Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics
3-year scheme of work
This document provides a scheme of work for teaching the Physics content from the 2014 Key Stage 3 Science National Curriculum
in 3 years, using the Exploring Science course.
Exploring Science: Working Scientifically has been designed with flexibility at its heart. We appreciate that some teachers will want
to complete Key Stage 3 in two years and then move on to GCSEs. Others prefer to spend two and a half years on Key Stage 3, and
others prefer to teach Key Stage 3 in three years. Exploring Science is designed to work with all of these approaches.
Each year is divided into 12 units and each unit contains 5 topics. Each topic is divided into Starters, Exploring tasks, Explaining
tasks and Plenaries. This scheme of work is designed so that each topic is a lesson.
Along with full coverage of the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum, this 3-year route includes three revision units, and three units that
support students’ transition to GCSE.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Ia: Energy from food
Learning objectives
Developing
 Compare the temperature rise of water
when some fuels are burnt.
 Identify situations in which energy is
stored.
 Identify situations in which an energy
transfer is taking place.
 Recall the factors that affect the
amount of energy needed in a person's
diet.
 Describe the factors that affect body
mass.
 Recall some substances that are used
as sources of energy.
Securing
 Explain the differing energy needs of
people of different ages and activity
levels.
Exceeding
 Calculate the energy requirements for
a particular person or activity.
Working Scientifically
 Use ratio notation to compare things.
 Simplify and use ratios.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Energy brainstorm
Brainstorm about energy by asking
questions such as: ‘Does it take
energy to lift a book onto a
shelf?’; ‘Does it take energy to leave
the book resting on the shelf?’ Follow
this by asking about things that store
energy.
Exploring: Energy in food
A simple experiment for students to
use to compare at least three
different foods to determine how
much energy is stored in each type.
Explaining: 7Ia Energy from food
Explain that humans and other
animals get their energy from food
and outline the reasons why different
people need different amounts of
energy in their food.
Plenary: Thinking skills
Consider All Possibilities: Ben needs
to eat more than Hilary. (Possible
answers: Ben is a teenager and Hilary
is a toddler; Ben is more active than
Hilary; Ben and Hilary have similar
activity levels but Ben is trying to
gain weight.)
Differentiation
Exploring: Energy
in food
Extend this by
describing other
ways of
comparing
quantities, for
example, ratios.
Resources
Resources
from 7Ia
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Using ratios
to compare
experimental
results.
Practical skills
A simple
experiment for
students to use
to compare at
least three
different foods
to determine
how much
energy is stored
in each type.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Ib: Energy transfers and stores
Learning objectives
Exemplar teaching activities
Developing
Starter: Energy transfer
 Identify situations in which energy is
demonstration
stored.
Heat a beaker of water over a Bunsen
 Identify situations in which an energy
burner. Ask students what is
transfer is taking place.
happening to the water and where
 Recall the different ways in which
the energy is coming from. Show
energy can be stored.
them a battery powered fan (or
 Recall the different ways in which
other, similar device) and elicit the
energy can be transferred.
idea that here the energy store is in
Securing
the cell, and that this energy is
 Recall the law of conservation of
transferred to the moving air.
energy.
 Identify situations in which energy is
Exploring: Circus of energy transfers
stored.
Set up a circus of energy transfer
 Identify situations in which an energy
devices around the lab and ask
transfer is taking place.
students to identify the initial energy
 Describe energy transfer chains for
and final energy stores for each one.
given situations.
Exceeding
Explaining: Energy demonstrations
 Identify useful and wasted energies.
Set up some demonstrations (e.g. a
pendulum, motor-lifting weight, windup toy) and discuss the way that
energy is stored in the beginning and
at the end, and ways in which energy
is transferred.
Plenary: Thinking skills
What Was The Question: strain
energy. (Possible questions: What do
we call energy when it is stored in a
bent bow/stretched spring/ stretched
elastic band/bent ruler?)
Differentiation
Explaining:
Energy
demonstrations
Extend the
discussion to look
at the energy
transfers in more
detail.
Resources
Resources
from 7Ib
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Set up a circus
of energy
transfer devices
around the lab
and ask
students to
identify the
initial energy
and final energy
stores for each
one.
Set up some
demonstrations
(e.g. a
pendulum,
motor-lifting
weight, wind-up
toy) and discuss
the way that
energy is stored
in the beginning
and at the end,
and ways in
which energy is
transferred.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Ic: Fuels
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall what power stations are used
for.
 State the meaning of: biomass/biofuel,
fuel, renewable, non-renewable.
 Describe advantages and
disadvantages of different energy
resources.
 Recall examples of renewable and nonrenewable fuels and their sources.
 Recall the different ways in which
energy can be stored.
 Recall some substances that are used
as sources of energy.
Securing
 Describe the factors that make up a
good fuel.
 Compare the temperature rise of water
when some fuels are burnt.
 Describe what happens in a fuel cell.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Brainstorm fuels
Ask students to think of three
different fuels and some uses for
these fuels.
Exploring: Energy in liquid fuels
Students compare the energy
released by ethanol and paraffin,
using spirit burners to heat a fixed
volume of water for a fixed time.
Explaining: Oil and gas extraction and
uses
Ask students to research the origins
of oil and natural gas, and how they
are extracted from deep
underground, including the fracking
process.
Plenary: Thinking skills
Odd One Out: natural gas, hydrogen,
coal. (Possible answers: coal is the
only solid; hydrogen is the only one
not used in power stations, hydrogen
is the only one that has to be made/
can be renewable.)
Differentiation
Exploring: Energy
in liquid fuels
Students could
calculate the
actual energy
transferred.
Resources
Resources
from 7Ic
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Students
compare the
energy released
by ethanol and
paraffin, using
spirit burners to
heat a fixed
volume of water
for a fixed time.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Id: Other energy resources
Learning objectives
Developing
 State the meaning of: hydroelectricity,
geothermal, solar energy, wind
energy, tidal power.
 Recall examples of renewable fuels and
their sources.
 Recall the different ways in which
energy can be stored.
 Recall the different ways in which
energy can be transferred.
Securing
 Apply the idea of different colours
being good or poor absorbers.
 Describe advantages and
disadvantages of different renewable,
energy resources.
 Explain how the Sun is the ultimate
source of the energy used in
renewable resources.
 Describe what happens in a fuel cell.
 Identify situations in which energy is
stored.
 Identify situations in which an energy
transfer is taking place.
Exceeding
 Decide and explain the best energy
resources to use in an area.
 Describe energy transfer chains for
given situations.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Renewable resources
Demonstrate examples of renewable
resources in action (e.g. use light
shining on solar cells to drive a small
motor). Ask students to suggest how
these demonstrations could relate to
larger scale equivalents.
Exploring: Solar panels
Students find the best colour for a
solar panel by using foil trays or old
cans painted a variety of colours and
measuring the temperature rise of
water inside them.
Explaining: Energy from the Sun
Ensure students understand the link
between energy from the Sun and
rain with reference to the water cycle.
Explain how energy from the Sun
causes wind and waves, which
involves more complex ideas.
Plenary: Thinking skills
Odd One Out: solar, wind, waves.
(Possible answers: all originate with
the Sun, but solar is the only one that
uses the Sun’s energy directly, is the
only one that can be used directly for
heating and is the only one that can
be used in two ways; waves are the
only one that cannot be used on
land.)
Differentiation
Exploring: Solar
panels
Discuss fair ways
to carry out the
experiment.
Resources
Resources
from 7Id
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Students find
the best colour
for a solar panel
by using foil
trays or old
cans painted a
variety of
colours and
measuring the
temperature
rise of water
inside them.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Ie: Using resources
Learning objectives
Developing
 State the meaning of: efficiency,

climate change.
 Recall some effects of climate change.
 Recall the different ways in which
energy can be stored.
 Recall the different ways in which
energy can be transferred.
 Recall some substances that are used
as sources of energy.
 Recall examples of renewable and nonrenewable fuels and their sources.
Securing
 Identify useful and wasted energies.
 Describe advantages and
disadvantages of different renewable,
energy resources.
 Suggest ways in which our use of fossil
fuels/non-renewable fuels can be
reduced.
 Identify situations in which energy is
stored.
 Identify situations in which an energy
transfer is taking place.
 Explain how certain gases cause the
greenhouse effect.
 Explain how the levels of greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere can be
prevented from increasing further.
 Explain the source of the energy in
fuels.
Exceeding
 Describe energy transfer chains for
given situations.
 Explain whether a machine is more
efficient than another.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Making sentences
Ask students to make sentences
using these groups of three words:
oil, Sun, plants; rain, hydroelectricity,
Sun; nuclear, geothermal, Sun. They
should spot the connections: the Sun
being the original source for the
energy stored in oil and the energy
transferred by hydroelectricity.
Exploring: Making changes
Ask students to think about the
different ways of using less energy
and then to choose one they are
interested in. They can work alone or
in small groups to design and carry
out a survey. Students should
consider their results and work out
something they can do to make a
difference.
Explaining: Climate change
Outline some of the possible
consequences of climate change, and
explain that while increased carbon
dioxide emissions is widely thought to
be the major cause not all scientists
agree.
Plenary: Thinking skills
What Was The Question: carbon
dioxide. (Possible questions: What
gas is released when fossil fuels
burn? What gas is contributing to
climate change?)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 7Ie
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Students design
and carry out a
survey into
energy use and
how to use less.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Ja: Current
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall materials that are conductors and
insulators.
 State the meaning of: conductor,
insulator, complete circuit, ammeter,
current.
 Describe why a cell is needed in a circuit.
 Explain how switches work to turn a
circuit on or off.
 Identify common circuit components and
their symbols.
 Model circuits using simple circuit
diagrams.
 Measure current and state its unit.
 Recall that current is not used up.
Securing
 Describe the effects of breaking or
removing bulbs in a circuit.
 Use the idea of a complete circuit to test
whether different materials conduct
electricity.
 Describe and explain how adding more
bulbs affects the brightness of bulbs in a
circuit.
 Construct a circuit from instructions
provided in the form of a circuit diagram.
 Recall the link between current and bulb
brightness.
 Describe how changing the number or
type of components in a circuit affects the
current.
 Describe what the current is like at
different points in a series circuit.
Exceeding
 Recall how electrical cells work.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Torch circuits
Show students a torch and, if
possible, dismantle it to show the
circuit inside. Ask students to
describe how the torch works in
words and/or diagrams.
Exploring: Testing wires
Supply students with a set of
insulated wires and ask them to
check which ones work. The wires
should have been prepared so that
some of them have the metal
broken inside and will not conduct.
Explaining: Circuit diagrams
Provide drawings of symbols and
circuit diagrams and ask students
to match them. Give the students
some practice in drawing circuit
diagrams.
Plenary: Thinking skills
Consider All Possibilities: the bulb
in a circuit will not light. (Possible
answers: the bulb is broken; there
is a break in the circuit; the cell
does not have any stored energy
left; there is no cell in the circuit.)
Differentiation
Exploring:
Testing wires
The circuit can be
extended to
include faulty
bulbs.
Resources
Resources
from 7Ja
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
The use of
symbols
when
communicating science.
Practical skills
Students check
a set of
insulated wires
to see which
ones work.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Jb: Models for circuits
Learning objectives
Developing
 Identify common circuit components
and their symbols.
 Model circuits using simple circuit
diagrams.
 Recall that current is not used up.
 State what is meant by: current.
Securing
 Construct a circuit from instructions
provided in the form of a circuit
diagram.
 Use a model to describe how an
electrical circuit works.
Exceeding
 Evaluate a physical model for electric
circuits on how well it explains data or
observations.
Working Scientifically
 Identify when a physical model is
being used, and what its parts
represent.
 Use a simple physical model to explain
a simple phenomenon.
 Identify when an abstract model is
being used.
 Explain why models are used.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Ideas about electricity
Elicit students' ideas about what
electricity is, by asking questions.
Once a model has been suggested,
elicit ideas about what is flowing,
does the quantity of the ‘stuff’ flowing
changes around the circuit etc.
Exploring: The ‘counter’ model
Set up a model using a bucket full of
counters to represent energy, you as
the cell, students as the charges and
one student as a bulb: the ‘charges'
take a counter from you, hand it over
as they pass the ‘bulb’, and then
return to you for more. Ask students
to suggest what each part represents.
Explaining: Which model is helpful?
Students decide which models of
electricity are most helpful by
considering their strengths and
weaknesses.
Plenary: Thinking skills
What Was The Question?: cell
(Possible questions: what is needed
to make current flow around a
circuit?; what does the boiler and
pump represent in a real circuit? what
does a coal mine (or anything else
suitable) represent in a circuit?)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 7Jb
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Students
participate in a
‘model’ of a
circuit.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Jc: Series and parallel
Learning objectives
Developing
 Explain how switches and broken bulbs
affect a circuit.
 Identify common circuit components and
their symbols.
 Model circuits using simple circuit
diagrams.
 Measure current and state its unit.
 State what is meant by series circuit,
parallel circuit.
Securing
 Construct a circuit from instructions
provided in the form of a circuit diagram.
 Describe how changing the number or
type of components in a circuit affects the
current.
 Recall the differences between how
current behaves in series and parallel
circuits and describe and predict what the
current is like at different points in a
series circuit and parallel circuit.
 Explain how switches can be used to
control different parts of a parallel circuit.
 Explain why the lights in a house are
wired in parallel.
 Analyse a given parallel circuit and say
which components will be on or off with
different combinations of switches closed.
 Recall the link between current and bulb
brightness.
Exceeding
 Use their knowledge of switches and
parallel circuits to devise circuits for
specified purposes.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Series and parallel circuits
Set up a series circuit with two
bulbs and a parallel circuit with
two bulbs and ask students to list
the differences between them.
Remove/add a bulb from each
circuit and elicit the differences.
Exploring: Switches in parallel
circuits
Ask students to build a series
circuit with one switch and two
bulbs and then ask them if they
can use a second switch to turn
just one bulb on or off.
Explaining: 7Jc Using tables
Introduce the use of tables for
effective science communication
and the idea of qualitative and
quantitative data.
