Big idea: Forces and motion

Forces make things change. Understanding forces helps us to predict and control physical change.

"Forces and motion" is one of 15 big ideas of science in the Best Evidence Science Teaching collection. Understanding of the big idea is built up by a series of key concepts at age 11-16, which have been organised into teaching topics.

The research-informed resources for each key concept make up a progression toolkit that provides:

  • appropriately-sequenced steps for learning progression
  • diagnostic questions to reveal preconceptions and common misunderstandings
  • response activities to challenge misunderstandings and encourage conceptual development

Download teacher guidance notes for this big idea

 

 

Resources for age 11-14

Topic 1: Forces

Topic 2: Moving by force

Topic 3: More about force

Resources for age 14-16

Topic 4: Measuring and calculating motion

  • Key concept 1
    Velocity and acceleration

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in summer 2021.
  • Key concept 2
    Velocity-time graphs

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in summer 2021.

Topic 5: Energy of moving objects

  • Key concept 1
    Design work

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in autumn 2021.
  • Key concept 2
    Energy of objects with mass and height or speed

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in autumn 2021.
  • Key concept 3
    Energy of springs

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in autumn 2021.

Topic 6: Forces make things change

  • Key concept 1
    Resultant force in two dimensions

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded at the end of 2021.
  • Key concept 2
    Force, mass and acceleration

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded at the end of 2021.

Is there a recommended teaching order?

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

However, we have used research evidence on learning pathways and effective sequencing of ideas to develop maps that suggest how key concepts can be sequenced to build understanding of big ideas of science. These maps can help with curriculum planning.

View the key concept map for physics