Earth and Space (National Curriculum 2014)

Pupils should be taught to:

  •  describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system ( Earth and Space)
  • describe the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth
  • describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies
  • use the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky.

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Pupils should be introduced to a model of the Sun and Earth that enables them to explain day and night. Pupils should learn that the Sun is a star at the centre of our solar system and that it has eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune (Pluto was reclassified as a ‘dwarf planet’ in 2006). They should understand that a moon is a celestial body that orbits a planet (Earth has one moon; Jupiter has four large moons and numerous smaller ones).

Note: Pupils should be warned that it is not safe to look directly at the Sun, even when
wearing dark glasses.