Plenary: Bridges in parallel
Show students a map or photo
showing the two bridges across the
River Severn. Explain that the first
bridge was opened in 1966 but by
1990 there were severe traffic
jams, so the Second Severn
Crossing was opened in 1996. Ask
students to suggest how this is a
model for a parallel circuit and to
point out what characteristics of a
circuit it can and cannot represent.
Differentiation
Exploring:
Switches in
parallel circuits
Challenge
students to make
a circuit with two
bulbs and two
switches that can
be switched
independently.
Resources
Resources
from 7Jc
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Students build a
series circuit
with one switch
and two bulbs.
Ask them if
they can use a
second switch
to turn just one
bulb on or off.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Jd: Voltage and resistance
Learning objectives
Developing
 State what is meant by: voltage,
resistance.
 State the units for voltage.
 Describe how a voltmeter is used.
 Recall how the current changes when
the voltage of the supply changes.
Securing
 Explain why the current increases
when the voltage of the supply is
increased.
 Describe how voltage is divided
between the components in a series
circuit.
 Describe how voltage varies in a
parallel circuit.
 Describe the relationship between
resistance and current.
 Describe how the resistance of a wire
varies with its length and thickness.
 Explain how a variable resistor works.
Exceeding
 Use a model to explain the idea of
voltage.
 Describe how voltage and energy are
linked.
 Explain why a voltmeter is connected
in parallel.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Variable resistor
Show students a rheostat connected
in series in a circuit with a bulb. Show
the effect on brightness of moving
the slider and ask them to suggest
how the rheostat works. A display
ammeter can help to reinforce the
link between size of current and
brightness of bulbs.
Exploring: Length of wire and
resistance
Students investigate the effect of the
length of a wire on its resistance
(measured only in terms of the size of
the current in the circuit).
Explaining: Lorry model for
measuring electricity
Use a lorry model to help students to
think about how ammeters and
voltmeters work. Discuss what the
various parts represent and how
useful the model is.
Plenary: Thinking skills
Consider All Possibilities: the current
in a circuit is very low. (Possible
answers: there are lots of
components in the circuit; the
connecting wires are very thin; there
is only one cell in the circuit; most of
the chemicals in the cell have been
used up.)
Differentiation
Exploring: Length
of wire and
resistance
Students can plot
a scatter graph
and a line of best
fit to show their
results.
Resources
Resources
from 7Jd
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Students
investigate the
effect of the
length of a wire
on its resistance
(measured only
in terms of the
size of the
current in the
circuit).
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Je: Using electricity
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall some dangers of electricity.
 Recall some safety precautions to be
followed when using electricity.
 Identify electrical hazards in a
scenario.
 Describe the job that fuses do.
 Recall how the different wires are
connected in a plug.
Securing
 Explain why electricity is more
convenient than other sources of
energy, and classify some of its uses.
 Explain some safety precautions to be
followed when using electricity.
 Explain how a fuse works.
 Explain how a domestic ring main is a
form of parallel circuit.
 Identify errors in the wiring of a plug.
Exceeding
 Apply their knowledge of voltage,
current and electrical safety to novel
situations.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Heating effect of current
Demonstrate the heating effect of a
current, by holding a length of
nichrome wire between two clamp
stands and making it part of a circuit.
When the wire has been warmed up it
can be used to cut paper.
Exploring: Testing fuse wire
Provide students with lengths of fuse
wire of different ratings and ask them
to find out the maximum current for
each wire.
Explaining: Wiring plugs
Show students how to wire a plug,
including precautions such as making
sure no strands of wire are sticking
out, the outer cable is held by the
cable grip, etc.
Plenary: Thinking skills
Odd One Out: light bulb filament,
connecting wire, fuse. (Possible
answers: the connecting wire as it is
not designed to convert electrical
energy into other forms of energy;
the fuse is the only one designed to
melt.)
Differentiation
Starter: Heating
effect of current
Extend the
demonstration to
show how fuses
work.
Exploring:
Testing fuse wire
Encourage
students to
consider the
inherent
inaccuracy of
attempting to
determine the
current at the
exact moment
that the wire
melts, and ways
of allowing for
this, such as
repeating the
measurement
several times.
Resources
Resources
from 7Je
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Demonstrate
the heating
effect of a
current, by
holding a length
of nichrome
wire between
two clamp
stands and
making it part
of a circuit.
Students use
lengths of fuse
wire of different
ratings to find
out the
maximum
current for each
wire.
Show students
how to wire a
plug.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Ka: Forces
Learning objectives
Developing
 Describe what a force is.
 Recall the names of simple forces.
 State what is meant by: contact force,
non-contact force.
 Recall the effects of forces on an
object.
 State what is meant by: friction, air
resistance, water resistance.
Securing
 Classify forces as contact and noncontact.
 Recall the unit for measuring forces.
 Describe how to use a force meter,
newtonmeter.
 State what is meant by: mass, weight.
 Recall the direction in which gravity
acts.
 Identify situations and places where
different forces are likely to be found.
 Represent sizes and directions of
forces using arrows.
 Explain the difference between mass
and weight.
Exceeding
 Compare the way in which force
meters and balances that compare
masses work.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Forces concept map
Ask students to create a concept map
to summarise what they already
know about forces.
Exploring: More forces
Give students practice using force
meters by asking them to weigh a
range of objects and also to measure
other forces, such as the force
required to open a door, to drag a
book or other object along a bench,
or the force they can exert with their
little fingers.
Explaining: Cycle helmets
Discuss the differing views on the use
of cycle helmets. Many people
consider that they may do more harm
than good. Opposing views may be
found on the Internet.
Plenary: Thinking about forces
Odd One Out: friction, gravity,
magnetism. (Possible answers:
friction is the only contact force and
is the only one that always tries to
slow things down; magnetism is the
only one that can push or pull;
gravity is the only one that gives us
weight.)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 7Ka
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Students
practice using
force meters by
weighing a
range of objects
and other
forces.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Kb: Springs
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall the effects of forces on an
object.
 Explain how a force has caused certain
effects on an object.
 State what is meant by extension,
compress, stretch, elastic, plastic.
Securing
 Describe how the extension of a spring
depends on the force applied.
 Explain what is meant by elastic limit,
limit of proportionality.
Exceeding
 Students analyse new situations
involving springs.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Jumping high
Ask students to suggest how they can
make the highest jump possible. This
could be done by asking them to
sketch a labelled diagram. Show the
sketches and ask what all the ideas
have in common.
Exploring: Investigating stretching
Students investigate the stretching
characteristics of various materials
(e.g. springs and elastic bands) to
find out whether a material stretches
in a linear or non-linear fashion.
Explaining: Bathroom scales
Remove the cover from a set of
mechanical bathroom or kitchen
scales. Get students to make an
annotated sketch explaining how
these scales work.
Plenary: Thinking skills
What Was The Question: extension
(Possible question: What is the name
for the amount a spring stretches
when there is a force on it?); it will
not go back to its original length
(Possible question: What happens if a
spring is stretched beyond its elastic
limit?); if the force doubles the
extension doubles (Possible question:
What does Hooke's law say about
springs?)
Differentiation
Exploring:
Investigating
stretching
Students can plot
scatter graphs to
determine the
elastic limit and
limit of
proportionality
for the springs.
Resources
Resources
from 7Kb
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Present data
in scatter
graphs.
Draw lines of
best fit on
scatter
graphs.
Practical skills
Students
investigate the
stretching
characteristics
of various
materials (e.g.
springs and
elastic bands)
to find out
whether a
material
stretches in a
linear or nonlinear fashion.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Kc: Friction
Learning objectives
Developing
 State what is meant by friction.
 Describe how friction forces affect
movement.
 Describe some ways in which friction
can be changed.
 Identify simple situations in which
friction is helpful or not helpful.
Securing
 Recall some effects of frictional forces.
 Explain some ways in which friction
can be changed.
 Suggest how and why friction has been
reduced or increased in unfamiliar
situations.
Exceeding
 Draw lines of best fit on scatter
graphs.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Woodpecker
Show students the woodpecker toy
with the woodpecker stationary at the
top of the pole and then moving, to
explain friction. Get students to
sketch a diagram of this toy,
annotating it to explain how it works.
Exploring: Light a fire
Ask students to use the Internet to
find out how to light a fire without
using matches. Ask them to explain
the methods used in terms of friction.
Explaining: Lubrication demonstration
Demonstrate how a linear air track
works and show students how long a
glider can continue to move if the
track is set up with rubber bands at
each end. Get students to explain
what a lubricant is. Use alternative
demonstrations if you wish.
Plenary: Thinking about friction
Consider All Possibilities: A bicycle is
not going very fast. (Possible
answers: the axles need lubricating;
the brakes are catching; there is a
strong wind blowing; the cyclist is not
pedalling hard.)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 7Kc
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Demonstrate
how a linear air
track works and
show students
how long a
glider can
continue to
move if the
track is set up
with rubber
bands at each
end.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Kd: Pressure
Learning objectives
Developing
 State what is meant by: pressure.
 Recall that 1 Pa = 1 N/m2.
 Describe how the pressure depends on
force and area.
 Describe the effects of high or low
pressure in simple situations.
Securing
 Recall some common units for
measuring pressures.
 Use the formula relating force,
pressure and area.
Exceeding
 Explain applications of pressure in
different situations.
Working Scientifically
 Record numbers using appropriate
units for common measurements (e.g.
of length, mass, time, temperature,
current).
 Recognise the need to convert
measurements into the same units in
order to compare them.
 Recall the meanings of some prefixes
used in the SI system (centi, milli,
kilo).
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Demonstrating pressure
Demonstrate the effects of pressure
by placing various masses on
modelling clay and measuring the
depth of the impression made. Ask
students to explain the relationship
between pressure, weight and area.
Exploring: Reducing pressure under
vehicles
Ask students to use the Internet to
find pictures of different ways in
which the pressure beneath vehicles
can be reduced, and to explain why
this is necessary.
Explaining: Gas pressure
Ask students to describe how gases
can cause pressure. Demonstrate the
effect using a lever arm balance (or
top pan kitchen scales), and allowing
a stream of small balls to fall onto the
pan.
Plenary: Thinking about pressure
Consider All Possibilities: You are
sinking into the ground. (Possible
answers: your feet do not have a big
enough surface area to reduce the
pressure; you are too heavy for the
surface; the ground is boggy.)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 7Kd
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Demonstrate
the effects of
pressure by
placing various
masses on
modelling clay
and measuring
the depth of the
impression
made.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Ke: Balanced and unbalanced
Learning objectives
Developing
 State what is meant by: balanced

forces, unbalanced forces.
 Explain the effects of balanced and
unbalanced forces in simple situations.
Securing
 Explain why a vehicle needs a force
from the engine to keep moving at a
constant speed.
 Describe how new evidence changed
scientific ideas.
Exceeding
 Explain the effects of balanced and
unbalanced forces in unfamiliar
situations.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Balanced forces
Demonstrate various situations where
forces are balanced (e.g. a heliumfilled balloon tied to a mass to stop it
rising). Discuss the types of forces
and how students know they are
balanced.
Exploring: Modelling forces
Show students an image of a
situation with a way of showing the
forces present. Ask them to design
better or clearer ways of representing
forces and movement.
Explaining: Forces and speed
Show students clips of moving
objects (e.g. motor cars, boats) and
explain the forces on them to show
that balanced forces do not affect the
speed of moving objects. Provide
additional clips for students to discuss
whether the forces on the objects are
balanced or unbalanced.
Plenary: Thinking skills
Consider All Possibilities: A car is
slowing down. (Possible answers: the
driver has applied the brakes; the car
is going uphill; the driver has taken
their foot off the accelerator so the
friction forces are greater than the
driving force.)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 7Ke
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Demonstrate
various
situations
where forces
are balanced.
Discuss the
types of forces
and how
students know
they are
balanced.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7La: Animal sounds
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall that sounds are made by
vibrations.
 State the meaning of pitch, volume,
intensity, frequency, amplitude.
 Describe how to make different
sources of sound louder or quieter, or
make sounds of different pitches.
Securing
 Relate the size of a source of sound to
the pitch of the sound it produces.
 Relate the volume/intensity of a sound
to the size of the vibrations producing
it.
Exceeding
 Apply knowledge of sound to new
contexts.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Ideas about sound
Get students to volunteer their ideas
about sound. Organise these through
class votes (hands up) into ‘confident
this is correct’, ‘uncertain about this’
and ‘sure this is incorrect’.
Exploring: Bird calls
Students use the Internet to find
information on the sizes of different
birds and listen to their calls. Ask
them to investigate the hypothesis
that the pitch of a bird’s call depends
on its body size.
Explaining: Loudspeaker
demonstration
Use a loudspeaker cone attached to a
signal generator to demonstrate that
vibrations produce sound. Start with
a very low frequency, so that
students can see the cone moving.
Turn up the frequency, allowing
students to feel the vibrations by
gently touching the speaker cone with
their fingers.
Plenary: Thinking skills
What Was The Question: frequency.
(Possible questions: What is the
name for the number of vibrations
per second? What is measured in
hertz? Which characteristic of a sound
determines the pitch?)
Differentiation
Explaining:
Loudspeaker
demonstration
Go on to
demonstrate the
link between the
amplitude of
vibration and
volume by
putting some rice
on the
loudspeaker and
turn up the
volume.
Resources
Resources
from 7La
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Demonstrate
that vibrations
produce sound
and the link
between the
amplitude of
vibration and
volume.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Lb: Moving sounds
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recognise that all matter consists of
particles.
 Identify a solid, liquid or gas from the
arrangement of particles.
 Recall that sound travels through
different materials by vibrations, and
needs a medium.
 Describe how a sound changes as you
get further from the source.
Securing
 Recall that sound does not travel as
quickly as light.
 Draw the arrangement of particles in a
solid, liquid and gas.
 Use a model incorporating the idea of
vibrations to explain how sound travels
through different materials.
 Describe how fast sound is transmitted
by solids, liquids, gases.
 Use quantitative data to compare the
speed of sound in solids, liquids,
gases.
 Calculate the speed of sound from data
about echoes.
