Big idea: sound, light and waves

The idea of waves is useful because it is the key to explaining how energy can be transferred from one object to another object by radiation, even when the objects are not touching. Waves carry information that can be detected by humans or manufactured detectors. Understanding waves helps us to communicate, explore the universe, and transfer energy to where we want it.

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: Sound and light

Topic 2: How we see

Topic 3: Making images

  • Key concept 1
    The ray of light to explain images

    Resources for this key concept are being developed from research evidence and will be uploaded in 2019.
  • Key concept 2
    Prisms and lenses

    Resources for this key concept are being developed from research evidence and will be uploaded in 2019.​

Topic 3: Waves

  • Key concept 1
    Waves on water and ropes

    Resources for this key concept are being developed from research evidence and will be uploaded in 2019.
  • Key concept 2
    A wave model of sound

    Resources for this key concept are being developed from research evidence and will be uploaded in 2019.
  • Key concept 3
    A wave model of light

    Resources for this key concept are being developed from research evidence and will be uploaded in 2019.

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 physics subject map