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Birchfield Skills List: Science Materials and their Properties

Level 3 Level 4 Level 5

I describe materials into groups in a variety of ways using their properties. I can explain why some materials are particularly suitable for specific purposes (e.g. glass for windows). In know that some materials are better thermal insulators than others. I know that some materials are better electrical conductors than others. I can recognise the differences between solids, liquids and gases, in terms of how they flow and how they keep or change their size and shape.

Grouping and classifying materials

I describe the differences between the properties of different materials. I explain how these differences are used to classify substances (including solids, liquids, gases, acids and alkalis).

I describe some metallic properties and use these properties to distinguish metals from other solids. (Eg. good electrical conductivity.)

I recognise that some changes can be reversed (e.g. freezing water) and some cannot (e.g. baking clay). I classify changes using reversible and nonreversible. I can describe what happens when simple materials are mixed (salt and water or oil and water). I can describe what happens when materials are heated or cooled (e.g. water, clay, dough). I know that some liquids dissolve in water and some do not (e.g. salt / chalk). I know that melting, freezing, boiling, condensation and evaporating are reversible changes. I know that temperature measures how hot or cold something is.

I use scientific terms to describe changes. (Evaporation, condensation.) I use my knowledge of reversible and irreversible changes to make predictions about whether changes are reversible or not. I understand that mixing materials my also cause a reversible (dissolving) or irreversible (vinegar and bicarbonate of soda) change. I know that burning (e.g. wood) results in formation of a new material and that this is not usually reversible. I know that when a solid dissolves in a liquid it creates a solution and that this is a reversible change.

I can identify a range of contexts in which changes take place. (Eg. evaporation, condensation in the water cycle). I know that when an irreversible change takes place a new substance is being made and that this may be useful or not. I know how to reverse a range of reversible changes.

Changing materials

I can separate solid partials of different sizes by sieving. I can suggest ways to separate unfamiliar mixtures using scientific knowledge and available equipment.

I can separate insoluble solids from liquids by filtering. I can recover dissolved solids from liquids by evaporating (distillation).

I use my knowledge of how a mixture can be separated to suggest ways in which other similar mixtures might be separated. (E.g. salt and water, sand and water.) I use my knowledge of the properties of a material to suggest ways in which it could be separated (e.g. using magnetism or solubility.)

Separating mixtures of materials.

Birchfield Skills List: Science Materials and their properties


Level 2 Level 3 Level 4

I can identify a range of common materials and I know some of their properties. I can describe some similarities and differences between materials. (Roughness, hardness, shininess, floating, transparency, magnetic). I can compare materials and sort them into groups. I can describe to others, the reasons for my groupings. I know that some common types of material are found naturally. I can suggest why a particular material should be chosen for a particular job.

I describe materials into groups in a variety of ways using their properties. I can explain why some materials are particularly suitable for specific purposes (e.g. glass for windows). In know that some materials are better thermal insulators than others. I know that some materials are better electrical conductors than others. I can recognise the differences between solids, liquids and gases, in terms of how they flow and how they keep or change their size and shape.

Grouping and classifying materials

I describe the differences between the properties of different materials. I explain how these differences are used to classify substances (including solids, liquids, gases, acids and alkalis).

I can describe the changes to some materials by heating, cooling, bending and stretching. I can explore and describe the way some everyday materials (water, chocolate, bread, clay) change when they are heated or cooled.

I recognise that some changes can be reversed (e.g. freezing water) and some cannot (e.g. baking clay). I classify changes using reversible and nonreversible. I can describe what happens when simple materials are mixed (salt and water or oil and water). I can describe what happens when materials are heated or cooled (e.g. water, clay, dough). I know that some liquids dissolve in water and some do not (e.g. salt / chalk). I know that melting, freezing, boiling, condensation and evaporating are reversible changes. I know that temperature measures how hot or cold something is.

I use scientific terms to describe changes. (Evaporation, condensation.) I use my knowledge of reversible and irreversible changes to make predictions about whether changes are reversible or not. I understand that mixing materials my also cause a reversible (dissolving) or irreversible (vinegar and bicarbonate of soda) change. I know that burning (e.g. wood) results in formation of a new material and that this is not usually reversible. I know that when a solid dissolves in a liquid it creates a solution and that this is a reversible change.

Separating mixtures of materials.

Changing materials

I can separate solids from solids and solids from liquids using simple properties and equipment (e.g. paperclips from sand using a magnet, objects from water using a sieve).

I can separate solid partials of different sizes by sieving. I can suggest ways to separate unfamiliar mixtures using scientific knowledge and available equipment.

I can separate insoluble solids from liquids by filtering. I can recover dissolved solids from liquids by evaporating (distillation).

Birchfield Skills List: Science Materials and their properties


Level 1 Level 2 Level 3

I describe materials by saying what they look like and what they feel like. I can give reasons why a material may or may not be suitable for a certain purpose. I can recognise and name some common types of material (e.g. wood, plastic, glass, metal).

I can identify a range of common materials and I know some of their properties. I can describe some similarities and differences between materials. (Roughness, hardness, shininess, floating, transparency, magnetic). I can compare materials and sort them into groups. I can describe to others, the reasons for my groupings. I know that some common types of material are found naturally. I can suggest why a particular material should be chosen for a particular job.

I describe materials into groups in a variety of ways using their properties. I can explain why some materials are particularly suitable for specific purposes (e.g. glass for windows). In know that some materials are better thermal insulators than others. I know that some materials are better electrical conductors than others. I can recognise the differences between solids, liquids and gases, in terms of how they flow and how they keep or change their size and shape.

Grouping and classifying materials

I know that some materials change when they are heated or cooled. I know that the shape of objects can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.

I can describe the changes to some materials by heating, cooling, bending and stretching. I can explore and describe the way some everyday materials (water, chocolate, bread, clay) change when they are heated or cooled.

I recognise that some changes can be reversed (e.g. freezing water) and some cannot (e.g. baking clay). I classify changes using reversible and nonreversible. I can describe what happens when simple materials are mixed (salt and water or oil and water). I can describe what happens when materials are heated or cooled (e.g. water, clay, dough). I know that some liquids dissolve in water and some do not (e.g. salt / chalk). I know that melting, freezing, boiling, condensation and evaporating are reversible changes. I know that temperature measures how hot or cold something is.

Separating mixtures of materials.

Changing materials

With assistance I can use simple equipment to separate mixtures.

I can separate solids from solids and solids from liquids using simple properties and equipment (e.g. paperclips from sand using a magnet, objects from water using a sieve).

I can separate solid partials of different sizes by sieving. I can suggest ways to separate unfamiliar mixtures using scientific knowledge and available equipment.