 Use the terms frequency, amplitude,
speed to describe waves.
 Recall that waves transfer energy
without transferring matter.
 Explain why sounds are fainter further
from the source in terms of the waves
spreading out.
Exceeding
 Evaluate the use of a slinky as a model
for sound waves.
 Explain why the intensity of sound
decreases with increasing distance
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Bell jar demonstration
Use a bell jar with a sound source
(such as an electric bell) to show that
sound waves can only travel from one
place to another if a medium is
present.
Exploring: Measuring the speed of
sound
Students carry out an experiment to
measure the speed of sound, using a
clapper (or clap hands) to generate
an echo from a wall.
Explaining: Oscilloscope
demonstration
Use a signal generator and an
oscilloscope to demonstrate how
changing the frequency and intensity
of a sound can lead to the trace of
the sound wave changing on the
screen. Ask students to sketch the
oscilloscope trace, showing how the
trace relates to the motion of the
wave.
Plenary: Thinking skills
What Was The Question: water.
(Possible questions: Name a
substance in which sound can travel
faster than it can in air; Name a
substance in which sound travels
more slowly than in steel; What has
sound travelled through when whales
hear it?; Name a liquid.)
Differentiation
Exploring:
Measuring the
speed of sound
Students can
discuss where
errors may have
occurred in their
experiment and
how they can
improve their
method.
Explaining:
Oscilloscope
demonstration
An optional
extension to this
activity is to
demonstrate that
most sounds are
made up of more
complex series of
waves, by
singing, whistling
or playing various
instruments into
a microphone.
Resources
Resources
from 7Lb
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Presenting
data
graphically.
Practical skills
Students carry
out an
experiment to
measure the
speed of sound,
using a clapper
(or clap hands)
to generate an
echo from a
wall.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
from a source in terms of the energy
dissipating.
 Apply knowledge of sound to new
situations.
Working Scientifically
 Identify line graphs and scatter
graphs, and extract simple information
from them.
 Present data in line graphs and scatter
graphs.
 Identify patterns using scatter graphs.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Lc: Detecting sounds
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall that sounds can be detected by
sound meters and microphones.
 Recall that human hearing can be
damaged by loud sounds.
 Name the parts of the ear.
 Recall that different animals have
different hearing ranges.
 State the meaning of: ultrasound,
infrasound.
 Compare how sounds travel through
different materials.
Securing
 Describe the functions of the parts of
the ear.
 Describe how microphones convert
sound into electrical signals.
 Recall the units for loudness.
 Evaluate different materials used for
soundproofing/ sound insulation.
Exceeding
 Explain how human hearing can be
damaged by sound.
 Explain how animals can detect the
direction from which a sound is
coming.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: What can you hear?
Ask students to sit in complete
silence for two minutes and just
listen. At the end of that time, ask
them what sounds they heard, which
were the loudest, where they were
coming from, etc.
Exploring: Soundproof design
Students investigate which materials
are the best for soundproofing.
Students plot a chart to show their
results.
Explaining: Hearing ranges
Ask students to determine their own
hearing range by using a signal
generator and a loudspeaker
connected to a suitable amplifier to
produce a tone of medium loudness.
Plenary: Thinking skills
Plus, Minus, Interesting: We should
be able to hear a much greater range
of frequencies. (Possible answers:
Plus – we could use a wider range of
frequencies in music; Minus – some
things might make annoying high
frequency noises that we cannot hear
at the moment; Interesting – would
we be able to hear bats? We can feel
sounds below our hearing range
through our bodies.)
Differentiation
Explaining:
Hearing ranges
This activity can
be used for
comparing
hearing ranges.
Means can be
determined from
the data and
spreadsheet
programs can be
used to produce
graphs or bar
charts to show
the hearing
ranges of the
students in the
class.
Resources
Resources
from 7Lc
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Presenting
data
graphically.
Practical skills
Students
investigate
which materials
are the best for
soundproofing.
Students plot a
chart to show
their results.
Students
determine their
own hearing
range by using
a signal
generator and a
loudspeaker
connected to a
suitable
amplifier to
produce a tone
of medium
loudness.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Ld: Using sounds
Learning objectives
Developing
 Describe some uses of ultrasound.
 State the meaning of: absorb,
transmit, reflect.
Securing
 Explain how sonar and echolocation
work.
Exceeding
 Calculate depth or distance from time
and velocity of ultrasound.
 Discuss the ethical aspects of animal
experiments.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Three uses
Ask students to work in pairs to write
down three uses of sound.
Exploring: Dolphins and sound
Ask students to research how
dolphins use sound. They could find
out about dolphin names (whistles
that they use to identify each other)
and how long dolphins can remember
them.
Explaining: Uses of sound
Ask students to research the uses of
sound, e.g. ultrasonography for
medical diagnosis, ultrasonic cleaning
and ultrasound used in
physiotherapy.
Plenary: Thinking skills
Consider All Possibilities: A bat flies
into an obstacle by mistake. (Possible
answers: there is something wrong
with the bat’s hearing; there are
other sources of ultrasound that have
confused the bat; the object has not
reflected the ultrasound from the bat;
it is a bat that does not use
echolocation.)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 7Ld
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
n/a
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 7Le: Comparing waves
Learning objectives
Developing
 Use a model incorporating the idea of
vibrations to explain how sound travels
through different materials.
 State the meaning of: transverse
wave, longitudinal wave.
 Recall what sort of waves sound waves
and waves on water are.
 Recall that waves transfer energy
without transferring matter.
Securing
 Model transverse and longitudinal
waves.
 Compare longitudinal and transverse
waves.
 State the meaning of superposition,
and give examples.
 Explain why the intensity of sound
waves decreases with increasing
distance from a source in terms of the
waves spreading out.
Exceeding
 Compare quantitatively how the
intensity of sound waves and waves on
water decrease with increasing
distance from the source.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Two loudspeakers
Demonstrate superposition as
students enter the room or ask
students to file past the set-up before
starting other activities.
Exploring: Noise and animals
Ask students to research the effects
that noise can have on various
animals. Different groups could be
given different topics to research,
such as the effects on
whales/dolphins of marine noise, the
effects of tourist helicopters on
elephants and the effects of traffic
noise on songbirds.
Explaining: Slinky demonstration
Use a slinky spring to illustrate the
difference between longitudinal waves
and transverse waves. Students can
draw sketches of both waves,
showing direction of wave,
compression due to wave passing
(not transverse waves), motion of
marker etc.
Plenary: Thinking skills
Consider All Possibilities: some waves
on water are bigger than others.
(Possible answers: some waves are
made by bigger stones/disturbances;
some waves are further from their
source so they are smaller; some
waves are a result of two waves in
the same place/superposition.)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 7Le
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Presenting
data
graphically.
Practical skills
Use a slinky
spring to
illustrate the
difference
between
longitudinal
waves and
transverse
waves.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Ia: The particle model
Learning objectives
Developing
 Describe the three states of matter in
terms of shape, volume and
compressibility.
 State what is meant by diffusion,
contraction and expansion.
 Use the particle model of matter to
explain the properties of solids, liquids
and gases, and how their movement
changes with temperature.
 Use the particle model of matter to
explain expansion and contraction at
different temperatures.
 State what is meant by density and
recall its units and the factors that
affect it.
Securing
 Describe how the volumes and densities
of substances change at different
temperatures.
 Identify some consequences of changing
the temperature of objects or
substances, such as structures
expanding or contracting.
 Explain how density depends on mass
and volume.
 Use the particle model of
matter/particle theory to explain density
changes at different temperatures.
Exceeding
 Use quantitative information on
expansion and contraction.
Working Scientifically
 Describe how to measure the volume of
regular and irregular objects.
 Change the subject of a simple
mathematical formula.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Expansion
Demonstrate one or more effects
caused by the expansion of materials
on heating. Ask students to predict
what will happen in each case,
backing these up with an explanation
based on behaviour of the particles.
After each demonstration, ask them
to review their predictions and
explanations.
Exploring: Expansion and contraction
Students research some uses for
expansion and contraction, and some
problems caused by these (and how
the problems are overcome).
Explaining: Bimetallic strip
Show students a bimetallic strip and
explain that it is made from two
different metals stuck together. Show
what happens when it is heated and
ask them to suggest why this
happens. Ask them to predict what
will happen when it cools and why.
Plenary: Thinking about particles and
density
Consider All Possibilities: The volume
of a substance changes. (Possible
answers: it is a gas that has been put
into a bigger/smaller container; it has
been heated and has expanded; it
has been cooled and has contracted.)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 8Ia
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Demonstrate
one or more
effects caused
by the
expansion of
materials on
heating.
Demonstrate
heating and
cooling a
bimetallic strip.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Ib: Changing state
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall that ice is less dense than
water.
 Describe the ways in which the volume
and density changes during the water–
ice transition are different from other
materials.
 Explain how chemical changes are
different from physical changes and
recall some examples of each type.
 Recall that a change of state of a pure
substance takes place at a constant
temperature.
Securing
 Describe the effect of physical
weathering on rocks and explain it in
terms of expansion and contraction.
 Explain what happens to particles and
temperature during changes of state,
in terms of energy and forces.
Exceeding
 Compare densities of materials and
link them to the mass of the particles
and how closely they pack together.
 Explain why ice is less dense than
water.
 Use the idea of latent heats when
discussing changes of state.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Handwarmer
Show students the type of handwarmer that uses a state change to
produce heat. Flex the handwarmer
before setting it off to show that it is
liquid, then click the disc and pass it
around to allow students to feel the
warmth. Ask them to use ideas about
particles to explain why it feels warm.
Exploring: Ice to steam
Students gently heat a beaker of ice
and record the temperature at regular
intervals until the ice has melted and
the water has been boiling for some
time. Students plot line graphs to
show their results.
Explaining: Sublimation
Demonstrate sublimation using iodine
crystals.
Plenary: Thinking about changes of
state
Odd One Out: evaporating,
condensing, freezing. (Possible
answers: freezing involves a solid;
evaporating involves heating;
evaporation is the only one that does
not happen at a fixed temperature for
a particular material.)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 8Ib
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Students gently
heat a beaker
of ice and
record the
temperature at
regular intervals
until the ice has
melted and the
water has been
boiling for some
time.
Demonstrate
sublimation
using iodine
crystals.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Ic: Pressure in fluids
Learning objectives
Developing
 State what is meant by gas pressure
and recall some of its effects.
 Recall that pressure in a fluid changes
with depth.
 Describe how pressure in a fluid
increases with depth.
 Use the particle model of matter to
describe the causes of pressure in
fluids.
Securing
 Explain some effects caused by air or
water pressure using ideas about
forces.
 Use the particle model of matter to
explain atmospheric pressure in
different situations.
 Explain why pressure in a fluid
increases with depth.
 Use the particle model of matter to
explain why gas pressure changes with
temperature, number of particles and
volume.
Exceeding
 Apply ideas about pressure to
barometers and altimeters.
 Use the equation relating pressure to
the depth and density of a liquid.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Air pressure demonstrations
Demonstrate a collapsing can (or one
of the other practicals). Ask students
to write down a prediction with
associated explanations using ideas
about particles and air pressure, and
then to write down
observations during or after the
demonstration.
Exploring: Research altitude sickness
Ask students to find out about
altitude sickness: when it occurs,
what its causes and symptoms are,
and how it can be treated.
Explaining: Pressure all around
Ask students to put on a disposable
plastic glove and put their hand in a
bowl of water. Use the experience to
help students appreciate the idea of
pressure acting equally in all
directions in terms of particles
and their movement.
Plenary: Thinking about pressure
What Was The Question?: There are
more particles in each unit volume of
air. (Possible questions: Why is the
pressure higher inside a tyre when it
has been pumped up? Why is it
easier to breathe at sea level than on
the top of a high mountain?)
Differentiation
Exploring:
Research altitude
sickness
Some students
can go on to
research air
pressure
inside passenger
aircraft or how
training at
altitude can
increase athletic
performance.
Resources
Resources
from 8Ic
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Demonstrate a
collapsing can.
Ask students to
put on a
disposable
plastic glove
and put their
hand in a bowl
of water. Use
the experience
to help students
appreciate the
idea of pressure
acting equally in
all directions in
terms of
particles
and their
movement.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Id: Floating and sinking
Learning objectives
Developing
 State what is meant by upthrust.
 Explain why an object floats.
 Recall the factors that affect the
amount of upthrust on an object.
Securing
 Work out if something will float.
 Use ideas about density changes to
explain how a hot air balloon flies/how
the depth of a submarine is controlled.
Exceeding
 Explain that the upthrust depends on
the weight of fluid displaced.
 Use ideas about displacement to
explain phenomena connected with
floating and sinking.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Dancing raisins
Demonstrate ‘dancing raisins’ by
putting a few raisins into a beaker or
glass of a colourless fizzy drink such
as lemonade. Ask students to
observe and describe what is
happening and then to suggest and
discuss reasons for these
observations.
Exploring: Factors affecting upthrust
Students carry out an investigation to
find out if the volume or the density
of an object affects the amount of
upthrust, using a force meter and
balance.
Explaining: Cartesian diver
Combine ideas about pressure in
fluids and the relationship between
density and floating by demonstrating
a Cartesian diver to students and
asking them to suggest how it works.
Plenary: Thinking about floating
Consider All Possibilities: An object
floats. (Possible answers: the object
is less dense than water; the object is
denser than water but is floating in a
liquid with an even greater density;
the object is shaped so that it has air
spaces so its overall density is less
than water.)
Differentiation
Exploring:
Factors affecting
upthrust
Extend the
investigation by
asking students
to investigate
materials that
float, to find out
how the volume
of each sample
submerged varies
with the volume,
density or weight
of the object.
Resources
Resources
from 8Id
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Apply
mathematical concepts
and calculate
results.
Practical skills
Demonstrate
‘dancing raisins’
by putting a
few raisins into
a beaker or
glass of a
colourless
fizzy drink such
as lemonade.
Students carry
out an
investigation to
find out if the
volume or the
density of an
object affects
the amount of
upthrust, using
a force meter
and balance.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Ie: Drag
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall the different types of resistive
forces and describe how they affect
movement.
