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Cotmanhay Junior School

Safe, Happy Learning


National curriculum content

  • Recognise that light appears to travel in straight lines
  • Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye
  • Explain that we see things because light travels from light sources to our eyes or from light sources to objects and then to our eyes
  • Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them.


Lesson objectives

  1. Describe how light travels.
  2. Explain how the size of a shadow can be changed.
  3. Explain how our shadows change throughout the day and why.
  4. Demonstrate how we can change the direction in which light travels.
  5. Describe the structure of the eye and its function.
  6. Observe how light can be manipulated.


What we want children to know

  • That light DOES NOT come from our eyes, but is reflected from an object into our eyes.
  • That shadows are always the same shape as the object blocking them.
  • Shadows can change size depending on the position of the light source.
  • Light is formed by a spectrum of waves of different colours.
  • That rainbows are formed due to refraction.
  • Our eyes have different layers and a number of components.


What skills we want children to develop

  • Accurately measure how shadows change over a period of time.
  • Manipulate the direction that light can travel.
  • Identify different components of the eye and explain their function



Cornea, eye, image, iris, lens, light, light ray, mirror, pupil, reflection, shadow, straight, sun, symmetry