Plants and Science for 11-14 Year Olds


How can pupils be encouraged to see the connections between the sciences? How can they lay the foundation for a synoptic understanding of key scientific concepts?

In this innovative suite of resources, we cover key topics in biology, physics and chemistry, through the themes of plant evolution and adaptation. This collection of resources is designed to support science teaching at key stage 3 and similar curriculums for 11-14 year olds. 

The resources involve a mixture of independent investigations, engaging and hands-on practicals, and activities to identify misconceptions and strengthen understanding. Teachers can opt to include as many or as few of the resources from the collection as they like. Each resource includes a full students’ sheet, and technical and teaching notes.  

SAPS resources map

Resources used in the session plans, together with other SAPS resources are summarised in the SAPS resources map. For convenience, they are grouped under the three science areas Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Each is divided into topics, the contents of which are illustrated by statements from Science Programmes of Study: key stage 3 (National Curriculum in England, 2013).

The resource provides ideas and contexts across the sciences that use plant-based activities to spark curiosity and interest and to engage students in topics, and to provide a scenario or setting for activities that makes up the main part of a lesson.



  • Structure and function of living organisms: Cells and organisation; The skeletal and muscular systems; Nutrition and digestion; Gas exchange systems; Reproduction; Health
  • Material cycles and energy: Photosynthesis; Cellular respiration
  • Interactions and interdependencies: Relationships in an ecosystem; Inheritance, chromosomes, DNA and genes



  • The particulate nature of matter; Atoms, elements and compounds; Pure and impure substances; Chemical reactions; Energetics; The Periodic Table; Materials; Earth and atmosphere



  • Energy: Calculation of fuel uses and costs in the domestic context; Energy changes and transfers; Changes in systems
  • Motion and forces: Describing motion; Forces; Pressure in fluids; Balanced forces; Forces and motion
  • Waves: Observed waves; Sound waves; Energy and waves; Light waves
  • Electricity and electromagnetism: Current electricity; Static electricity; Magnetism
  • Matter: Physical changes; Particle model; Energy in matter; Space physics


Across the sciences

New resources have been produced that may be included in schemes of work to refreshreinforce or revise some important scientific ideas that cut across all areas of science.

They are grouped under topic titles:


Each topic

  • uses plants as a context to refresh, reinforce or revise important scientific ideas that cut across all areas of science, in particular those associated matter, energy and change
  • provides opportunities to address some common barriers to learning science, including scientific terminology and misconceptions
  • consists of one or more student sheets, each with a teacher sheet.


refreshreinforce or revise session could consist of one of the sheets or a suitable group. The resource enables you make the choice.

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