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Cotmanhay Junior School

Safe, Happy Learning

Forces and magnets

National curriculum content

  • Compare how things move on different surfaces.
  • Notice that some forces need contact between two objects, but magnetic forces can act at a distance.
  • Observe how magnets attract or repel each other and attract some materials and not others.
  • Compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of whether they are attracted to a magnet, and identify some magnetic materials.
  • Describe magnets as having two poles.
  • Predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, depending on which poles are facing.


Lesson objectives

  1. Explain what a force is
  2. Compare how things move on different surfaces
  3. Measure the strength of different magnets
  4. Describe how magnets work
  5. Investigate how magnets work through different materials
  6. Create a magnetic game


What we want children to know

  • That push and pull are contact forces
  • Compare how things move over different surfaces
  • Magnets only attract objects made from some metals
  • A force is needed to move an object and a magnet can move some things without touching
  • What happens when poles are put together
  • How magnets are used in their own lives


What skills we want children to develop

  • Plan different types of scientific enquires to answer questions
  • Construct and carry out simple experiments using magnets, with increasing accuracy and precision
  • Make predictions and draw simple conclusions with some suggestions
  • Report and present findings from enquiries



attract, compass, contact, force, iron, magnet, magnetic, magnetic North, non-contact, non-magnetic, pole, prediction, repel