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Cotmanhay Junior School

Safe, Happy Learning


National curriculum content

  • Compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties, including their hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity (electrical and thermal) and response to magnets.
  • Know that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution, and describe how to recover a substance from a solution.
  • Use knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated, including through filtering, sieving and evaporating.
  • Give reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials, including metals, wood and plastic.
  • Demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes.


Lesson objectives

  1. Sort materials based on their properties
  2. Investigate which material is best for a given job.
  3. Identify and explain thermal conductors and insulators.
  4. Create a new material through dissolving.
  5. Use different methods to separate mixtures.
  6. Make and separate a mixture.


What we want children to know

  • Understand that everyday materials have different properties.
  • The difference between a solid, liquid and a gas.
  • How to conduct a fair test in order to compare the uses of everyday materials.
  • Understand why a change is reversible.


What skills we want children to develop

  • Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  • Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
  • Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.
  • Use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests.
  • Report and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.
  • Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.




Dissolve, Elastic, Electrical conductor, Evaporate, Filter, Flexible, Hard, Insoluble, Mixture, Plastic, Rigid, Soluble, Solute, Solution, Solvent, Strong, Thermal conductor, Tough