Primary General Science Glossary

This is a general primary science glossary. For class specific glossaries please go to the specific subjects

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A circuit is a closed loop for electricity to travel around. In primary school children learn about simple series circuits in which a single wire runs from a battery to a bulb and back again.

Circulatory system

The circulatory system is is the network of organs (including the heart) and vessels that allows the flow of blood, nutrients and oxygen around the body.

Climacteric fruit

The climacteric is a stage of fruit ripening associated with ethylene production and cell respiration rise. Apples, bananas, melons, apricots, tomatoes (among others) are climacteric fruit. Citrus, grapes, strawberries are non-climacteric (they ripen without ethylene and respiration bursts).

Cobalt chloride

A chemical substance often used to predict the presence of water molecules within the air or other substance.


The silky protective case spun by the larvae of some insects and moths in which they metamorphose.


Cohesion is a physical property of a substance, caused by the intermolecular attraction between like-molecules within a body or substance that acts to unite them.

Colour spectrum

The distribution of colours produced when light is dispersed by a prism. The order is displayed in the following order: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Violet.


The opposite of ‘evaporate’. The transition from a gaseous state into a liquid state.


Condensation is to turn from a gas into a liquid. In the water cycle, the evaporated water in the air cools and turns back into a liquid.


The movement of heat through a material as kinetic energy is transferred from molecule to molecule. The handle of an iron pan on the stove gets hot due to heat conduction.

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