Year 7

Science foundations

Rationale: Teachers often find that the reason pupils are struggling later in their science course is because the foundations are lacking. Simple knowledge of practical equipment names and use. familiarity with materials, skills of graph drawing.
Yr7 is assumed to be mixed ability. None of the material presented will require abstract thinking. The foundations of abstract thought are created by using the components of yr7 Cognitive Acceleration together with skills needed.
The content provides concrete foundations for the later years work.
Differentiation for the more able pupils is provided by extension work.



  • Understand the need for attention to safety in the lab and to know how to act safely in the lab.


  • Recognise and name scientific equipment and draw a 2D diagram of such equipment.
  • Select and use appropriate equipment for a task. – e.g., light a Bunsen burner, read a measuring cylinder / thermometer correctly, use a microscope
  • Be able to take a variety of measurements and use the correct units for them – length, temperature, time, volume, mass,


  • Be familiar with a range of materials and be able to describe them using terms such as transparent, colour, soft etc.


  • to have observation skills sufficient to allow them to describe and sketch a diagram of something they’ve seen– e.g., look at plants in soil, a candle flame


  • be able to tabulate data and draw appropriate graphs
  • be able to provide simple descriptions of what graphs show
  • to be able to extract data / information from a graph
  • to be able to identify qualitative patterns from observations – e.g. the more water you have the longer it takes to boil, some of the water disappears when you boil it (extension), the size of splash made by a fixed volume of water when dropped from increasing heights, height and bicep size, height and head circumference,

Abstract thinking foundations:

  • “fair-testing”
  • relationships between variable
  • simple probabilities
  • classification
  • ideas about scale, ratio, proportions

Hypothesis testing

  • be able to summarize / describe patterns using a “rule”
  • testing “rules’ they come up with

Science and Society

  • to have a basic understanding of how science affects society – e.g., science gives us gadgets like mp3 players


Examples of content which is accessible to all pupils and forms the foundation for later learning.


  • Characteristics of living things
  • Pond Life – through using magnifying glasses and then microscopes
  • Observing cells
  • Parts of a plants, flowers and seeds
  • Parts of a human body
  • Balanced Diet


  • Naming and drawing apparatus
  • Familiarity with common elements and compounds
  • Recognising materials and describing properties
  • Changes of state
  • Separating things – using sieving, filtration etc.


  • Observing the movement of the sun and shadows.
  • Investigating magnetism
  • Measuring forces
  • Making a pendulum timer
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