What is inside 'Earth and Space' – a new topic in Cambridge Primary Science?
By : Sinta Ary Gasella
Science is one of the subjects that children look forward to. The topics in Science which
mostly cover about the Earth answer the children's curiosity about their surroundings. The new
Cambridge Primary Science curriculum has an additional topic of ‘Earth and Space’, explaining
about Earth, other planets, and objects in the solar system. It gives students new opportunities
to learn about Earth and also the Solar System. The topic is given in Stage 2 and Stage 5 of
Stage 2 has two core skills for the topic. Students will be exploring how the Sun appears
to move during the day and how shadows change. Exploring the Sun’s movement is the basic
concept that the students need to understand. Most young learners develop misconceptions
about the Sun and Earth rotations and movements. They tend to believe that the Sun moves
around the Earth. This misconception starts when our children see how the Sun rises sets on
the east and sets on the west. By encouraging students to observe the Sun’s movement and
expose students to the facts and current findings about it, it helps to fix the misconception and
build correct understanding on how the Sun and planets move in the Solar System. To achieve
the goal, teachers need to explain about the concepts, whilst using meaningful media.
Stage 5 Earth and Space topic consists of four core skills. The skills are
● Explore, through modeling, that the sun does not move; its apparent movement
is caused by the Earth spinning on its axis
● Know that the Earth spins on its axis once in every 24 hours
● Know that the Earth takes a year to orbit the sun, spinning as it goes
● Research the lives and discoveries of scientists who explored the solar system
By providing a model to show the earth’s movement around the sun will help
students to recall what they learn in Stage 2 and strengthen their understanding about the
planet's movement in the solar system. Rotation and evolution of the Earth enlighten students
about the Earth’s movement as well other planets. The last skill requires students to enhance
their scientific inquiry skill where they do research for more information about the solar system
through the discoveries by scientists.
Earth and Space topic is surely engaging and crucial for students in Primary level.
Teachers need to be always ready in tackling further enquiries from students when students
bring their background knowledge and questions for the topic. Model, videos, pictures and
articles can be meaningful learning media for students when exploring this topic or fixing their