers are not biodegradable, so they are not broken down by microbes. This can lead to problems with waste disposal.


Compare the biodegradability of different polymers and other materials.

Chemistry in our World

Reactions of acids

Acids react with some metals to produce salts and hydrogen. Hydrochloric acid produces chlorides and sulphuric acid produces sulphates.

Hydrochloric acid produces chlorides and sulphuric acid produces sulphates

The test for hydrogen uses a burning splint held at the open end of a test tube of the gas. Hydrogen burns rapidly with a pop sound.

Acids are neutralised by alkalis (e.g. sodium hydroxide) and bases (e.g. insoluble metal oxides) to produce salts and water.

Acids are neutralised by carbonates to produce salts, water and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide turns limewater milky.

Reactions of acids

Students should be able to complete word equations for these reactions, given the names of the reactants.

Investigate the amount of hydrogen produced when acids react with different metals

Students should be able to complete word equations for these reactions, given the names of the reactants.

Investigate the reactions of acids with different carbonates.

Energy and rate of reaction

Some reactions transfer energy to the surroundings so the temperature increases. Such reactions include combustion, oxidation and neutralisation.

Other reactions take in energy from the surroundings, so the temperature decreases. These reactions include dissolving ammonium chloride in water and reacting citric acid with sodium hydrogen carbonate.

The rate of a chemical reaction may be increased by increasing the temperature, increasing the concentration of reactants, increasing the surface area of solid reactants or by adding a suitable catalyst.

Energy and rate of reaction

Some reactions transfer energy to the surroundings so the temperature increases. Such reactions include combustion, oxidation and neutralisation.

Other reactions take in energy from the surroundings, so the temperature decreases. These reactions include dissolving ammonium chloride in water and reacting citric acid with sodium hydrogen carbonate.

The rate of a chemical reaction may be increased by increasing the temperature, increasing the concentration of reactants, increasing the surface area of solid reactants or by adding a suitable catalyst.

Earth's atmosphere

During the first billion years of the Earth’s existence, there was intense volcanic activity that released gases that formed the early atmosphere and water vapour that condensed to form the oceans. The early atmosphere was mainly carbon dioxide with little or no oxygen.

From about three billion years ago, algae and plants developed and produced the oxygen that is now in the atmosphere, by a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis can be represented by the word equation: carbon dioxide + water → glucose + oxygen

Carbon dioxide was removed from the early atmosphere by dissolving in the oceans and by photosynthesis. Most of the carbon from the carbon dioxide gradually became locked up in rocks as carbonates and fossil fuels

The Earth’s atmosphere is now about four-fifths (80%) nitrogen and about one-fifth (20%) oxygen, with small amounts of other gases, including carbon dioxide, water vapour and argon, which is a noble gas.

Earth's atmosphere

Investigate the production of oxygen by aquatic plants in different conditions by counting bubbles.

Compare the amount of carbon dioxide in fresh air and exhaled air.

Fuels and human impacts on the atmosphere

Crude oil is a mixture of a very large number of compounds. Crude oil is found in deposits underground, e.g. the oil fields under the North Sea.

When fuels burn in a limited supply of air carbon monoxide is produced. Solid particles (soot) may also be produced.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, poisonous gas that can cause death. Solid particles can cause global dimming and problems for human health.

Some human activities increase the amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels and methane from landfill and cattle farming.

Increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere cause the temperature to increase. Many scientists believe that this will result in global climate change.

Fuels and human impacts on the atmosphere

Compare the amount of soot produced when burning different fuels.

Students may be required to describe the impact on the environment of burning fossil fuels. Oxides of nitrogen and sulphur dioxide cause acid rain and problems for human health.


Water for drinking

Water that is safe to drink has small amounts of dissolved substances and low levels of microbes. Most drinking water is produced by choosing a suitable source of fresh water, filtering to remove solids and sterilising to kill microbes. If supplies of fresh water are limited, salty water can be distilled to produce fresh water. This requires a large energy input.

Water for drinking 

Investigate the amount of dissolved solids in water from different locations by evaporating samples and weighing residues


Energy, forces and the Structure of Matter

Energy, energy transfers and energy resources

Describe, for common situations, the changes involved in the way energy is stored when a system changes. For example:

• an object projected upwards

• a moving object hitting an obstacle

• a vehicle slowing down

• bringing water to a boil in an electric kettle.

Students may be required to describe the intended energy changes and the main energy wastages that occur in a range of devices

Energy can be transferred usefully, stored or dissipated, but cannot be created or destroyed.

The idea of efficiency. Whenever there are energy transfers in a system only part of the energy is usefully transferred. The rest of the energy is dissipated so that it is stored in less useful ways. This energy is often described as being 'wasted'. Unwanted energy transfers can be reduced in a number of ways, e.g. through lubrication and the use of thermal insulation.

How the rate of cooling of a building is affected by the thickness and thermal conductivity of its walls. The higher the thermal conductivity of a material the higher the rate of energy transfer by conduction across the material.

Describe the main energy resources available for use on Earth. These include fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas), nuclear fuel, bio-fuel, wind, hydro-electricity, geothermal, the tides, the Sun, water waves. Distinguish between energy resources that are renewable and energy resources that are non-renewable.

Energy, energy transfers and energy resources

Investigate factors that affect the rate of cooling of a container of water, e.g. surface area, initial temperature, types of insulation, colour of the container.

Investigate the thermal conductivity of different materials, e.g. which is better for a saucepan handle: wood or metal?

Forces and work

A force is a push or pull that acts on an object due to the interaction with another object.

All forces between objects are either:

• contact forces – the objects are physically touching

• non-contact forces – the objects are physically separated.

