Magnetism and electricity in the primary curriculum

Fifth and sixth class

Strand unit: Magnetism and electricity

The child should be enabled to:

  • Learn that magnets can push or pull magnetic materials
  • Investigate how magnets may be made
    stroking a piece of iron or steel with a magnet
    passing electricity through a coil around a
    piece of iron or steel (electromagnet)
  • Explore the use of magnets to lift and hold objects
    how magnets can be used in cranes, door catches
    how magnets may be used to sort materials
  • Learn about electrical energy
  • Investigate current electricity by constructing simple circuits
    use wire, bulbs, motors and batteries
    use more than one bulb in a circuit
    use more than one battery in a circuit
    experiment with simple switches
    design and make set of traffic lights using a simple circuit and switch
  • Become aware of how some common electrical appliances work
  • Become aware of and understand the dangers of electricity
    dangers of mains electricity in the home and at work
    the importance of fuses and circuit breakers for safety

Strand unit: Forces

The child should be enabled to:

  • Identify and explore how objects and materials may be moved
    by pushing and pulling
    by machines using rollers, wheels, axles, gear wheels, chains and belts
    by pouring and pumping
    using trapped air pressure (pneumatics)
    using trapped liquid under pressure (hydraulics)
    using wind energy
    harnessing energy of moving water
    design and make a lifting device that uses levers and gears
    design and make a windmill, water wheel or wind turbine to spin a coloured disk or turn a flywheel
  • Explore the effect of friction on movement and how it may be used to slow or stop
    moving objects
    a bicycle wheel by a brake
    a falling object by a parachute
    air resistance, streamlining
  • Explore how friction can generate heat rubbing hands
  • Come to appreciate that gravity is a force
  • Become aware that objects have weight because of the pull of gravity design and make a spring balance
  • Explore how levers may be used to help lift different objects
    design and make a toy using a lever