Light Theory

Year 6

Unit Overview

In the Light Theory project, your child will create a mind map to recap their prior learning about light sources, reflectors, day and night, sun safety and shadows. They will observe how light travels in straight lines. They will use their research skills to discover what happens to light when it enters the eye and how this relates to how we see. They will learn about the electromagnetic spectrum, finding out about visible light in detail. They will investigate how we perceive colour, learning that the stimulation of cells in the eye helps us perceive light, dark and colour. Using a torch for a light source, they will explore how shadows change, including their shape, size and how they become distorted. They will discuss what happens to light when it strikes a surface, learning about absorption, reflection, scattering and transmitted light. They will use different mirrors, including plane, concave and convex, to explore how they affect reflections. They will use a light meter to measure light and will observe refraction, and ask and answer scientific questions about the phenomena.


During our trip to the Air Raid Shelters in Stockport, children will take part in an experiment to see how light travels in the tunnels.


Writing investigations - equipment, method, prediction, findings, conclusions.


Experiment in the outside area of school, experiment in the Air raid shelters, research to carry out in to the use of light in our homes.

Unit Sequence: Learning Intentions

  1. To recognise that light appears to travel in straight lines.

  2. To understand that light sources give out light which can be natural or artificial.

  3. To investigate visible light

  4. To explore colour perception

  5. To explore shadows

  6. To investigate reflection and refraction

Scientific Enquiry: Investigations

  1. What colour is a shadow?

    • Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them.

    • Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.

  2. Can you see through it?

    • Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.

    • Plan and carry out a range of enquiries, including writing methods, identifying and controlling variables, deciding on equipment and data to collect and making predictions based on prior knowledge and understanding.

  3. How does light travel?

    • Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.

  4. What are reflections?

    • Mirrors and lenses are used in a range of everyday objects (telescopes, periscopes, cards and on roads). The human eye has a lens that bends and focuses light on the back of the eye (retina) so that we can see.

    • Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.


Children select their own particular area of interest to carry out a science investigation in to and plan, deliver and report on the findings of this to the rest of the class.


Light (Science in Action) by Joanna Brundle

Light and Colour by Peter Riley

The Illuminating World of Light with Max Axiom by Emily Soh

Making with light (science makers) by Anna Claybourne