Five key ideas from the U.K. Science Framework

The following five key ideas underpin and permeate the science you will study at KS3.

You should recognise these ideas when they come up in your studies and realize the importance placed upon them.


Cells are the 'building blocks of life' is a common phrase that is not always appreciated or fully understood.

Understanding what cells do, their requirements, and their specialisation into tissues and organs, helps us to understand why complex living organisms are the way they are. It enables us to make greater sense of the organ systems and life processes if we understand how the 'building blocks' work.


It is important that we understand that nothing in the Universe is made up of discrete parts but everything is part of a continuous environment where activities in one place at one time may produce effects far away or a long time afterwards.

To simplify things in science we often break down things to concentrate on one aspect. We control variables as much as we can to do our investigations, but we should never lose sight of the inter-connectability of everything around us and our limitations in isolating parts.

The particle theory of matter is the abstract idea that helps develop an understanding of why materials behave as they do. It gives us a new insight into how the nature and behaviour of materials can be explained in a range of contexts by using a 'model'.

Forces change the state of rest or motion of a body. They hold matter together and interplay between all objects.


Energy is a powerful and unifying abstract idea which is difficult to define. It allows us to explain a range of physical phenomena, to account for what happens in biological, chemical, geological and physical processes, and to make predictions.

We must understand that energy allows us to keep track of change. A simple model for energy transfer can help us appreciate the idea of energy conservation.