Big idea: substances and properties

All materials are made up of either a single substance or a mixture of substances. These substances may be elements or compounds. Substances have distinctive properties that may be used to identify them or separate them from a mixture. A solution is a mixture of two (or more) substances, the solute(s) and the solvent.  


Download teacher notes for this big idea

Resources for age 11-14

Research informed progression toolkits to help you develop the big ideas of science

The big idea is developed through a series of key concepts at age 11-14, which have been organised into teaching topics.

Topic 1: Substances and mixtures

Please also have a look at the particles and structure big idea page for more key concepts in this topic.

Topic 2: Solubility

Topic 3: Acids and alkalis

Topic 4: Periodic table

Is there a recommended teaching order?

The Best Evidence Science Teaching resources can be used with your existing scheme of work, if desired. 

However, we have used research evidence on learning pathways and effective sequencing of ideas to develop subject maps for biology, chemistry, earth science and physics. 

View the chemistry subject map