When a force causes an object to move through a distance, work is done on the object.

Work done against the frictional forces acting on an object causes a rise in the temperature of the object

Forces and work

Investigate how different surfaces affect the amount of friction on a moving block.

Speed and stopping distance

Speed is measured by the distance travelled in a certain time. Units of speed include metres per second and kilometres per hour. Simple calculations of average speed using the equation: speed = distance/time will be required.

The stopping distance of a vehicle is the sum of the distance the vehicle travels during the driver's reaction time (thinking distance) and the distance it travels under the braking force (braking distance). For a given braking force the greater the speed of the vehicle, the greater the stopping distance.

Reaction times vary from person to person. Typical values range from 0.2 s to 0.9 s. Knowledge and understanding of methods used to measure human reaction times. Knowledge of how a driver's reaction time can be affected by tiredness, drugs and alcohol. Distractions may also affect a driver's ability to react.

The braking distance of a vehicle can be affected by adverse road and weather conditions, and poor condition of the vehicle. Students should be able to analyse a given situation to identify how braking could be affected.

Speed and stopping distance

Investigate how the speed of a trolley changes as it rolls down a slope.

Students should be able to interpret and evaluate measurements from simple methods to measure the different reaction times of students.

Students should be able to evaluate the effect of various factors on thinking distance.

Investigate factors that affect human reaction time, e.g. tiredness, distraction, practise.


Atoms and nuclear radiation

Some atomic nuclei are unstable. The nucleus gives out ionising radiation. This is a random process called radioactive decay. The nuclear radiation emitted may be:

• alpha particles

• beta particles

• gamma rays.

Properties of alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays limited to their penetration through materials and their range in air. Students will be expected to know some of the uses and dangers of the three types of radiation.

Electricity, Magnetism and Waves

Electrical current

Electric current is a flow of electrical charge. The size of the electric current is the rate of flow of electrical charge.

The current through a component depends on both the resistance of the component and the voltage across the component. The greater the resistance of the component the smaller the current for a given voltage across the component

The resistance of a component is a measure of how difficult it is for an electric current to pass through it.

A complete circuit is necessary for a current to flow. Cells and batteries supply current that always passes in the same direction. This is called direct current (d.c.).

An alternating current (a.c.) is one that changes direction. Mains electricity is an a.c. supply. In the UK it has a frequency of 50 Hz and is 230 V.

Most electrical appliances are connected to the mains using a three-core flex. The insulation covering each wire in the flex is colour-coded for easy identification:

• live wire – brown

• neutral wire – blue

• earth wire – green and yellow stripes.

The earth wire is a safety wire to stop the appliance becoming live and the fuse contains a thin piece of wire, which melts if the current becomes too large, thereby cutting off the supply. Some appliances do not have an earth wire because they are double insulated.

Everyday electrical appliances are designed to bring about energy transfers. The amount of energy an appliance transfers depends on how long the appliance is switched on for and the power of the appliance.

Electrical current

Students should be able to select the correct fuse from a list when given the current rating of an appliance.

Students may be required to use the equation: energy (kWh) = power (kW) x time (h)

Magnetism and electromagnetism

The poles of a magnet are the places where the magnetic forces are strongest. When two magnets are brought close together they exert a force on each other. Two like poles repel each other. Two unlike poles attract each other. Attraction and repulsion between two magnetic poles are examples of non-contact force. The patterns of magnetic fields between bar magnets will be required

When a current flows through a conducting wire a magnetic field is produced around the wire. The strength of the magnetic field depends on the current through the wire and the distance from the wire. Shaping a wire to form a solenoid increases the strength of the magnetic field created by a current through the wire. Adding an iron core increases the magnetic field strength of a solenoid. An electromagnet is a solenoid with an iron core.

Magnetism and electromagnetism

Students should be familiar with common uses of electromagnets, e.g. in scrapyard cranes and relays.

Investigate factors that affect the strength of an electromagnet.

Different types of waves

Waves may be either transverse or longitudinal. In a transverse wave the oscillations are perpendicular to the direction of energy transfer. The ripples on a water surface are an example of a transverse wave. In a longitudinal wave the oscillations are parallel to the direction of energy transfer. Longitudinal waves show areas of compression and rarefaction. Sound waves travelling through air are longitudinal.

Different types of waves

Students should be able to identify wavelength and amplitude on a given diagram

Electromagnetic waves

Electromagnetic waves are transverse waves that transfer energy from the source of the waves to an absorber.

Electromagnetic waves form a continuous spectrum and all types of electromagnetic wave travel at the same velocity through a vacuum (space) or air. The waves that form the electromagnetic spectrum are grouped in terms of their wavelength and their frequency.

Going from long to short wavelength (or from low to high frequency) the groups are:

• radio

• microwave

• infrared

• visible light (red to violet)

• ultraviolet

• X-rays

• gamma rays.

Ultraviolet waves, X-rays and gamma rays can have hazardous effects on human body tissue. The effects depend on the type of radiation and the size of the dose.

Electromagnetic waves have many practical applications, e.g:

• radio waves – television and radio (including Bluetooth)

• microwaves – satellite communications, cooking food

• infrared – electrical heaters, cooking food, infrared cameras

• visible light – fibre optic communications

• ultraviolet – energy efficient lamps, sun tanning

• X-rays – medical imaging and treatments

• gamma rays – for sterilising.

Electromagnetic waves

Testing visual acuity in different colours of light

Students should be able to give brief explanations of why each type of electromagnetic wave is suitable for the practical application.

Investigate the shielding of a mobile phone or remote control device.

Investigate the range over which a Bluetooth device is effective.


Progression map

Loxley Science Progression Map