Digestive System

Year 4

Unit Overview

In the Digestive System project, your child will revisit the meaning of scientific vocabulary, including producer, consumer, carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, predator and prey. They will learn about the features of ecosystems and the meaning of new terminology, including 'biotic', which means living, and 'abiotic', which means non-living. They will research an ecosystem and use the information gathered in future lessons. They will learn about two scientific diagrams, a food chain and a food web, finding out what these diagrams are and what they show. They will discuss the similarities and differences between food chains and food webs and sketch examples. They will revisit the word 'interdependence' and its meaning and discuss how living things depend on biotic and abiotic features of ecosystems for their survival. They will discuss the challenges different ecosystems face from human activities such as pollution or natural events such as deforestation. They will then learn about the digestive system of humans, naming the digestive organs, describing their functions and finding out what happens to the food they eat. They will learn the names and functions of the four types of human teeth and identify the differences between the teeth of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. They will ask questions to discover the importance of oral hygiene and its role in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. They will complete their learning by creating and carrying out an investigation into the effectiveness of fluoride toothpaste.


We will be creating our own investigation into the effectiveness of fluoride toothpaste using eggs!

We will be eating apples and bread to consider the function of different teeth types.


We will be writing up our experiments and drawing their own conclusions based on their results.

We will be writing an information text based on Gut Garden by Katie Brosnan.


The children will be challenged to find producers and consumers in the Parkfield grounds.

Unit Sequence: Learning Intentions

  1. Ecosystems: Introducing the features of ecosystems and conducting research into various ecosystems.

  2. Food Chains and Changes in Habitat: Constructing and interpreting a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey; considering how changes in environment impact living things.

  3. Digestive System: Describing the simple functions of parts of the digestive system in humans.

  4. Healthy Teeth: Identifying the different types of teeth in humans and their simple functions; know about dental health and good oral hygiene.

  5. Let's Investigate 1: Planning an investigation based on the effectiveness of toothpaste; setting up simple practical enquiries and fair tests.

  6. Let's Investigate 2: Gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data based on their investigation; recording and evaluating their findings.

Scientific Enquiry: Investigations

  1. How does toothpaste protect teeth?

    • Making systematic and careful observations, taking accurate measurements using a range of equipment.

    • Begin to independently plan, set up and carry out a range of comparative and fair tests, making predictions and following a method accurately.

    • Gather, record, classify and present data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions; record findings using simple scientific data.

    • Use scientific vocabulary to report and answer questions about findings and draw simple conclusions.


An investigation into the effectiveness of fluoride toothpaste.


Gut Garden: A Journey into the Wonderful World of your Microbiome by Katie Brosnan.