 Describe how drag changes with
speed.
 Explain the effects of balanced forces
in simple situations.
Securing
 Describe the ways in which the size of
drag forces can be changed.
 Describe the causes of air and water
resistance.
 Explain why a vehicle needs a force
from the engine to keep moving at a
constant speed.
Exceeding
 Use and interpret the equation linking
drag, density, speed and frontal area.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Speed brainstorm
Ask students to list the differences
between slow and fast vehicles of the
same type (e.g., Boeing 747 and the
supersonic Concorde, light aircraft
and supersonic fighter aircraft, and a
family car and a sports car). Then ask
them to suggest reasons for
these differences.
Exploring: Streamlined shapes
Students investigate the effect of
shape on drag, using a dilute
mixture of wallpaper paste and water
in a large measuring cylinder, and
modelling clay.
Explaining: Humans at the extremes
Research into exploring extreme
altitudes and depths, and ask
students to consider whether it is
ethical to experiment on humans and
animals to facilitate these
explorations.
Plenary: Thinking about drag
Odd One Out: skier, cyclist, pilot.
(Possible answers: skier – the only
one not using a machine; pilot – the
only one not relying on muscle
power to move forwards; pilot – the
only one for whom streamlining could
save fuel.)
Differentiation
Exploring:
Streamlined
shapes
Ask students how
the model helps
them to think
about drag.
Resources
Resources
from 8Ie
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Apply
mathematical concepts
and calculate
results.
Practical skills
Students
investigate the
effect of shape
on drag, using a
dilute mixture
of wallpaper
paste and water
in a large
measuring
cylinder, and
modelling clay.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Ja: Light on the move
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall that light travels in straight lines
and can pass through empty space.
 State the meaning of: opaque,
translucent, transparent, reflect,
scatter, transmit, absorb.
 Use the ray model of light to explain
how we see things that are not sources
of light and to explain how shadows
are formed.
 Recall that sound does not travel as
quickly as light, and sound needs a
medium through which to travel but
light does not.
 State the meaning of transverse wave
and recall that light waves are
transverse waves.
Securing
 Compare longitudinal and transverse
waves.
 Represent the path of light as straight
lines with arrows on diagrams and
describe how you can demonstrate
that light travels in straight lines.
 Use a ray diagram to explain how
shadows are formed and to explain
image formation in pinhole cameras.
Exceeding
 Use ray diagrams to model and explain
the effect of hole size on the image
formed by a pinhole camera.
 Use a model to explain the effect of
various factors on shadow size.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Light for seeing
Reinforce the idea that we see most
objects (i.e. non-luminous things)
because of reflected light. Get
students to make an annotated
sketch showing how they ‘see’ an
object illuminated by a torch in a dark
room and how they see objects in a
lighted room. Discuss ways of
representing the paths of rays.
Exploring: Pinhole cameras
Ask students to investigate how the
size and number of holes in a pinhole
camera affects the image.
Explaining: Straight lines 1
Demonstrate that light travels in
straight lines. In a darkened room
shine a beam of light onto a wall. Puff
some talcum powder into the beam.
The powder dust should illuminate
the beam of light more clearly.
Plenary: Thinking about light
Consider All Possibilities: You cannot
see an object in a room. (Possible
answers: there is no light in the
room; you are not facing the object;
there is an opaque screen between
you and the object; there is light in
the room but none of it is shining
on the object.)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 8Ja
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Students
investigate how
the size and
number of holes
in a pinhole
camera affects
the image.
Demonstrate
that light
travels in
straight lines.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Jb: Reflection
Learning objectives
Developing
 State the meaning of: reflect, scatter,
transmit, absorb, reflection, angle of
incidence, angle of reflection, normal,
plane mirror.
 Describe some uses of plane mirrors.
 Describe the difference between even
reflection and scattering, and recall the
law of reflection.
 Use the ray model of light to explain
how we see things that are not sources
of light.
Securing
 State the meaning of: diffuse,
specular, incident ray, reflected ray.
 Use the ray model of light to explain
how a periscope works.
 Use ray diagrams to explain the law of
reflection and to describe the
differences in light reflected from
smooth and rough surfaces.
 Describe the characteristics of the
image formed by a plane mirror and
use ray diagrams to explain its
formation.
Exceeding
 State the meaning of: convex mirror,
concave mirror.
 Use ray diagrams to explain some of
the features of images in periscopes.
Working Scientifically
 Explain why internationally agreed
symbols and conventions are
necessary in science communication.
 Interpret diagrams that use scientific
symbols and conventions.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Using mirrors
Ask students to think of as many uses
of mirrors as they can. Then ask
them to explain why the mirror is
useful in each case.
Exploring: Make a periscope
Ask students if they know what a
periscope is, and to suggest some
uses for it. Then ask students
to design their own periscope using
their knowledge of mirrors and
reflection.
Explaining: Images in plane mirrors
Demonstrate the various properties of
an image in a plane mirror. The
distance of the image behind the
mirror can be demonstrated simply
by laying a ruler at right angles to the
mirror, or use an object such as a
pencil stuck in a piece of modelling
clay in front and behind the mirror.
Plenary: Thinking about reflection
Odd One Out: incident ray, reflected
ray, normal. (Possible answers:
normal is not a light ray; normal is
the only one that has a fixed
angle.) What Was The Question:
specular. (Possible questions: What is
the name for the type of reflection
that happens in a mirror? Name the
type of reflection where all the
reflected rays go in the same
direction.)
Differentiation
Exploring: Make
a periscope
Ask students to
draw a ray
diagram to
explain how their
periscope works.
Resources
Resources
from 8Jb
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Measuring
angles.
Practical skills
Students design
their own
periscope using
their
knowledge of
mirrors and
reflection.
Demonstrate
the various
properties of an
image in
a plane mirror.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Jc: Refraction
Learning objectives
Developing
 Describe some uses of lenses.
 State the meaning of: refraction,
angle of refraction, refracted ray,
convex lens, converging lens.
 Recall that light, sound travels at
different speeds in different
materials.
 Draw ray diagrams to describe the
refraction of light as it passes into
and out of different media.
 Describe the effects of convex
lenses on parallel beams of light.
Securing
 Explain why refraction occurs.
 State the meaning of focal length,
focus, and principal axis.
 Relate the power of a lens to its
shape.
Exceeding
 Describe the effects of concave
lenses on parallel beams of light.
 State the meaning of: total internal
reflection, critical angle.
 Describe some uses of total internal
reflection such as in optical fibres
and in binoculars.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Refraction demonstrations
Show students some examples of
refraction. For example, stand a pencil in
a beaker of water and ask students to
describe the appearance of the pencil (it
appears bent). Then ask them to explain
the observed effects.
Exploring: Investigating lenses
Students use ray boxes to shine parallel
rays of light through cylindrical
converging lenses of different
thicknesses and note the results.
Explaining: Lens demonstration
Use a ray box with triple slits to show
students how a convex lens affects
light. Then simulate a convex lens using
two narrow prisms (available from
equipment suppliers) placed base to base
and using two ray boxes with single slits.
Ask students to predict what a concave
lens will do to rays of light.
Plenary: Thinking about atoms and
properties
What Was the Question: bigger.
(Possible questions: How does the angle
of refraction compare to the angle of
incidence when light goes from glass to
air? How does the angle of
incidence compare to the angle of
refraction when light goes from air to
water? How does the speed of light in
air compare to the speed of light in
glass/water?)
Differentiation
Exploring:
Investigating
lenses
Extended this by
using a spherical
convex lens to
form an image of
a window or lamp
on a screen to
illustrate the
effect of making
light rays
converge to a
point. The
relationship
between the
curvature of the
lens and the
distance between
the lens and
screen to achieve
a focused picture
can then be
investigated.
Resources
Resources
from 8Jc
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Show students
some examples
of refraction.
Students use
ray boxes to
shine parallel
rays of light
through
cylindrical
converging
lenses of
different
thicknesses and
note the
results.
Use a ray box
with triple
slits to show
students how a
convex lens
affects light.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Jd: Cameras and eyes
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall the primary colours for light.
 Identify the parts of the eye (including
rods and cones) and state their
functions.
 Identify the parts of a camera and
state their functions.
Securing
 Use ray diagrams to explain image
formation in pinhole cameras.
 Identify which parts of the eye cause
refraction of light and describe how
light is focused on the retina.
 Describe similarities and differences
between cameras and eyes.
 Describe some examples of the
absorption of energy transferred by
light leading to chemical or electrical
effects (in the retina or in a camera
sensor).
 Describe how secondary colours of
white light can be made from primary
colours of light.
 Describe the way our eyes detect
different colours.
Exceeding
 Describe the causes and effects of
long-sight and short-sight and how
different types of lens are used to
correct these defects.
 Explain how different types of lens are
used to correct long-sight and shortsight.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Brainstorm cameras and
eyes
Show students a pinhole camera. Ask
them to suggest the differences
between the pinhole camera and a
real camera. Then ask students to
note down any similarities and
differences they can think of between
cameras and eyes.
Exploring: Photograms
Students record simple images by
arranging various translucent and
opaque objects on a piece of
photographic paper and then using a
table lamp to expose the paper until
it turns black.
Explaining: Model eye
Use a 3D model eye to help students
appreciate the structure of the eye.
Ask them to identify the different
parts of the model and explain their
functions.
Plenary: Thinking about cameras and
eyes
Consider All Possibilities: A camera
does not take a good picture.
(Possible answers: the camera is
broken; there is not enough light;
something is covering the lens; the
settings on the camera are wrong;
the person is not holding the camera
still.)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 8Jd
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Students record
simple images
by arranging
various
translucent and
opaque objects
on a piece of
photographic
paper and
then using a
table lamp to
expose the
paper until it
turns black.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Je: Colour
Learning objectives
Developing
 Describe how to split light into
different colours using a prism and
correctly use the terms: spectrum,
dispersion.
 Recall the colours of the visible
spectrum, in order.
 Recall that the appearance of an object
depends on the colour of light shining
on it.
 Recall that filters can be used to make
coloured light.
Securing
 Explain why coloured objects appear
coloured.
 Explain how filters can be used to
make coloured light.
 Explain why objects look different in
light of different colours.
Exceeding
 Explain how paints of different colours
can be made by colour subtraction.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Rainbow brainstorm
Ask students to describe a rainbow
and the conditions in which rainbows
occur. Ask them to suggest where the
colours come from.
Exploring: Exploring filters
Students use white light from a ray
box and shine it through different
filters onto a white screen. Ask them
to explore what happens when they
use two filters, one after the other,
and to suggest explanations for what
they see happening.
Explaining: Mixing paint
Ask students to research how paints
of different colours can be made by
colour subtraction.
Plenary: Thinking about colours
What Was The Question: yellow.
(Possible questions: What colour do
you get if green and red lights are
mixed? What colour has a wavelength
in the middle of the visible spectrum?
What colour does the Sun appear to
be in the morning and afternoon?
What colour would a white car appear
if illuminated in street lights/yellow
lights/a mixture of red and green
lights?)
Differentiation
Exploring:
Exploring filters
Extend this by
asking them to
use a prism to
produce a
spectrum, and
then to
investigate what
happens when
they shine the
spectrum through
different filters.
Resources
Resources
from 8Je
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Students use
white light from
a ray box and
shine it through
different filters
onto a white
screen. They
then explore
what happens
when they use
two filters, one
after the other.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Ka: Temperature changes
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall some units for measuring
temperature.
 Recall that energy will be transferred
by heating between materials at
different temperatures.
 Explain how internal energy and
temperature are different.
 Identify the direction in which energy
will be transferred in given
circumstances.
 Recall the effect of evaporation on the
temperature of the remaining liquid
and recall ways of reducing energy
transfers by evaporation.
 Describe the factors that determine
the temperature of an object.
Securing
 Describe the factors that affect the
rate of transfer of energy by heating.
 Use the particle model of matter to
explain energy transfer by evaporation
from a surface.
Exceeding
 Convert between the Kelvin and
Celsius scales.
 Describe how the average kinetic
energy of the particles in a gas relates
to its Kelvin temperature.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Living in extremes
Ask students to brainstorm the ways
in which humans adapt to extreme
climates around the world by
adapting their housing. Discuss the
ideas put forward.
Exploring: Sweat and cooling
Model a sweaty human body using a
plastic drinks bottle filled with warm
water and wrapped in a damp paper
towel or kitchen roll. Then ask
students to use this model to find out
if sweat can help you to cool down.
Explaining: The cooling effect of
evaporation
Explain the link between the
average speed of particles and
temperature, and why evaporation
produces a cooling effect.
Plenary: Cooling by evaporation
Put one drop of surgical spirit on
to the back of students’ hands, and
one drop of water. Ask students to
explain why the surgical spirit feels
colder than the water, even though
both are at room temperature.
Differentiation
Exploring: Sweat
and cooling
Students could
consider the
validity of their
model by
researching
relevant
information about
the human body
and comparing it
with similar
information about
their model.
Resources
Resources
from 8Ka
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Choosing
and using a
suitable level
of accuracy
for measurements.
Plot graphs.
Practical skills
Model a sweaty
human body
using a plastic
drinks bottle
filled with warm
water and
wrapped in a
damp paper
towel or kitchen
roll. Students
then use this
model to find
out if sweat can
help you to cool
down.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Kb: Transferring energy
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall that energy can be transferred
by heating in conduction, radiation and
convection.
 Recall examples of common thermal
conductors and insulators.
 Identify the process(es) in which
energy is transferred by heating in a
given situation.
 Describe how energy is transferred in
conduction, convection and radiation.
 Explain why particular materials are
used for given purposes.
 Use the particle model of matter to
explain energy transfers by conduction
and convection.
Securing
 Compare conduction in thermal
conductors and thermal insulators.
 Explain the process(es) in which
energy is transferred by heating in a
given situation.
 Compare conduction, convection,
radiation and evaporation as methods
of heat energy transfer.
Exceeding
 Explain the causes and effects of wind
chill.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Touching materials
Provide students with a range of
different materials, including metal
objects and insulating materials, such
as polystyrene foam. Ask them to
touch each material and decide
whether it feels warm or cold. Ask
them to suggest why the materials
feel different to the touch.
