The Nature of Science
Science is an important and valued subject because it is highly relevant; an integral part of daily life: from cooking and checking the weather, to recycling and nature walks. It is concerned with both asking questions and finding ways of answering those questions in order to understand the world around us.
Through science, our lives are changed for the better. We believe that all pupils should be taught about the role that science plays in positive advancements, as well as scientific knowledge, methods and processes.
Advances in science are continuing to transform our world at lightning speed and we need to do our best to prepare our pupils for a future we can only imagine.
Every child needs a practical understanding of science which goes beyond the mere questions of scientific knowledge
How is science taught?
Science is taught through thematic units. The Satellite View (see the year group overviews below) maps out which thematic units feature this subject and clearly shows the objectives taught.
Science is taught through working scientifically (involving practical investigation, observation and application skills, enquiry and research) alongside specific taught subject knowledge. Learning takes place both inside and outside the classroom.
What do we learn about in Science?
‘Learning Means the World’ Curriculum
We learn about:-
Animals, including humans
Living things and their habitats
Light and heat
Forces and magnets
Earth and space
Evolution and inheritance
How can I help my child in Science?
1. Know what they are doing in school.
Information on class pages ( the curriculum maps) will let you know what your children are studying in school. The overviews above will also show what science knowledge is covered in which theme. Ask your children what they have been learning. Encourage them to explain their learning and discuss any practical activities that they have done.
2. Get Hands-on
We encourage children to see science happening around them all the time and not just at school. For this reason, children in KS1 have the opportunity to take home Science Explorer bags over the year. These contain a variety of simple investigations to carry out at home with an adult. Please encourage children to discuss their observations and to develop their scientific vocabulary. We hope to make these science bags available further up the school later in the year.
3. Look up fun, practical science experiments you can do at home with everyday objects.
- Ask ‘What happens when you mix food colouring in milk?’ Then add washing up liquid and watch what happens.
- Why not try making your own mini exploding volcano? Just add bicarbonate of soda, food colouring, washing up liquid and vinegar. Then stand back and watch the eruption!
- Cooking is also a great opportunity to mix ingredients, add heat and examine changing states.
- Try exploring changing states with ice and water to begin to see those changes that can be reversed and those that can’t.
- A real favourite would have to be ‘gloop’ — use water and cornflour (add food colouring too if needed) to explore solids and liquids. Just be prepared to get messy!
- Of course, there are also some wonderful science kits available to buy to push your scientists further – making crystals, rockets and even bouncy balls.
Anything where children can be hands-on and see the science happen in front of their eyes is guaranteed to be get them interested! There are some links below to provide you with even more fun practical ideas.
Ideas for Practical Activities that can be carried out at home.
- The National Curriculum for science
- for video clips and activities
- The Science Museum for information, games etc.
- The Children’s University of Manchester Science pages
- The Royal Institute’s annual Christmas lectures make science real for children and are available online, along with lots of other educational goodies
- National Geographic Kids
- https://www.twigsciencereporter.com/ is a website free to join which features current science news.
- https://primaryscienceonline.org.uk/ This is a fantastic website which explains everything you need to know about science in primary school: it explain the types of enquiry, includes a glossary of scientific terms, includes a link the the National Curriculum for science and much much more.
The video below provides an explanation of what it means to be a scientist and discusses working scientifically.
Find out more about the five different types of enquiry. Click on each document for more information
Five Types of Scientific Enquiry
SCIENCE DAY ASSEMBLY
Miss Manly introduced Science Day in an assembly in the morning.
The whole school carried out a pattern seeking investigation in class. The question was, 'Are people with bigger feet taller?' Each year group carried out the investigation slightly differently and recorded in their own ways. As well as this investigation, children also took part in a range of other activities. Have a look at what we all got up to.
We started off by the children ordering themselves by height. We then split into groups (ensuring a range of heights were in each group) and then the children measured and recorded their results.
