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Curriculum Ideas & School Examples

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KS 1 & 2: Science: Sc4: Physical Processes: Attainment Targets

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Level 1

Pupils communicate observations of changes in light, sound or movement that result from actions [for example, switching on a simple electrical circuit, pushing and pulling objects]. They recognise that sound and light come from a variety of sources and name some of these.

Level 2

Pupils know about a range of physical phenomena and recognise and describe similarities and differences associated with them. They compare the way in which devices [for example, bulbs] work in different electrical circuits. They compare the brightness or colour of lights, and the loudness or pitch of sounds. They compare the movement of different objects in terms of speed or direction.

Level 3

Pupils use their knowledge and understanding of physical phenomena to link cause and effect in simple explanations [for example, a bulb failing to light because of a break in an electrical circuit, the direction or speed of movement of an object changing because of a push or a pull]. They begin to make simple generalisations about physical phenomena [for example, explaining that sounds they hear become fainter the further they are from the source].

Level 4

Pupils demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical processes drawn from the key stage 2 or key stage 3 programme of study. They describe and explain physical phenomena [for example, how a particular device may be connected to work in an electrical circuit, how the apparent position of the Sun changes over the course of a day]. They make generalisations about physical phenomena [for example, motion is affected by forces, including gravitational attraction, magnetic attraction and friction]. They use physical ideas to explain simple phenomena [for example, the formation of shadows, sounds being heard through a variety of materials].

Level 5

Pupils demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical processes drawn from the key stage 2 or key stage 3 programme of study. They use ideas to explain how to make a range of changes [for example, altering the current in a circuit, altering the pitch or loudness of a sound]. They use some abstract ideas in descriptions of familiar phenomena [for example, objects are seen when light from them enters the eye at key stage 2, forces are balanced when an object is stationary at key stage 3]. They use simple models to explain effects that are caused by the movement of the Earth [for example, the length of a day or year].

Level 6

Pupils use and apply knowledge and understanding of physical processes drawn from the key stage 3 programme of study. They use abstract ideas in some descriptions and explanations [for example, electric current as a way of transferring energy, the sum of several forces determining changes in the direction or the speed of movement of an object, wind and waves as energy resources available for use]. They recognise, and can give examples of, the wide application of many physical concepts [for example, the transfer of energy by light, sound or electricity, the refraction and dispersion of light]. They give explanations of phenomena in which a number of factors have to be considered [for example, the relative brightness of planets and stars].

Level 7

Pupils use knowledge and understanding of physical processes drawn from the key stage 3 programme of study to make links between different phenomena. They make connections between electricity and magnetism when explaining phenomena [for example, the strength of electromagnets]. They use some quantitative definitions [for example, speed, pressure] and perform calculations, using the correct units. They apply abstract ideas in explanations of a range of physical phenomena [for example, the appearance of objects in different colours of light, the relationship between the frequency of vibration and the pitch of a sound, the role of gravitational attraction in determining the motion of bodies in the solar system, the dissipation of energy during energy transfers].

Level 8

Pupils demonstrate an extensive knowledge and understanding of the physical processes in the key stage 3 programme of study. They use models to describe and explain phenomena [for example, the magnetic field of an electromagnet, the passage of sound waves through a medium]. They use quantitative relationships between physical quantities in calculations that may involve more than one step. They offer detailed and sometimes quantitative interpretations of graphs [for example, speedtime graphs]. They consider ways of obtaining data [for example, of the solar system] and they use their knowledge of physical processes to explain patterns that they find. They consider physical phenomena from different perspectives [for example, relating the dissipation of energy during energy transfer to the need to conserve limited energy resources].

Exceptional performance

Pupils demonstrate both breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding of the physical processes in the key stage 3 programme of study when they describe and explain physical phenomena. They make effective use of a range of quantitative relationships between physical quantities. They understand how models [for example, the particle model] are useful in explaining physical phenomena [for example, how sweating causes cooling]. They apply their understanding of physical phenomena to a wide range of systems [for example, recognising the role of gravitational attraction in determining the movement of satellites, planets and stars]. They recognise the importance of quantitative data and make effective use of this when they consider questions such as energy efficiency.
 
 

 
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