Exploring: How fast does metal
conduct heat?
Students measure how fast heat
travels along a metal rod, using a
clamp and temperature sensors at
equal intervals along it.
Explaining: Convection in water
Demonstrate a convection current in
water using a potassium
manganate(VII) crystal, a tube, a
beaker of water and a Bunsen burner.
Ask students to explain why some of
the water turns purple and then why
the purple water moves in the way it
does.
Plenary: Energy transfer
demonstrations
Show students two demonstrations
(wood and metal, and a smoke box)
and ask them to explain what is
happening in each case, using words
such as conductor, insulator, density,
convection, etc., as appropriate.
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 8Kb
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Choosing
and using a
suitable level
of accuracy
for measurements.
Practical skills
Students
measure how
fast heat travels
along a metal
rod, using a
clamp and
temperature
sensors at equal
intervals along
it.
Demonstrate a
convection
current in water
using a
potassium
manganate(VII)
crystal, a tube,
a beaker of
water and a
Bunsen burner.
Show students
two
demonstrations
(wood and
metal, and a
smoke box) and
ask them to
explain what is
happening in
each case.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Kc: Controlling transfers
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall ways of reducing energy
transfer by conduction, convection and
evaporation.
 Apply the idea of different colours
being good or poor emitters or
absorbers.
 Explain why particular materials are
used for given purposes.
Securing
 Evaluate ways of increasing or
decreasing energy transfer by
conduction, convection, radiation and
evaporation.
 Compare the effects of different rates
of conduction in different materials.
Exceeding
 Apply the idea of thermal mass to
homes.
Working Scientifically
 State the meaning of: accuracy.
 State the meaning of: precision.
 Use information about resolution to
choose measuring instruments.
 Explain how to avoid systematic and
random errors.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Water as an insulator
Ask students what they think will
happen when you heat a
borosilicate glass boiling tube of
water with an ice cube held at its
base with a piece of gauze.
Demonstrate the practical and ask
students to explain why the ice does
not melt.
Exploring: Investigating insulation
Students plan and carry out an
investigation of the factors that affect
insulation, such as thickness of
material, type of material, shiny/dull
material, no air, etc.
Explaining: Air as an insulator
Demonstrate that most effective
insulators consist mainly of air, by
asking students to examine a piece of
foam rubber or expanded polystyrene
using a hand lens, or use a vacuum
pump to evacuate the air from a
piece of duvet filling.
Plenary: Thinking about controlling
energy transfer
Odd One Out: glass, feathers, bubble
wrap. (Possible answers: glass does
not contain pockets of air; feathers
come from living things.)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 8Kc
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Choosing
and using a
suitable level
of accuracy
for measurements.
Practical skills
Demonstrate
what happens
when you heat
a
borosilicate glas
s boiling tube of
water with an
ice cube held at
its base with a
piece of gauze.
Students plan
and carry out
an investigation
of the factors
that affect
insulation, such
as thickness of
material, type
of material,
shiny/dull
material, etc.
Demonstrate
that most
effective
insulators
consist mainly
of air.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Kd: Power and efficiency
Learning objectives
Developing
 Match Sankey diagrams to simple
situations.
 State the meaning of efficiency and
recall some advantages of efficient
appliances.
 Identify useful and wasted energies.
 Describe whether one machine is more
efficient than another.
 Describe what power means, and the
relationship between watts and
joules/second.
Securing
 Use Sankey diagrams to compare
appliances or processes.
 Calculate energy efficiencies.
 Explain why the efficiency can never
be greater than 100%.
Exceeding
 Use the formula relating power, energy
and time (in W, J and s).
 Evaluate energy-saving appliances or
modifications.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Appliances brainstorm
Ask students to work in groups to list
all the devices they can that use
electricity (either from cells or from
the mains). Ask them to agree
categories for the main way in which
each device transfers energy, then to
divide their lists into these categories.
Exploring: Power ratings
Students examine various items of
domestic electrical equipment to find
their power ratings. Ask students to
find a connection between the type of
energy transfer that the device
carries out and its power rating.
Explaining: Drawing Sankey diagrams
Guide students through the process
of converting data about energy
transfers into a Sankey diagram.
Plenary: Thinking about power and
efficiency
Odd One Out: electricity, heating,
chemical. (Possible answers: chemical
is the only one that is used as a name
for an energy store; heating is the
only one that is both a useful and a
wasteful way of transferring energy.)
Differentiation
Exploring: Power
ratings
Use a joule meter
to demonstrate
the amount of
energy used in a
fixed time by
different pieces of
equipment. The
results should be
linked to the
power ratings of
the equipment.
Resources
Resources
from 8Kd
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Students
examine
various items of
domestic electri
cal equipment
to find their
power ratings.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Ke: Paying for energy
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall that electricity and mains gas
are charged for on the basis of the
energy transferred.
 Explain why power companies use the
kWh as a measure of energy.
 Recall some advantages of low-energy
appliances.
Securing
 Use data to consider cost efficiency by
calculating payback times.
 Evaluate different ways of keeping
something warm.
Exceeding
 Use data to evaluate methods of
reducing carbon emissions.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Domestic fuel bills
Ask students to work in pairs to come
up with as many different
explanations for this statement
as they can: ‘One household spends
twice as much as another on gas and
electricity each year.’
Exploring: Energy survey
Ask students to carry out an energy
survey, by writing down an estimate
of how long each type of electrical
equipment is used for in their home
each day and its power rating (in
watts). Ask students to analyse their
results (provide guidance).
Explaining: Keeping warm
Discuss (or ask students to research)
some of the consequences of climate
change and why we should try to
reduce our use of fossil fuels.
Plenary: Thinking about temperature
Consider All Possibilities: A
household’s energy bills go down.
(Possible answers: the cost
of electricity or gas has gone down;
they are not using as many
appliances; they have bought
some more efficient appliances; they
have insulated their home.)
Differentiation
Exploring: Energy
survey
Follow up the
energy survey by
asking students
to produce a
leaflet explaining
the best ways to
save energy at
home.
Resources
Resources
from 8Ke
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Students
complete an
energy survey.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8La: Gathering the evidence
Learning objectives
Developing
 Explain how we see the Moon.
 Describe how the Earth, Moon and
planets move.
 Describe the positions of the Earth and
planets in the Solar System.
 Describe some ways of investigating
the planets.
 Compare the geocentric and
heliocentric models of the Solar
System.
Securing
 Use a model to explain why we see
phases of the Moon.
 Explain how technological
developments have increased our
knowledge of the Solar System.
 Explain why the heliocentric model is
our current model of the Solar System.
Exceeding
 Compare different theories for the
origin of the Moon.
 Use a model to explain why we have
partial and total solar eclipses.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Spherical Earth?
Ask students to jot down as many
reasons as they can why we reject
the theory that the Earth is flat and
know that it is roughly spherical.
Students should then write a short
passage explaining the evidence
that the Earth is not flat.
Exploring: Exploring the Solar System
Students work in groups to research
one space mission and produce a
brief presentation on what the
spacecraft looked like, where it went
and something that it found out.
Explaining: Eclipses
Demonstrate what happens during an
eclipse using a globe to represent the
Earth and a smaller ball to represent
the Moon. Ask: Why does an eclipse
not happen every month?
Plenary: Thinking about the Earth in
space
Odd One Out: Sun, Earth, Moon.
(Possible answers: the Sun is the only
one that makes its own heat and
light; the Earth is the only one we
can live on; the Earth is the only one
that we cannot see the shape of; the
Moon is the only one we could do
without and still survive.)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 8La
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Demonstrate
what happens
during an
eclipse using a
globe to
represent the
Earth and a
smaller ball
to represent the
Moon.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Lb: Seasons
Learning objectives
Developing
 Describe differences in the seasons in
terms of day length and the height of
the Sun.
 Explain the changes in day length and
height of the Sun in terms of the tilt of
the Earth’s axis.
Securing
 Use a model to explain the changes in
the seasons.
 Use a model to explain why the height
of the Sun at noon and hours of
daylight vary with latitude.
 Use a model to explain the pattern of
light and dark at the poles.
 Explain the effect of the tilt of the
Earth’s axis on the energy received
from the Sun.
Exceeding
 Obtain information from secondary
sources to investigate the relationships
in astronomical data.
 Analyse the rotations and axes of other
planets to predict annual changes.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Differences between summer
and winter
Carry out a free-writing exercise,
asking students to jot down all the
differences they can think of between
summer and winter.
Exploring: Hours of daylight 2
Ask students to investigate
if everywhere in the world has more
hours of daylight in their summer
months than in their winter months
and how the latitude affects daylight
hours.
Explaining: Seasons demonstration 1
Use a globe and a strong light source
to demonstrate the seasons.
Plenary: Thinking about the seasons
Consider All Possibilities: The North
Pole is not tilted towards the Sun.
(Possible answers: it is
winter/spring/autumn in the northern
hemisphere; we are not on Earth, but
on another planet with a North Pole.)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 8Lb
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Use a globe and
a strong light
source to
demonstrate
the seasons.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Lc: Magnetic Earth
Learning objectives
Developing
 State what is meant by a magnetic
field and recall the shape of the field
of a bar magnet.
 Describe the effect of the Earth’s
magnetic field on compass needles.
 Explain how to arrange two magnets
so that they attract or repel each
other.
Securing
 Recall the direction of a magnet’s
magnetic field.
 Explain how a compass can be used
together with maps for navigation.
 Explain how a plotting compass can
be used to show the shape and
direction of a magnetic field.
 Describe the Earth’s magnetic field
and explain why a magnetic compass
needle points north.
Exceeding
 Describe the shape of the magnetic
field between two bar magnets in
different arrangements.
 Use ideas about the Earth’s magnetic
field to explain variation, dip and
deviation.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Floating paper clip
Have the ‘floating paper clip’ practical
set up at the front of the class as
students enter. This should provide
some instant discussion as to why the
paper clip stays up and this can lead
onto a discussion of magnetic
materials.
Exploring: Field patterns using iron
filings
Students find the shape of a magnetic
field by placing a sheet of paper over a
bar magnet and sprinkling iron filings
onto the paper.
Explaining: Direction of a magnetic field
Magnetise a pin or needle and stick it
vertically through a cork so that it
floats in a bowl of water with its north
pole uppermost. Ask students to predict
what will happen if a magnet is held
near the top of the pin.
Plenary: Thinking about magnetic fields
Plus, Minus, Interesting: Magnets
should always repel each other.
(Possible answers: Plus – it would be
easier to tell the difference between a
magnet and a magnetic material; Minus
– magnets would not be as useful to us
if they only repelled each other;
Interesting – can a magnet exist with
only one pole? You can only tell if you
have two magnets by seeing if they will
repel each other.)
Differentiation
Starter: Floating
paper clip
Extend the
demonstration by
using a bar
magnet to pick
up another bar
magnet and show
students that this
only works if the
two magnets are
held with unlike
poles together.
Exploring: Field
patterns using
iron filings
Extend this
activity by asking
students to find
the shape of the
field of a
horseshoe
magnet.
Resources
Resources
from 8Lc
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Have the
‘floating paper
clip’ practical
set up at the
front of the
class as
students enter.
Students find
the shape of a
magnetic field
by placing a
sheet of paper
over a bar
magnet and
sprinkling iron
filings onto the
paper.
Magnetise a pin
or needle and
stick it
vertically throug
h a cork so that
it floats in a
bowl of
water with its
north pole
uppermost. Ask
students to
predict what will
happen if a
magnet is held
near the top of
the pin.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Ld: Gravity in space
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall the direction in which gravity
acts.
 Recall the factors that affect the
strength of gravity.
 State the meaning of gravitational field
strength.
 Explain why the weight of an object
changes if taken to the Moon, but not
its mass.
 Recall that planets and natural
satellites are kept in orbit by gravity.
Securing
 Describe how mass and distance affect
the strength of gravity.
 Describe how gravity affects bodies in
space.
 Use gravitational field strength to
calculate weights.
Exceeding
 Explain why the speed of a planet
changes as it moves around its orbit.
Working Scientifically
 Use ratio notation to compare things.
 Convert fractions to decimals and
percentages.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Gravity brainstorm
Ask students to write down what they
know about gravity and how it affects
bodies in the Solar System.
Exploring: ROKIT investigation
Demonstrate the safe use of a model
rocket kit. Groups of students could
use the kit to investigate how the
volume of the bottle or the volume
of water used affects the maximum
height reached by the ROKIT, how
the angle of launch or the wind speed
affect the range, or how the ROKIT
can be streamlined.
Explaining: Gravity and orbits
Demonstrate the role of gravity by
swinging a small object around your
head on a length of string.
Demonstrate what would happen if
gravity did not exist by letting go of
the string.
Plenary: Thinking about gravity and
the Solar System
Consider All Possibilities: A rocket
can’t get into orbit around the Earth.
(Possible answers: the mass is too
great; the engines do not produce
enough force; there is not enough
fuel to run the engines for long
enough.)
Differentiation
Exploring: ROKIT
investigation
Challenge
students to work
out how to make
accurate measure
ments of altitude;
and how to
measure the
trajectory (if they
choose to
investigate this).
Resources
Resources
from 8Ld
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Drawing line
graphs and
scatter
graphs, and
using these
to draw
conclusions.
Practical skills
Students can
use a ROKIT kit
to investigate
how various
factors affect
the height it
can reach.
Demonstrate
the role of
gravity by
swinging a
small object
around your
head on a
length of string.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 8Le: Beyond the Solar System
Learning objectives
Developing
 State the meaning of: Sun, star,
galaxy, Universe, constellation.
 Describe the Milky Way.
 State the meaning of: light year.
Securing
 Explain that stars in a constellation 
only appear to be close to each other.
 Compare the relative sizes and
distances of objects in space.
Exceeding
 Describe the different shapes of
galaxies and relate the view of the sky
to a planet’s position in a galaxy.
 Describe some ways in which
astronomers can detect planets
orbiting stars other than the Sun.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Solar System concept maps
Ask students to make concept maps
to show what they have learned
about the Solar System so far.