Following on from the assembly, we decided to see if the children could get the experiment with the water in bags to work. The children were successful in piercing their bags with no leaking (unlike Miss Manly earlier in the day).
The children poured different liquids into a measuring cylinder and then observed what happened. The different liquids created layers due to the different densities. Different small objects were then placed into the cylinders and the children were surprised to find out that they settled in different places too, again due to density. The children recorded their observations in their books.
Pattern seeking - 'Are people with bigger feet taller?'
Throughout the year we hold after school science clubs for Key Stage1 and Key Stage 2.
Over a series of 8 sessions, the children work towards gaining the CREST science Award. CREST is an award that inspires young people to think and behave like scientists and engineers. Take a look at our photographs to see what the children have been up to.
Miss Manly is is now leading a science club in Year 3.
Session 8 - Journey Stick
The children found out about how some native Americans and some Aboriginal people used to used to tie/stick things that they find to a stick which would help them tell others about their journeys. They had fun in the forest school creating their own journey sticks and discussing them with the group.
Session 7 - Fantastic Fingerprints
The children read an article about the possibility of fingerprint technology being used in schools. We looked at different types of fingerprints and looked closely at our own using phonoscopes. We also talked about how detectives are able to lift fingerprints from a crime scene and find out who committed the crime. The children practised these skills and tried to find the best materials to use to do this. They even managed to lift their fingerprints from a piece of plastic and use tape to put on on paper to view easier.
Session 6 - Disappearing Dinosaurs
The children read about poem about dinosaurs becoming extinct. We all then had a discussion about the reason that dinosaurs no longer exist and considered a range of theories. The children then carried out further research on the internet to try and decide on the most likely theory.
Session 5 - Dog Napper
The children looked at an article about a dog being kidnapped and held for ransom. Using their knowledge of chromatography, they investigated which pen (which belonged to the suspects) was used to write the ransom note.
Session 4 - Bridge Blunder
The children had to investigate which type of bridge is the strongest. They built models of bridges using card and paper and tested how strong they were using weights.
Session 3 - Chromatography
The children had fun learning about chromatography and were surprised to find out black inks are made by mixing different colours. They then used this knowledge and made book marks.
Session 2 - Racing Rockets
The children investigated the best shape for a rocket. They made paper rockets and then changed the shape and added fins etc to see which rocket would travel the furthest.
Session 1 - Super Spinners
The children were investigating which size blades would be best for a helicopter. They made and tested paper spinners.
Mrs Berry has been leading the science club in Year 5
Miss Manly has been leading the science clubs in Year 4
Session 10 - Journey Stick
The children learned all about the different groups of people who used journey stick (aborigines and native Americans). They used to attach items that they found on their journey in chronologically according to when they were found. When they returned, they would retell their journey using the journey stick as a prompt. The children created made their own journey sticks on they 'journey' through our lovely Forest School.
Session 9 - Sticky Problems (over to you)
The children read 2 newspaper articles about different inventions. One invention was a mistake and resulted in what we know as Post-it notes (the glue was supposed to stick). Another invention was inspired by the gecko and was a sticky tape which could hold up huge weights up-side-down. the children had to work in groups and come up with their own ideas of how to use these 2 sticky substances.
Session 8 - Disappearing Dinosaurs
This started with a discussion about dinosaurs and we explored what the children knew. We discussed ideas about how they became extinct. The children then carried on further research looking at all of the different ideas and evaluated the evidence coming up with their thoughts on how dinosaurs died. Some thought it was an earthquake (some thinking caused by a meteor), others thought a volcanic eruption. It was interesting to find out more about this topic.
Session 7 - Racing Rockets
This task was about finding out the best size and shape for a rocket. The children used straws, paper, glue and sticky tape to make the rocket and its launcher.
Session 6 - A Sticky Problem (making glue)
We read a reader letter to a science magazine about a child who wanted to find out the best glue to make her go-kart. We made 3 types of glue using different ingredients and had to test them considering different points: how sticky was the glue when dry? How sticky was the glue if wet? Would the glue wash out of clothes? We carried out our own tests to find out.
