Big idea: Sound, light and waves

Waves radiate information. Understanding waves helps us to communicate.

"Sound, light and waves" 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: Sound and light

Topic 2: How we see

Topic 3: Making images

Topic 4: Waves

Resources for age 14-16

Topic 5: Measuring waves

  • Key concept 1
    Visualising waves

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in spring 2022.
  • Key concept 2
    Speed of waves

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

Topic 6: Wave model of light

  • Key concept 1
    Wave properties of light

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in summer 2022.
  • Key concept 2
    Different colours

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

Topic 7: Electromagnetic waves

  • Key concept 1
    More than colours

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded at the end of 2022.
  • Key concept 2
    Interacting with EM waves

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