Big idea: Matter

Objects are made of particles with mass. Understanding particles helps us to design our world.

"Matter" 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

 

 

Matter

 

 

Resources for age 11-14

Topic 1: Heating and cooling

Topic 2: Floating and sinking

Resources for age 14-16

Topic 3: Energy of moving particles

Topic 4: Particle explanations

Topic 5: Nuclear physics

  • Key concept 1
    Excited atoms

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in summer 2022.
     
  • Key concept 2
    Stable nuclei

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in summer 2022.
     
  • Key concept 3
    Radiation damage

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in summer 2022.
     
  • Key concept 4
    Random nuclear decay

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in summer 2022.
     
  • Key concept 5
    Energy of the nucleus

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in summer 2022.
     

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 on 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