Properties and characteristics of materials

Infant and junior classes 

In infant and junior classes children should be introduced to, and be able to recognise, common materials in the immediate environment, such as food, metal, rocks, plastic, glass, wood, paper and textiles. Pupils should become aware that each material has its own characteristics or properties. Children will realise through designing and making activities and the investigation of common materials that the properties of a material make it suitable for particular uses; for example, the transparency of glass makes it suitable for windows.

Children will group materials according to how they are used in the environment, for example materials for building or for making furniture. By third and fourth classes children will be aware that some materials occur naturally, for example wood, sand and water, while others are manufactured, for example brick, concrete and plastic.