Exploring: Research spending debate
Ask students to research the
approximate cost of a project (e.g. a
new space telescope, a crewed
mission to Mars) and the kinds of
things the project might find out.
They should also evaluate its
benefits and drawbacks compared
with other ways of finding out about
space.
Explaining: Orion model
Make a model of the main stars in the
constellation Orion by mounting small
polystyrene spheres (representing
stars) on sticks mounted on a board.
Bamboo kebab skewers can be used
for mounting. Students move around
the model to see how the stars
appear when viewed from different
angles.
Plenary: Thinking about the stars
What Was The Question: Polaris.
(Possible questions: Which star is
above the North Pole? Name a star in
the Little Bear constellation. Name
the star that the two end stars in the
Plough point to. Which star do you
use to find north?)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 8Le
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
n/a
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Ia: Forces and movements
Learning objectives
Developing
 Name different forces, such as weight,
friction, upthrust, drag.
 Identify the forces acting on moving
and stationary objects, and the
directions in which they act.
 Explain the effects of balanced and
unbalanced forces in a range of
situations.
 Describe how drag changes with
speed.
Securing
 Calculate the resultant of forces acting
along the same line.
 Explain why vehicles or other moving
objects have a top speed.
Exceeding
 Use scale drawings to find the
resultant of forces in two dimensions.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: True or false
Students work in pairs or threes to
write out five statements about
forces: three correct and two
deliberately incorrect. Ask each group
to read out one of their statements.
The rest of the class should show a
‘thumbs up’ for true statements, and
a ‘thumbs down’ for false ones.
Exploring: Safer roads
Ask students to make a road safety
poster or computer presentation. The
presentation should describe
the forces on a moving car, how
these forces can be changed and how
the balance of these forces affects its
movement.
Explaining: Air track demonstration
Demonstrate the effects of friction on
movement using a linear air track.
Plenary: Thinking about forces
Consider All Possibilities: Car A has a
higher top speed than car B. (Possible
answers: car A has a more powerful
engine/can produce a bigger
force from its engine; car A has less
friction in its wheels, etc.; car A has a
more streamlined shape so its
air resistance is less.)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 9Ia
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Demonstrate
the effects of
friction on
movement usin
g a linear air
track.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Ib: Energy for movement
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall the different ways in which
energy can be transferred and stored.
 Identify situations in which energy is
stored or in which an energy transfer
is taking place.
 Recall examples of renewable and
nonrenewable energy resources.
 Identify useful and wasted energies.
 Recall the law of conservation of
energy.
Securing
 State the meaning of efficiency.
 Describe the factors that affect an
object’s kinetic energy and
gravitational potential energy.
Exceeding
 Apply ideas about energy stores and
transfers to complex situations.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Alphabet words
Ask students to write out the
alphabet vertically on a sheet of scrap
paper and then to work in small
groups to write one or more words
for each letter that are connected
with energy stores, transfers and
resources.
Exploring: Investigating pendulums
Students investigate the factors that
affect the swing of a pendulum, such
as the length, mass or initial
amplitude of swing on the period
(time per swing).
Explaining: Energy transfers and
stores
Set up two experiments to
demonstrate energy transfers and
stores: an electric motor connected to
a cell, driving a pulley that can
be used to lift a weight and a linear
air track with elastic bands at the
ends and set a glider moving gently.
Plenary: Thinking about energy
Odd One Out: solar energy, coal, tidal
power. (Possible answers: coal is the
only non-renewable resource; coal is
the only resource that can easily be
stored; tidal power is the only one
that can be used only to generate
electricity (solar can provide heating
or electricity, as can coal).)
Differentiation
Explaining:
Energy transfers
and stores
Set a pendulum
swinging and ask
students to
explain why the
pendulum will
eventually stop
swinging.
Resources
Resources
from 9Ib
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Students
investigate the
factors that
affect the swing
of a pendulum,
such as the
length, mass or
initial amplitude
of swing on the
period (time per
swing).
Demonstrate
energy
transfers and
stores using an
electric motor
connected to a
cell, driving a
pulley that can
be used to lift a
weight, and a
linear air track
with elastic
bands at the
ends and set a
glider moving
gently.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Ic: Speed
Learning objectives
Developing
 Describe the meaning of speed and
mean speed.
 Explain how the distance travelled and
the time taken affects the speed.
 Use the formula relating speed,
distance and time.
 Represent simple journeys on a
distance– time graph.
 Describe changes of speed shown on a
distance–time graph.
 Explain what relative speed means.
Securing
 Explain why the maximum speed on a
journey is usually greater than the
mean speed.
 Calculate speeds from the gradient of
a distance–time graph.
 Calculate the relative speed between
two objects moving along the same
line.
Exceeding
 Work out the direction of relative
motion for objects not moving along
the same line.
Working Scientifically
 Change the subject of a simple
mathematical formula.
 Calculate the gradient of a line on a
graph.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Brainstorm speed
Ask students to jot down their ideas
about speed, what it means, its units
of measurement and some examples
of fast- and slow-moving objects.
Exploring: Investigating speed
Students investigate the variables
that affect the speed of toy cars
running down a ramp. Factors that
could be investigated: steepness of
the slope, mass of the cars/trolleys,
type of car, different surfaces for the
ramp. Use light gates to measure the
mean speed of the cars.
Explaining: Measuring speed
demonstration
Demonstrate how a light gate can be
used to measure the speed of a toy
car or trolley down a ramp.
Plenary: Thinking about speed
Consider All Possibilities: One car
completes its journey in a shorter
time than another. (Possible answers:
it travels faster; it does not stop and
the other does; it does not have as
far to go.)
Differentiation
Explaining:
Measuring speed
demonstration
Use this
demonstration to
reinforce the
meaning of
accuracy and
reliability.
Resources
Resources
from 9Ic
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Students
investigate the
variables that
affect the speed
of toy cars
running down a
ramp.
Demonstrate
how a light gate
can be used
to measure the
speed of a toy
car or trolley
down a ramp.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Id: Turning forces
Learning objectives
Developing
 Describe how a simple lever can
magnify force or distance.
 Identify the pivot, load and effort in
Class 1 levers.
 Explain how levers are used in
common devices.
 State what is meant by a moment of a
force and recall its units.
 Recall that an object will balance if the
moments are equal and opposite.
 Describe the factors that affect the size
of a moment.
Securing
 Identify the pivot, load and effort in
Class 2 and Class 3 levers.
 Use the formula relating moment,
force and perpendicular distance.
Exceeding
 Describe how gears affect the force
needed to move an object and the
speed of movement.
 Explain how gears work using ideas
about moments.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Examples of levers
Show students examples of the same
type of machine, such as a pair of
embroidery scissors and a pair of
kitchen scissors, or a small and large
spanner. Ask students why the things
are made in different sizes and ask
them to suggest situations in which
they would use the large or the small
example.
Exploring: Using levers
Set up a circus and allow students to
try different levers. Ask students to
identify the pivot and the position of
the effort.
Explaining: Perpendicular distances
Use a long object with a weighted end
to demonstrate that, when working
out a moment, the distance used
must be perpendicular to the force.
Calculate what the moment of the
weight.
Plenary: Thinking about levers
Consider All Possibilities: You cannot
lift a heavy mass using a lever.
(Possible answers: the mass is too far
away from the fulcrum; the lever is
not long enough; you cannot provide
enough force.)
Differentiation
Starter:
Examples of
levers
Give students a
scenario: they
have a tin of
paint and five
different screwdrivers of
different lengths
(5 cm, 10 cm, 15
cm, 20 cm and
25 cm). Ask them
to write down
which screwdriver they would
choose and why,
using as much
physics as they
can in their
answers,
including the
words ‘pivot’,
‘load’ and ‘effort’.
Resources
Resources
from 9Id
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Substitute
into
formulae.
Practical skills
Students try
different levers.
Use a long
object with a
weighted end to
demonstrate
that, when
working out a
moment, the
distance used
must be
perpendicular to
the force.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Ie: More machines
Learning objectives
Developing
 Describe how a ramp or a simple
pulley system can reduce the force
needed to lift an object.
 Recall that if the force needed is
decreased the distance it moves is
increased.
 Describe the relationship between
work done and energy transferred.
 Describe the factors that affect the
total work done.
Securing
 Use the formula relating work, force
and distance moved.
 Use ideas about conservation of
energy when explaining how simple
machines work.
Exceeding
 Work out the mechanical advantage of
simple machines.
 Explain why the actual mechanical
advantage may not be the same as the
theoretical value.
 Use the idea that a force can be
represented by two orthogonal forces.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Sure or unsure?
Ask students to write down one thing
about levers and moments that they
are sure about, and one thing they
are unsure about. Revise the things
that students are having difficulty
with.
Exploring: Investigating pulleys
Students investigate the force needed
to lift a given mass with different
numbers of pulleys in the system and
also how far the mass and the
pulling force move. Remind students
how to convert a mass to a force.
Explaining: Pulley and ramp
demonstrations
Demonstrate how pulleys and ramps
reduce the force needed to move an
object upwards.
Plenary: Thinking about machines
Odd One Out: ramp, lever, pulley.
(Possible answers: ramp is the only
one that does not move itself when
the load is moved; pulley can be used
to change the direction of a force as
well as changing the size; lever is the
only one that can be used to increase
the size of the force needed/increase
the distance moved.)
Differentiation
Exploring:
Investigating
pulleys
Ask students to
calculate the
work done in
each case.
Resources
Resources
from 9Ie
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Substitute
into
formulae.
Practical skills
Students
investigate the
force needed to
lift a given
mass with
different
numbers of
pulleys in the
system and also
how far the
mass and the
pulling force
move.
Demonstrate
how pulleys and
ramps reduce
the force
needed to move
an object
upwards.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Ja: Force fields
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall the shape and direction of a
magnet’s magnetic field, and its effect
on magnetic materials and other
magnets.
 Describe the Earth’s magnetic field and
its effect on compass needles.
 Recall the variables that affect the
strength of gravity.
 State the meaning of gravitational field
strength.
 Use gravitational field strength to
calculate weights.
Securing
 Describe how mass and distance affect
the strength of gravity.
 Describe the variables that affect an
object’s gravitational potential energy.
Exceeding
 Describe how gravitational effects were
used to estimate the mass of the
Earth.
 Describe the domain model and use it
to explain various phenomena
connected with magnets.
 Use data to derive the formula relating
the force of gravity to masses and the
distance between them.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Revisit the floating paperclip
Set up a floating paperclip at the
front of the class. Ask students to
explain why the paperclip stays up,
what will happen if you move the
magnet a little further from the
paperclip and to suggest a ‘rule’
about the strength of the magnetic
field.
Exploring: Attraction and repulsion –
magnets
Students determine the rules for
attraction and repulsion between the
poles of bar magnets by suspending
one magnet in a stirrup and
bringing another close to it.
Explaining: Modelling force fields
Look at how gravitational and
magnetic fields can be represented by
lines showing the direction a
mass/north pole will move.
Plenary: Thinking about force fields
Consider All Possibilities: An object is
not attracted to a magnet. (Possible
answers: the object is not made from
a magnetic material; the object is too
far away from the magnet; the
magnetic field of the magnet is too
weak; the object is another magnet
and like poles are facing.)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 9Ja
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Students
determine the
rules for
attraction and
repulsion
between the
poles of bar
magnets by
suspending one
magnet in a
stirrup and
bringing
another close to
it.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Jb: Static electricity
Learning objectives
Developing
 Recall how objects can be given a
charge of static electricity, and
describe some of its effects.
 Describe the kinds of materials that
can and cannot be given a charge of
static electricity.
 Recall the two types of charges and
their effects on each other.
 Use ideas about attraction and
repulsion to explain electrostatic
phenomena involving repulsion
between like charges.
Securing
 Explain why a conducting object
cannot be given a charge of static
electricity.
 State what is meant by electric field,
and recall the shape and direction of
the electric field around a charged
object.
 Describe the effect of an electric field
on electrically charged objects.
 Explain how the transfer of electrons
results in the two materials gaining
equal and opposite charges.
Exceeding
 Recall and explain how a charge can
be induced in an uncharged object and
use this idea to explain familiar
electrostatic phenomena.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Tricks with static
Rub a polythene or acetate rod with a
duster until it has sufficient charge to
pick up small pieces of tissue paper.
Ask students to name the force that
is lifting the paper. Ask students to
suggest similarities and
differences between this
demonstration and using a magnet to
pick up paperclips.
Exploring: Attraction and repulsion –
charges
Students investigate the forces of
attraction and repulsion between like
and unlike charges, using acetate and
polythene rods.
Explaining: Van de Graaff generator
demonstrations 2
Carry out a demonstration to show
induced charges using a Van de
Graaff generator: head of hair,
spraying cereal, pie dishes or soap
bubbles.
Plenary: Thinking about static
electricity
Odd One Out: copper, glass,
polythene. (Possible answers: copper
is the only one that
conducts electricity; copper is the
only one that cannot be given a
charge of static electricity by rubbing;
glass is the only transparent one.)
Differentiation
Explaining: Van
de Graaff
generator
demonstrations 2
Ask students to
explain
the demonstratio
ns as they
happen and then
choose one
demonstration to
describe and
explain on an A4
poster.
Resources
Resources
from 9Jb
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Demonstrate
rubbing a
polythene or
acetate rod with
a duster until it
has sufficient
charge to pick
up small pieces
of tissue paper.
Students
investigate the
forces of
attraction
and repulsion
between like
and unlike
charges, using
acetate and
polythene rods.
Carry out a
demonstration
to show induced
charges using a
Van de Graaff
generator.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Jc: Current electricity
Learning objectives
Developing
 Identify common symbols for
components.
 Recall how the current changes when
the voltage of the supply changes.
 Explain how switches can be used to
control different parts of a parallel
circuit.
 Describe how changing the number or
type of components in a circuit affects
the current.
 Describe how current and voltage
behave in series and parallel circuits.
Securing
 Describe how voltage and energy are
linked.
 Describe a current as a flow of
electrons.
Exceeding
 Describe the relationship between
watts and joules/second.
 Use the formula relating power,
current and voltage.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Electricity true or false?
