Formulae and Kinematics

Students learn how to write a formula from a written description and use this formula to model various scenarios.  As learning progresses students work with the various kinematics formulae. This unit takes place in , and follows on from solving equations.


Formulae and Kinematics Lessons
Revision Lessons


Prerequisite Knowledge
  • Solve linear equations in one unknown algebraically (including those with the unknown on both sides of the equation)
  • Translate simple situations or procedures into algebraic expressions
  • Deduce expressions to calculate the nth term of linear sequence
  • Use compound units such as speed, rates of pay, unit pricing, density and pressure

Success Criteria
  • Substitute numerical values into formulae and expressions, including scientific formulae
  • Understand and use the concepts and vocabulary of expressions, equations, formulae, identities inequalities, terms and factors
  • Understand and use standard mathematical formulae; rearrange formulae to change the subject
  • Use relevant formulae to find solutions to problems such as simple kinematic problems involving distance, speed and acceleration
  • Know the difference between an equation and an identity; argue mathematically to show algebraic expressions are equivalent, and use algebra to support and construct arguments


Key Concepts
  • When substituting known values into formulae it is important to follow the order of operations.
  • Students need to have a secure understanding of using the balance method when rearranging formulae. Recap inverse operations, e.g. x2 => √x;.
  • When generating formulae it is important to associate mathematical operations and their algebraic notation with key words.
  • Sketching a diagram to model a motion enables students to identify the key information and choose the correct Kinematic formula.

Common Misconceptions
  • Students often consider 2a3; to be incorrectly calculated as (2a)3;. Recap the order of operations to avoid this.
  • Students often have difficulty generating formulae from real life contexts. Encourage them to carefully break down the written descriptions to identify key words.
  • Knowing which kinematics formula to use often causes students to drop mark in examinations.
  • When factorising terms students often forget to use the highest common factor.

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