Session 5 - Fluoride: Good or bad?
The children were introduced to extracts from the Diary of Dr Frederick McKay in the early 20th century. It discussed an issue with people who had brown stains on their teeth. He said the believed there to be a link between the brown stains and fluoride. He also suggested that those with the stains were less likely to get tooth decay. The children researched more information and made their own decisions about whether or not fluoride should be added to water. They created posters to display their information.
Session 4 - Investigating Ink (The Dognapper)
We read an article about a prize-winning cocker spaniel being dognapped and, as we had already had a session investigating ink, we were asked to look at the ransom note. The note had gotten a little wet in the rain and we noticed that the ink had spread on the paper and started to separate into different colours. We had also been given a selection of pens belonging to some of the suspects in the case. The children set about testing each pen using chromatography on filter papers. This helped them to narrow down the suspects but it was not really conclusive and so we then tested on white paper towels. Again, this narrowed down the suspects to a final two. Eventually, the children decided to test the actual paper with the final 2 pens. This worked. The results were definitely conclusive.
Session 3 - Super Spinners
The children were given a challenge to find out of the size of blades would make a difference to a helicopter. The children had a template to create a spinner which mimicked a helicopter. They then used that design to create difference sized spinners with difference sized blades. We found out that the larger bladed spinner did spin slower and took longer to fall to the ground due to air resistance.
Session 2 - Finger Prints
The children were given the challenge to find out if our fingerprints really are all different. They looked at their own fingerprints using special phonoscopes and then tested different powders to find out which would work best to take our fingerprints. They even managed to lift fingerprints from a plastic sheet onto paper. They all had great fun.
Session 1 - Chromatography
The children used paper towels and different felt tips to discover chromatography. They made their own book marks.
Y4 - Effect of Different Liquids on Teeth
Y3 - Investigating Circuits
Y6 - Blood Cells Comic Strips
Y6 - Making 'Blood'
Y2 - Testing Materials
Y1 - Testing paper boats on the water.
Year 4 - Digestive system model
Year 4 - Muscle model using balloons and cardboard tubes.
Year 4 - African animals classification keys
Year 2 - Investigating circuits
Year 3 - Reflective surfaces
Year 3 - Investigating the best material to make curtains.
Year 4 - Rocks and fossils workshop
Year 4 - Making orange slushies
Year 4 - Testing soil permeability
Year 4 - The water cycle
Year 4 - States of matter
Year 4 - Investigation rock formation
Year 2 - Plants
Year 3 - Investigating gravity
Year 5 - Making crystals
Year 5 - Soils sundaes
Year 5 - Building brides (science and DT)
Year 2 - In the Forest School
Nursery - Autumn walk
Nursery - Dental nurse visit (science and PSHCE)
Reception - Oral health team visit (science and PSHCE)
Year 4 - Dancing raisins
Year 3 - Magnetic materials hunt
Year 4 - Resistance of liquids
Year 3 - Friction
Year 4 - Floating plasticine challenge.
Year 4 - Water displacement
KS1 - Science Explorer Bags
Children in our Year 1 and Year 2 classes have the opportunity to take home a very special Science Explorer Bag. These bags are full of ideas to carry on science learning at home. Each class has 2 different bags. One has a main theme of birds and trees and includes binoculars and various identification books and charts. The other has a theme of flowers and insects and includes a magnifying glass, a bug catcher and a range of identification charts and books. Each bag also has a book filled with ideas of different practical experiments to carry out at home. If your child does take home the science bag, please ensure that all of the equipment is looked after and all returned with the bag. There is a checklist included to help you tick off items as you repack. Once your child has completed an activity and recorded it in the book, the bag should be returned to class so that science at home can be celebrated. Thank you for your support.
Look at the amazing work some of our KS1 children have done at home using the Science Explorer Bags.
Have a look at this AMAZING piece of work that this child did at home. What a fantastic scientist.
2M Science bag