Units of Work

We know that children learn best when they want to learn. That’s why the IPC has over 90 different thematic units of learning; all child-friendly, modern-day topics appealing to all ages of primary children; themes include Time Detectives, Airports, I’m Alive, Inventions and Machines and Global Swapshop. The theme enables young children to remain motivated through the Learning of Science, Geography, History and so on. It also allows them to make purposeful links and connections throughout their learning and to see how their subject learning is related to the world they live in. Within each theme, the IPC suggests many ideas for collaborative learning, for active learning, for learning outside the classroom, for role play, and for children learning from each other. Each IPC unit incorporates a range of subjects including Science, History, Geography, ICT, Art and PE and provides many opportunities to link literacy and numeracy. Each subject then has a number of learning tasks to help teachers to help children achieve a range of IPC learning goals.

Each unit is appropriate for one of three different age-groups: five to seven year olds, seven to nine year olds, and nine to twelve year olds. The IPC calls these age-groups Mileposts.

Early Years


1. All About Me

The big idea

In this unit the children are going to be finding out all about themselves, their new friends in the class and all of the exciting things they can do now that they are at school.
They will:
Play with bricks, blocks, sand and water
Paint pictures of themselves
Listen to stories
Sing songs
Learn everyone’s name


2. Animals

The big idea
In this unit the children are going to be learning about wild animals - the kind that live in the jungle or sometimes in a zoo.
They will:
Play games about animals
Pretend to be animals Listen to animal stories Make homes for animals
Have a jungle
Zoo corner in the classroom
Bake some animal biscuits


3. Bears

4. Changes

5. Clothes 

6. Family and Friends

7. Food

8. Houses and Homes

9. Let's pretend 

10. Patterns

11. Plants and Flowers

12. Sand and Water 


14. The Olympics, Let's Get Moving 

15. Transport

16. Treasure

17. Up and Away


Milepost 1 (Age 5-7)

Units of Work


1. All Dressed Up
The big idea

Have you ever seen an elephant in a dress? Or a giraffe in a pair of jeans? Of course not, because unlike animals, only human beings wear clothes. Clothes are an important part of our lives. They can keep us warm (or cool). We can wear different colours and designs and change them for different occasions, we can follow the latest fashions – and even make them ourselves! So what do the clothes you wear say about you?
In Geography, we’ll be finding out:
What people wear in different countries
What the climate is like in different parts of the world
How the weather affects what people wear
In Science, we’ll be finding out:
How we can sort materials
How to carry out a scientific investigation
Which materials will keep us warm or dry
In Art, we’ll be finding out:
How to create our own tartan design
About symmetry in design
How to make repeat patterns

In History, we’ll be finding out:
About clothes people wore in the past
About comparing clothes ‘then’ to ‘now’
In Society, we’ll be finding out:
About protective and reflective clothing
In International, we’ll be finding out:
About the clothes people wear for special occasions
How to design a school uniform


2. Art (Specialist Course)

3. Buildings (Structures)

4. Flowers and Insects 

5. From A to B (Transport and Travel)

6. Hooray... Let's Go on a Holiday! (The Places People Go To)

7. How are you? (Health)

8. I am alive (Living Things)

9. ICT (Specialist Unit)

10. Our World (The Environment)

11. Let's Celebrate (Celebrations) 

12. Media Magic (Communication)

13. Music (Specialist Unit)

14. Science - Freeze It! (Changing and Separating)

15. Scence - Greenfingers (Plants)

16. Science - It's Shocking! (Electricity) 

17. Science - Look and Listen (Sound and Light)

18. Science - Push me - Pull you! (Forces)

19. Science - Water World 

20. Science - What is it made of? (Grouping and Classifying )

21. Seeing the Light (Light and Dark)

22. Sensational (The Senses)

23. The Circus is Coming to Town (Movement and Entertainment)

24. The First Olympians (The Olympic Games)

25. The Magic Storymaker (Toys and Games)

26. The Stories People Tell (Myths, Legends and Fables)

27. The Things People Do (Jobs)

28. Time Detectives (Finding out about the Past)

29. We are What We Eat (Food)

30. Who Am I? (Ourselves)



Milepost 2 (Age 7-9)

Units of Work:


1. Active Planet (Earthquakes and Volcanoes)

The big idea

The tectonic plates that form the Earth’s crust are always moving. Even the smallest movement can cause huge earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis that devastate communities across wide areas. If we can understand what is happening underground we can learn to predict and protect ourselves in the future.
In Geography, we’ll be finding out:
About how the Earth is formed
What a volcano island is and where they are in the world
What causes an earthquake
How earthquakes can be measured
In Technology, we’ll be finding out:
What makes buildings strong
About protective clothing and equipment
About how to put together a survival kit
In Science, we’ll be finding out:
What happens when a volcano erupts
What happens when rock melts
How volcanoes can give off poisonous gas

In History, we’ll be finding out:
About the devastation of Pompeii
In Art, we’ll be finding out:
About hot and cold colours
About using different materials and techniques to represent a volcano
In Society, we’ll be finding out:
About legends associated with volcanoes
Why people continue to live in volcanic areas despite the dangers
In International, we’ll be finding out:
About international organisations that work after natural disasters
About the knock-on effects of earthquakes and volcanic activity


2. Brainwave (The Art of Learning)

3. Explorers and Adventures (Discovering the World)

3. Fashion (Popular Culture)

4. Footprints from the Past (Before People)

5. Gateways to the World (Airports)

6. Inventions that Changed the World (How Things Work)

7. Living Together (Community)

8. Paintings, Pictures and Photographs (Visual Representation) 

9. Saving the World (Rainforests)

10. Science - Bright Sparks! (Electricity)

11. Science - Feel the Force (Forces)

12. Science - Let's Plant it - Plants

13. Science - Material World (Grouping and Classifying Materials)

14. Science - On Tap - (Water)

15. Science - Shake It! (Changing and Separating Materials)

16. Science - Turn it Up (Sound and Light)

17. Shaping Up (Health and Fitness)

18. The Generation Game (Young and Old)

19. The Olympic Games 

20. They Made a Difference! (Significant People)

21. Time and Place, Earth and Space (Time Zones)

22. Treasure (Archeology)

23. What's on the Menu? (Survival)

24. Young Entrepreneurs (Money and Trade) 

Milepost 3 (Age 9-12)

Units of Work 


1. Black Gold (The Oil Industry)

The big idea

Oil is essential to our daily lives. It gives us many thousands of different products, most of which we have all come to rely on. But what might happen when the oil runs out?
In Geography, we’ll be finding out:
About energy and what we use it for
Where oil is found
How oil is formed
Why oil is so important
About oil spills and how they are cleaned up
About the environmental impact of oil spills and oil use

In Science, we’ll be finding out:
How we extract different products from crude oil
About how oil spills affect birds and other wildlife
How we can investigate and identify different rock samples
How oil is formed and trapped underground
In International, we’ll be finding out:
About alternative energy sources and sustainable projects around the world

2. Brainwave (The Learning Brain)

3. Building a Village (Settlements)

4. Champions for Change (Rulers and Governments)

5. Climate Control (Climate Change)

6. Express Yourself (Feelings)

7. Fairgrounds (Energy, Forces, Sound and Light)

8. Fit for Life (Health Education)

9. Go with the Flow (Rivers)

10. Going Global (World Trade and Organization)

11. Making New Materials

12. Making the News (Print, Broadcast and Online Journalism)

13. Mission to Mars (Living in Space)

14. Moving People (Migration)

15. Myths and Legends (Myths, Legends and Beleifs)

16. Science - Bake It! (Changing and Separating Materials)

17. Science -Fascinating Forces (Forces)

18. Science - From Bronze to Bioplastic (Grouping and Classifying Materials)

19. Science - Full Power (Electricity)

20. Science: Investigators (Materials and their Property)

21. Science - Look, Hear! (Sound and Light)

22. Science - Roots, Shoots and Fruits (Plants)

23. Science - Water for Everyone (Water)

24. Space Explorers (Astronomy and Space)

25. Switched On (Controlled Technology)

26. The Athlete (Olympic Games)

27. The Holiday Show (Location and Tourism)

28. The Time Channel (Chronology and Timelines)

29. They See the World Like This (Artists' Impressions of the World)

30. Weather and Climate

31. What a Wonderful World (The Natural World)

32. What Price Progress? (Invention and Development)

Primary School Units of Inquiry
Units of Inquiry Overview for Primary Sc
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