Students work in pairs to write out
five statements about circuits and
electricity, of which two should be
deliberately false. They read out one
statement to the class, who decide if
it is true or false.
Exploring: Models of circuits
Provide a model to explain how
electrical circuits work (e.g. lorries
collecting, transporting and
depositing material; repeat). Ask
students which part of the model
represents parts of a circuit.
Explaining: Switches
Show students examples of different
types of switch. Demonstrate the
switches, and elicit ideas about how
they work and what they can be used
for.
Plenary: Thinking about current
electricity
Odd One Out: atom, electron,
nucleus. (Possible answers: atom, as
the other two are parts of an atom;
atom, as it normally has no charge
whereas electrons and nuclei have
charges; electron – the only particle
that can move through a material.)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 9Jc
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Show students
examples
of different
types of switch.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Jd: Resistance
Learning objectives
Developing
 State what is meant by resistance and
name its units.
 Describe the relationship between
resistance and current.
 Describe how the resistance of a wire
varies with length and thickness.
 Use the formula relating voltage,
current and resistance.
Securing
 Plan an investigation into how the
resistance of a wire changes with
length or thickness.
 Interpret a voltage–current graph for
resistors of different values.
Exceeding
 Describe how the resistance of a
filament lamp changes with voltage.
 Explain why the resistance of a
filament lamp increases with
increasing voltage.
Working Scientifically
 Round numbers to a given number of
decimal places or significant figures.
 Decide on an appropriate level of
accuracy before rounding numbers.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Variable resistors
Show students a rheostat connected
in series in a circuit with a bulb. Show
the effect on brightness of moving
the slider and ask them to suggest
how the rheostat works, revising
ideas about resistance.
Exploring: Resistance and
temperature
Students investigate the effect of
temperature on resistance using a
filament bulb. Use the voltage across
the bulb as a proxy for temperature.
Explaining: A model for resistance
Show students one or more models
for electrical resistance. A simple
physical model can be made using a
ping-pong ball rolling down a shallow
ramp.
Plenary: Thinking about resistance
Consider All Possibilities: A circuit is
changed so that the current through
a bulb decreases. (Possible answers:
the voltage of the cell/power supply
is reduced; more bulbs are added to
the circuit; a resistor is added to the
circuit; the bulb is changed for one
with a higher resistance.)
Differentiation
Explaining: A
model for
resistance
Students can
discuss how the
model could be
changed to
represent a wire
at different
temperatures and
how this would
model the results
they obtained in
their
investigation.
Resources
Resources
from 9Jd
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Show students
a rheostat
connected in
series in
a circuit with a
bulb.
Students
investigate the
effect of
temperature
on resistance
using a filament
bulb. Use the
voltage across
the bulb as a
proxy for
temperature.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Je: Electromagnets
Learning objectives
Developing
 Describe the shape of the magnetic
field around a wire carrying a current.
 Describe an electromagnet and the
shape of its magnetic field.
 Describe how the strength of an
electromagnet can be changed.
 Explain how electromagnets are used
in simple applications.
Securing
 Explain how changing the size or
direction of the current affects the
magnetic field.
 Explain how electromagnets are used
in relays.
 Describe how a wire carrying a current
must be oriented in a magnetic field to
produce a force.
 Describe how the motor effect is used
in a simple electric motor and how the
force it produces can be changed.
Exceeding
 Use Fleming’s left-hand rule and the
right-hand grip rule.
 Explain how the motor effect is used in
unfamiliar devices.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Homopolar motor
Make a simple homopolar motor
(from a cell, a small magnet and
some wire) and show it to students.
Encourage them to come up with a
list of questions, such as: ‘What is the
wire for?’, ‘What shape is the
magnetic field of the magnet?’, ‘Is
there a current in the wire?’.
Exploring: Make a motor
Give students motor kits (available
from equipment suppliers) and ask
them to build a simple electric motor
of the ‘Westminster pattern’.
Explaining: Motor effect
demonstration
Demonstrate the motor effect
(sometimes called the ‘catapult
effect’). Ask students to suggest what
will happen if you reverse the
direction of the magnetic field or
reverse the direction of the current.
Plenary: Thinking about
electromagnets
Consider All Possibilities: An
electromagnet will not pick up a can
of food. (Possible answers: the can is
made of a non-magnetic material;
there is no current flowing through
the electromagnet; the electromagnet
is not strong enough to pick up the
can of food.)
Differentiation
Explaining: Motor
effect
demonstration
Introduce
students to
Fleming’s lefthand rule (they
are not expected
to remember
this).
Resources
Resources
from 9Je
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Students build a
simple electric
motor of the
‘Westminster
pattern’, using
a motor kit.
Demonstrate
the motor
effect.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Ka: Working Scientifically
Material for revision
National Curriculum statements
 7Ba, 7Cb, 7Gb, 8Hd
WS2: understand that scientific methods and
Scientific method
theories develop as earlier explanations are
 7Da, 8Cb, 8Dc, 9Jd
modified to take account of new evidence and
Presenting information
ideas, together with the importance of
 8Ld Reasoned explanations
publishing results and peer review
 8Ba, 8Fc, 8Gd, 8Kc
Evaluating data
WS11: present observations and data using
appropriate methods, including tables and
graphs
Exemplar teaching activities
WS2: Provide a set of statements and ask students to decide
whether each one is a hypothesis, a prediction or data from an
experiment.
WS11: Tell students about a series of investigations that could be
done about air and ask them to sketch the type of chart or graph
that they would draw for each. Ask them to add labels to the axes
to show which variable goes where.
WS13: present reasoned explanations, including
explaining data in relation to predictions and
hypotheses
WS13: Card sort with assorted hypotheses and conclusions. Ask
students to match the conclusion to the relevant hypothesis in
each case.
WS14: evaluate data, showing awareness of
potential sources of random and systematic
error
WS14: Provide students with a description of an experiment and
some sets of results (one to include an error). Ask them to
identify and suggest a reason for the anomalous result.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Ka: Models in science
Material for revision
National Curriculum statements
 8I Physical changes, particle P23: atmospheric pressure, decreases with
model, pressure in fluids
increase of height as weight of air above
 8K Energy in matter
decreases with height
 8L Space physics
P24: pressure in liquids, increasing with depth...
Exemplar teaching activities
P23: There is less pressure on you from the air if you go up a
high mountain. Ask students to explain this statement using ideas
about particles.
P24: A diver will experience twice atmospheric pressure by
descending 10 m below the surface, but you need to climb over
5000 m above sea level before air pressure is halved. Ask
students to explain this statement in as much detail as they can.
P50: conservation of material and of mass, and
reversibility, in melting, freezing, evaporation,
sublimation, condensation, dissolving
P50: Ask students to create a table with two columns: Physical
changes and Chemical changes. Ask them to complete the first
column to identify the characteristics of physical changes.
P51: similarities and differences, including
density differences, between solids, liquids and
gases
P51: Ask students to write down one similarity and one difference
between the properties of a) solids and liquids and b) liquids and
gases.
P52: Brownian motion in gases
P52: What can students recall about Brownian motion? Challenge
them to explain Brownian motion using the particle model of
matter.
P53: diffusion in liquids and gases driven by
differences in concentration
P53: Using everyday examples, challenge students to explain
diffusion in liquids and gases.
P54: the difference between chemical and
physical changes
P54: Ask students to complete the second column of their table
(P50) to identify the characteristics of chemical changes.
P55: the differences in arrangements, in motion
and in closeness of particles explaining changes
of state, shape and density, the anomaly of ice–
water transition
P55: A substance cools down when energy is transferred away
from it. Ask students to explain how this affects: a) the
movement of the particles and b) the size of the object.
P56: atoms and molecules as particles
P56: Challenge students to explain a) why it is difficult to
compress solids and liquids and b) why gases are easily
compressed.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
P57: changes with temperature in motion and
spacing of particles
P57: Ask students to explain why the volume of a substance
increases as it gets warmer.
P60: our Sun as a star, other stars in our
galaxy, other galaxies
P60: Ask students to explain what the Milky Way is and why we
cannot see its shape directly.
P61: the seasons and the Earth’s tilt, day length
at different times of year, in different
hemispheres
P61: Use a globe, light sensor and datalogging equipment to
show students how the orientation of the Earth’s axis to the ‘Sun’
relates to the lengths of the days measured.
P62: the light year as a unit of astronomical
distance
P62: Ask students: Does a light year measure distance or time?
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Kb: Energy
Material for revision
 7I Calculation of fuel uses
and costs, energy changes
and transfers, changes in
systems
 8K Calculation of fuel uses
and costs
 9I Energy changes
and transfers)
National Curriculum statements
P1: comparing energy values of different foods
(from labels) (kJ)
Exemplar teaching activities
P1: Provide a selection of food labels and ask students to sort
them into high-, medium- and low-energy foods.
P2: comparing power ratings of appliances in
watts (W, kW)
P2: Ask students to suggest why a kettle has a lower power
rating than an electric shower.
P3: comparing amounts of energy transferred
(J, kJ, kW hour)
P3: Provide the power ratings for some domestic appliances. At a
cost of 12 pence per kWh, ask students to calculate the cost of
running each appliance.
P4: domestic fuel bills, fuel use and costs
P4: Mrs Holman is choosing a fridge. Fridge A costs £120 and
costs £27 per year to run. Fridge B costs £150 and costs £22 per
year to run. Which one should she buy? Ask students to explain
their answers.
P5: fuels and energy resources
P5: Card sort with assorted renewable energy resources, and
their advantages and disadvantages. Ask the students match the
advantages/disadvantages to the correct resource.
P7: heating and thermal equilibrium:
temperature difference between two objects
leading to energy transfer from the hotter to the
cooler one, through contact (conduction) or
radiation; such transfers tending to reduce the
temperature difference; use of insulators
P7: Ask students to produce a set of cards to describe what
happens in conduction and convection that could be used to help
a different class learn about these processes.
P8: other processes that involve energy
transfer: changing motion, dropping an object,
completing an electrical circuit, stretching a
spring, metabolism of food, burning fuels
P8: Show students images of different types of transport (e.g.
motorbike, horse and carriage, car, steam engine, sailing ship,
tram) and ask them to identify the energy transfers and state
which ones are useful and which are not.
P9: energy as a quantity that can be quantified
and calculated; the total energy has the same
value before and after a change
P9: For some of the same images from P8, ask students to draw
a Sankey diagram to show the energy transfers taking place.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
P10: comparing the starting with the final
conditions of a system and describing increases
and decreases in the amounts of energy
associated with movements, temperatures,
changes in positions in a field, elastic distortions
and chemical compositions
P10: Ask students to describe the energy changes taking place
when a basketball is thrown upwards, falls through the hoop onto
the ground, and bounces before coming to rest.
P11: using physical processes and mechanisms,
rather than energy, to explain the intermediate
steps that bring about such changes
P11: Ask students to describe the physical processes (e.g. forces)
taking place for the scenario described in P10.
P58: internal energy stored in materials
P58: In a room in an ice hotel, the temperature of the air in the
room is −5 °C; the temperature of the drinks is 70 °C. Ask
students: a) Will energy flow from the drinks to the room or from
the room to the drinks? Ask them to explain their answer. b) One
of the drinks is left for 10 hours. Ask them to explain what its
final temperature will be.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Kc: Forces
Material for revision
 7K Describing motion,
forces, balanced forces,
forces and motion
 8I Pressure in fluids
 9I Describing motion, forces
National Curriculum statements
P12: speed and the quantitative relationship
between average speed, distance and time
(speed = distance ÷ time)
Exemplar teaching activities
P12: Give students some data to calculate speed/distance/time
and relative speeds.
P13: the representation of a journey on a
distance–time graph
P13: Describe a journey and ask students to describe what the
corresponding distance–time graph should look like. Ask them to
sketch the graph.
P14: relative motion: trains and cars passing
one another
P14: Provide some speed data for trains and cars passing each
other and ask students to calculate the relative speeds.
P15: forces as pushes or pulls, arising from the
interaction between two objects
P15: Ask students to write down three ways in which a force can
affect a football.
P16: using force arrows in diagrams, adding
forces in one dimension, balanced and
unbalanced forces
P16: Card sort with assorted labels to show what happens when
you use a force meter to weigh an object. Ask students to work in
pairs to sort the cards.
P18: forces: associated with deforming objects;
stretching and squashing – springs; with rubbing
and friction between surfaces, with pushing
things out of the way; resistance to motion of air
and water
P18: The tread on bicycle and car tyres is designed to allow water
to escape from under the tyre on wet roads. Ask students to
explain why this is important.
P19: forces measured in newtons,
measurements of stretch or compression as
force is changed
P19: A spring stretches 2 cm when a 10 N weight hangs on it.
Ask students how far it will stretch with a weight of 20 N.
P20: force–extension linear relation; Hooke’s
Law as a special case
P20: Provide copies of an extension–force graph and ask students
to label it to explain how extension varies with force.
P22: non-contact forces: gravity forces acting at
a distance on Earth and in space; forces
between magnets and forces due to static
electricity
P22: Ask students to explain why they would weigh less on the
Moon than they do on Earth.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
P24: ... upthrust effects, floating and sinking
P24: Steel is denser than water, so how can a steel ship float?
Ask students to discuss this with a partner and then present their
ideas to another pair for review.
P25: pressure measured by ratio of force over
area – acting normal to any surface
P25: Ask students to design an experiment to find out the
pressure under their shoes when they are standing up? They
should list the apparatus they will need and explain how they will
use it.
P26: opposing forces and equilibrium: weight
held by stretched spring or supported on a
compressed surface
P26: Card sort with assorted labels to show what happens when
someone does a bungee jump (only show what happens as far as
the bottom of the first fall). Ask students to work in pairs to sort
the cards.
P27: forces being needed to cause objects to
stop or start moving, or to change their speed or
direction of motion (qualitative only)
P27: Ask students to explain why a sailing boat will slow down if
the wind speed gets less.
P28: change depending on direction of force and
its size
P28: Ask students to name the forces acting on a skydiver, and to
describe their speed, before and after they open their parachute.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Kd: Waves and fields
Material for revision
National Curriculum statements
 7L Observed waves, sound
P29: waves on water as undulations that travel
waves, energy and waves
through water with transverse motion; these
 8J Light waves
waves can be reflected, and add or cancel –
 8L Magnetism, space
superposition
physics
 9J Static electricity,
P30: frequencies of sound waves, measured in
magnetism, space physics
hertz (Hz); echoes, reflection and absorption of
sound
Exemplar teaching activities
P29: People in small boats need to be careful if they are sailing
near cliffs, because the waves can be bigger than in the open sea,
and may be coming from more than one direction. Ask students
to explain why this is.
P30: Each bat can produce different frequencies of ultrasound.
Ask students to explain why this is useful if there are many bats
hunting together.
P31: sound needs a medium to travel, the speed
of sound in air, in water, in solids
P31: You can make your voice carry further by cupping your
hands around your mouth or by shouting through a paper cone.
Ask students to explain why this works.
P32: sound produced by vibrations of objects, in
loud speakers, detected by their effects on
microphone diaphragm and the ear drum; sound
waves are longitudinal
P32: Show students a 3D model of the human ear. Ask for
volunteers to describe how it works and what the individual parts
do.
P33: auditory range of humans and animals
P33: Provide a set of auditory ranges for different animals and
ask students to analyse them, based on questions, e.g. dogs can
hear the sound made by dog whistles but humans cannot.
Suggest a frequency that a dog whistle might produce.
P34: pressure waves transferring energy: for
cleaning and physiotherapy by ultra-sound;
waves transferring information for conversion to
electrical signals by microphone
P34: Energy transferred by ultrasound is used to clean a watch.
Ask students: What does the energy do?
P35: the similarities and differences between
light waves and waves in matter
P35: Someone is singing in another room with the door closed.
Ask students to explain why you can hear them but not see them.
P36: light waves travelling through a vacuum;
speed of light
P36: Ask students to explain why they see the flash from a ‘flash
pot’ before they hear the bang.
P37: the transmission of light through materials:
absorption, diffuse scattering and specular
reflection at a surface
P37: Ask students to explain why they can see their reflection
better in a piece of metal if they polish the surface.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
P38: use of ray model to explain imaging in
mirrors...
P38: ... the pinhole camera...
P38: ... the refraction of light and action of
convex lens in focusing (qualitative); the human
eye
P38: Ask students to draw and label a ray diagram, with a ray of
light hitting a plane mirror at point X.
P38: Ask students to investigate the effects of changing variables
using a pinhole camera, for example the length of the camera,
the size of the hole, the number of holes, the distance from
the candle.
P38: Ask students to label a diagram of the human eye.
P39: light transferring energy from source to
absorber leading to chemical and electrical
effects; photo-sensitive material in the retina
and in cameras
P39: Ask students to name the two types of cell in the retina and
to describe what each type of cell does.
P40: colours and the different frequencies of
light, white light and prisms (qualitative only);
differential colour effects in absorption and
diffuse reflection
P40: Ask students which colours in white light does a blue object
a) reflect and b) absorb.
P44: separation of positive or negative charges
when objects are rubbed together: transfer
of electrons, forces between charged objects
P44: Ask students to explain why only negative charges are
transferred when you rub an insulating material.
P45: the idea of electric field, forces acting
across the space between objects not in contact
P46: magnetic poles, attraction and repulsion
P47: magnetic fields by plotting with compass,
representation by field lines
P48: Earth’s magnetism, compass and
navigation
P45: Ask students to investigate what happens when two charged
rods are suspended close to each other when a) they are both
acetate rods and b) one is acetate and one is polythene.
P46: Ask students to explain what happens when you put two bar
magnets near each other.
P47: Ask students to plot the shape of the magnetic field around
bar magnet using plotting compasses.
P48: In pairs, ask students to draw a diagram to model the
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
P59: gravity force, weight = mass ×
gravitational field strength (g), on Earth g = 10
N/kg, different on other planets and stars;
gravity forces between Earth and Moon, and
between Earth and Sun (qualitative only)
Earth’s magnetic field. Ask them to explain their diagrams.
P59: Read out statements about gravity, making some
deliberately wrong. Ask students to state whether each statement
is true or false, and to correct the wrong statements.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Ke: Machines
Material for revision
 7J Current electricity
 9I Forces
 9J Current electricity,
magnetism
National Curriculum statements
P6: simple machines give bigger force but at the
expense of smaller movement (and vice versa):
product of force and displacement unchanged
Exemplar teaching activities
P6: Demonstrate different classes of lever (or use images) and
ask students to identify the position of the load, effort and pivot
in each one.
P17: moment as the turning effect of a force
P17: A spanner is 0.2 m long and the force is 20 N. Ask students
to calculate the moment of the force.
P21: work done and energy changes on
deformation
P21: A heavy box is pulled along the floor. The work done is
200 J. Ask students to explain the final form of this energy store.
P41: electric current, measured in amperes, in
circuits, series and parallel circuits, currents add
where branches meet and current as flow of
charge
P41: Show students a series circuit with two bulbs in it. Ask what
will happen to a) the current in the circuit and b) the brightness
of the remaining bulb if one bulb is removed and the gap in the
circuit is joined up. Show them the result.
P42: potential difference, measured in volts,
battery and bulb ratings; resistance, measured
in ohms, as the ratio of potential difference
(p.d.) to current
P42: Ask students to calculate the resistance of a component that
has a current of 3 A through it when the voltage is 18 V.
P43: differences in resistance between
conducting and insulating components
(quantitative)
P43: Ask students to describe how they could demonstrate the
resistance in different materials.
P49: the magnetic effect of a current,
electromagnets, D.C. motors (principles only)
P49: Provide students with a diagram of an electric bell. Ask them
to label it and to explain how the electromagnet works in the
circuit.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9La: Differences
Learning objectives
Developing
 Describe how potential difference and
energy are linked.
 Identify the direction in which energy
will be transferred in given
circumstances.
 Describe how energy is transferred in
convection.
 Describe convection in terms of density
and pressure differences.
 Use ideas about energy and bonds to
explain why there is no change in
temperature of a solid, liquid or gas at
its melting point or boiling point.
Securing
 Describe the effect of a substance’s
specific heat capacity on its ability to
store thermal energy.
 Use ideas about latent heat to explain
phenomena related to changes of
state.
Exceeding
 Explain some of the links between
convection currents and climate.
 Use the formulae for latent heat and
specific heat capacity in calculations.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: The scientific method
Ask students to sketch a flow chart
outlining the scientific method, then
ask for contributions from the class in
order to draw one on the board.
Allocate an area of science to small
groups of students and ask them to
discuss whether scientists in all these
areas follow the scientific method in
the same way.
Exploring: Specific heat capacity
Students investigate whether the
same masses of different metals all
show the same temperature increase
when supplied with the same amount
of energy.
Explaining: Latent heat of
vaporisation of water
Demonstrate a rough measurement
of the latent heat of vaporisation of
water, using a beaker of water on a
hotplate.
Plenary: Thinking skills
Consider All Possibilities: The
temperature of a substance is not
changing. (Possible answers: the
substance is melting/evaporating/
freezing/condensing; the substance is
at the same temperature as its
surroundings; the substance is well
insulated.)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 9La
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Plotting
graphs or
charts.
Calculate
specific heat
capacity and
specific
latent heat.
Practical skills
Students
investigate
whether the
same masses of
different metals
all show the
same
temperature
increase when
supplied with
the same
amount of
energy.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Lb: Fields
Learning objectives
Developing
 State what is meant by a magnetic
field, gravitational field and electric
field.
 Represent force fields using diagrams.
 Describe the factors that affect the
amount of gravitational potential
energy stored in an object.
Securing
 Evaluate the models used to represent
different types of force field.
 Use the formula for gravitational
potential energy.
Exceeding
 Describe how two electric fields or two
gravitational fields affect each other.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Five facts
Ask students to work in pairs to write
down five facts they recall about force
fields. Create a class list and review.
Exploring: Falling lead
Students demonstrate how
gravitational potential energy can be
transferred to a store of thermal
energy, by placing lead shot in a
sealed tube and repeatedly inverting
the tube.
Explaining: Fields
Revise the idea of a force field with
students, and introduce the formula
for calculating gravitational potential
energy.
Plenary: Thinking skills
Consider All Possibilities: Object A is
storing more gravitational potential
energy than object B. (Possible
answers: A has a greater mass than
B; A is higher than B; A is on a planet
with a stronger gravitational field
than B.)
Differentiation
Exploring: Falling
lead
Ask students to
calculate the
efficiency of the
transfer from
gravitational
potential energy
to thermal
energy,
reminding them
of the formula
if necessary.
They can also be
asked to suggest
ways in which the
efficiency could
be improved
(e.g., by
insulating the
tube).
Resources
Resources
from 9Lb
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Calculate
thermal
energy
stores.
Practical skills
Students
demonstrate
how
gravitational
potential energy
can be
transferred to a
store of thermal
energy, by
placing lead
shot in a sealed
tube and
repeatedly
inverting the
tube.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Lc: Cause and effect
Learning objectives
Developing
 Explain what forces are needed to
cause certain changes in motion.
 Recall that gravity is a force that acts
between any two objects with mass.
Securing
 Identify action–reaction pairs in simple
situations (the term action–reaction is
not required).
 State that correlation is not an
indicator of causation.
Exceeding
 Outline the basic idea behind the
theories of continental drift and plate
tectonics, and explain why one theory
superseded the other.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Brainstorm cause and effect
Give students an everyday example
of an activity, e.g. running for the
bus. Ask them to suggest what
effects this could cause and then to
suggest what could have caused
the need to run for the bus. Ask them
to think up two more cause–effect
sequences based on everyday
activities.
Exploring: Weather fronts
Introduce the idea of weather fronts
and how they affect weather in
the UK. Ask students to explain how
weather fronts cause cloud and rain.
Explaining: Cause and effect
Look at cause and effect, both in
terms of whether correlation always
implies causation and as a basic
introduction to action–reaction force
pairs.
Plenary: Thinking skills
What Was The Question: Forces in
opposite directions are equal.
(Possible questions: describe the
forces between an apple and the
Earth; describe the vertical forces on
a spring with a mass on the end;
describe the forces on a car moving
at a constant speed.)
Differentiation
Exploring:
Weather fronts
Challenge
students to find
out and explain
why winds are
strongest in
places where
weather maps
show isobars
closest together.
Resources
Resources
from 9Lc
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Correlations
using line
graphs of
two
variables
on the same
axes.
Practical skills
n/a
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Ld: Links between variables
Learning objectives
Developing
 Identify relationships shown on scatter
graphs.
 Describe relationships shown on
graphs as linear.
Securing
 Identify direct and inverse
proportionality using graphs.
Exceeding
 Use data to investigate the idea of
absolute zero.
 Use formulae and graphs to work out
how to relate the extension of a spring
to the energy stored.
Working Scientifically
 Use the general formula for a straight
line to extract information from graphs
showing linear or proportional
relationships.
 Use a speed–time graph to find
distance travelled.
 Calculate speeds from the gradient of
a distance–time graph.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Which graph?
Give students a list of different things
that could be presented using charts
or graphs (the constituents of
air, cooling curve for solidifying wax,
specific heat capacities of different
materials, current and voltage in a
circuit) and ask them to jot down how
they think each should be presented
and to explain their suggestions.
Exploring: Gas pressure and
temperature
Students measure the pressure of a
fixed volume of gas at different
temperatures. The aim of this
practical is to obtain a set of results
that show a linear relationship, not to
look into detail at the gas laws.
Explaining: Links between variables
Look at how some relationships can
be expressed numerically.
Plenary: Thinking skills
Consider All Possibilities: The
pressure of the gas in a container
gets less. (Possible answers: the
volume of the container has been
increased; the temperature of the gas
has decreased; some of the gas has
been taken out of the container; the
container is open and has been taken
higher in the atmosphere.)
Differentiation
Exploring: Gas
pressure and
temperature
Introduce
students to the
idea of
extrapolation,
and ask them to
plot another
graph to find
where the line on
their graph would
meet the
horizontal axis.
Ask them what
kind of
relationship their
results would
show if the
temperature
scale started at
this point.
Resources
Resources
from 9Ld
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
Presenting
data
graphically.
Expressing
relationships
numerically.
Practical skills
n/a
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Lesson 9Le: Models
Learning objectives
Developing
 Describe longitudinal waves in
terms of particle movements.
 Compare longitudinal and
transverse waves.
 Identify when abstract and physical
models are being used, and explain
why they are used.
Securing
 Evaluate an abstract model.
Exceeding
 Use ideas about work and energy
to explain phenomena connected
with compressing gases.
 Explain weather phenomena using
ideas about temperature, pressure
and humidity.
Exemplar teaching activities
Starter: Bottle garden
Show students a sealed bottle garden.
Tell them that this kind of garden
can survive and thrive for many years
without any substances being added.
Elicit ideas about what the bottle garden
can be used to model, and a brief
evaluation for each suggestion.
Exploring: Wave models 1
Remind students of the differences
between longitudinal and transverse
waves using a ‘slinky’ spring as a model.
Then show students a ripple tank; use it
to demonstrate aspects of
waves: reflection, refraction and
superposition. Ask students to compare
and evaluate the models.
Explaining: Wave models 2
Use a signal generator, loudspeaker and
oscilloscope to show sound waves and
the links between pitch and frequency,
and between loudness and amplitude.
Elicit the idea that the wave image on
the oscilloscope screen is a model for the
sound waves. Ask students to compare
and evaluate the model.
Plenary: Thinking skills
What Was The Question: abstract model.
(Possible questions: What kind of model
is a chemical formula/ chemical
equation/mathematical
formula/graph/computer model? What is
the name for the kind of model you
cannot touch?)
Differentiation
n/a
Resources
Resources
from 9Le
Exploring
Science.
Maths skills
n/a
Practical skills
Demonstrate
longitudinal,
transverse and
sound waves.
Exploring Science Working Scientifically – KS3 Physics, 3-year scheme of work
Written by Penny Johnson.
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KS3 Physics 3-year scheme of work