Lots of exciting, practical science activities have taken place at St Paul’s recently. Here’s a sneak peak…

ST PAUL'SKS1 Science Day

Year 1 and Year 2 were both lucky enough to get to take part in a fantastic science day early on in the Autumn term. They met a special scientist who made enormous bubbles and then they created their own bubbles with a fizzy chemical reaction. They even got to make their own sherbet to take home!
YEAR 1Seasonal Changes
Year 1 enjoyed going on a walk around the school grounds and local area looking for signs of Autumn. They will repeat this looking for signs of winter, spring and summer as the year progresses so that they can see changes over time.
What are things made from?
As a part of their materials topic, Year 1 children did a lot of identifying and classifying. They compared and classified objects according to what materials they were made from (such as fabric, plastic, paper, wood, metal).

They also classified materials according to their physical properties (such as opaque, transparent, smooth/rough, rigid/flexible) and attempted to distinguish between natural and man-made materials, grouping them accordingly. Always ready to enjoy some wet play, the children also really enjoyed carrying out a comparative test to investigate which objects would float and which would sink.
Plants – What are they?
The children in Year 1 identified the basic structure and functions of a plant and are working towards identifying and naming a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees.
YEAR 2How do we choose materials? Can we change materials?
Identifying and classifying skills were put to the test in Year 2 when they had to group objects according to the material they were made from (i.e. metal, plastic, wood, fabric). They then had to identify materials and their uses (e.g. glass is used for windows because it is transparent). The children found it funny to think which materials are used in a range of household objects and why (e.g. a teapot can be made of metal because it is strong but not chocolate because it would melt). They put their investigative skills to the test when they were set challenges to find the best material to fix Aunt Stella’s umbrella and the best material for a teabag.
What is alive?
Identifying and classifying came up again when the children had to classify things as living vs. dead. They identified different habitats and how they provide for the basic needs of the animals which live in them and they really enjoyed getting out and exploring the school grounds, identifying the plants and animals found in the different habitats.
YEAR 3Are all rocks the same?
Our Year 3 children compared and grouped different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties. They then went on to carry out a range of tests to see which rock would be best suited to build steps outside. They learnt about the different types of rocks (igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic) and how fossils are made. They compared the composition of different soils as well as carrying out a comparative test to see which type of soil drained water through the quickest. Year 3 also researched the life of Mary Anning, putting their English skills to good use in writing some amazing biographies about her.
What can magnets do? How do things move?
Who doesn’t love playing with magnets? And that’s certainly true of our Year 3 children who really enjoyed getting to grips with the basics of how magnets work, what they are used for and whether they will attract or repel each other based on the orientation of the poles. They identified and classified materials as magnetic or not and did some pattern seeking to investigate whether bigger magnets are stronger. Following their work on magnets, the children looked at other forces, including comparing how things move on different surfaces.
YEAR 4How do we hear different sounds?
Making lots of noise was not only allowed but actively encouraged in Year 4 at the start of the Autumn term. The children absolutely loved all of the hands-on activities to investigate how sounds are made. Activities included looking at how a bell works, how yoghurt pot telephones work, how sound travels under water and whether sound travels in a vacuum. The children put their enquiry skills to the test when they were asked to carry out a fair test to investigate ‘What happens when we move away from a sound source?’ They also tapped into their musical side when they looked at how to alter the volume and pitch of sounds using drums, straw flutes, guitars and bottles of water. And finally, when the teachers ears could take it no more, the children investigated which materials were the best insulators?
Can we control electricity?
The children started this topic by identifying what different appliances do with electricity (such as producing heat, sound, light and/or movement) and spotting electrical hazards. ‘Will it or won’t it?’ required children explain and justify which circuits would light up. They then went on to investigate how switches work and which material was the best conductor of electricity. Year 4 children put their research skills into practice when they were asked ‘Who was Thomas Edison?’ The tricky part of this challenge was that the children had to compose their own comprehension questions to ask others! The most exciting part of this unit had to be the children applying their knowledge to make amazing Christmas cards which made Rudolph’s nose light up. Amazing work Year 4!
YEAR 5Do all life cycles look the same?
This unit started with a flower dissection in which children had to see if they could identify the parts involved in sexual reproduction. Interestingly, the children then looked at a variety of plants which have deviated from this and do not rely on insects for pollination. The children were amazed to learn that plants have evolved all manner of mechanisms for reproduction including using bulbs, runners and spores. Moving onto the animal kingdom, the children researched the life cycles of a variety of mammals, invertebrates and insects. They looked for patterns in data when investigating the gestation periods of different mammals to answer the question: ‘Do larger mammals have longer gestation periods?’. As an optional homework assignment some of the children came up with their own questions about gestation periods, researched them and presented their findings. It was amazing to see some of the questions posed by the children such as ‘Do smaller dog species have the same length gestation period as larger species?’
What are things made from and why? Can we change materials?
Everyone loves chocolate and if a teacher can include it in a science lesson then they know they are onto a winner! And in Year 5, the children began this unit by recapping states of matter from their work in Year 4 and reversible changes by observing the melting of chocolate and how it resets over time! Yummy! And then for irreversible changes, everyone was excited to see the result of putting Bicarbonate of Soda with vinegar! The children also tested the different properties of materials including magnetism, hardness, transparency, flexibility and permeability, using Carroll diagrams to classify the materials according to their properties.

Other investigations in this jam-packed unit included:

- What will happen to a snowman if you put a coat on him?
- Soluble or Insoluble?
- Can I get my salt back?
- How can I separate this mixture?
YEAR 6Living things – what’s the same and what’s different?
The children enjoyed learning about Carl Linnaeus and his classification system for both plants and animals. They had a go at using and creating their classification keys, starting simple with sweets, before moving on to apply their learning to classify a range of birds, invertebrates and leaves.
Can we vary the effects of electricity?
Building upon their learning from Year 4, the children in Year 6 focused on using the correct scientific symbols when representing simple circuits in diagrams and investigating how components within a circuit function and how this can vary (including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches). They carried out a comparative test to look into the effects of adding components to a circuit.

We aim to deliver a Science curriculum that:

Builds upon prior knowledge and a progression of skills to ensure all children have a secure understanding and knowledge of key science concepts
Develops creativity and challenges all of our learners through excellent teaching practice
Inspires and excites our children through engaging practical lessons which are enriched with visits and visitors
Develops aspirational learners with an awareness of the key role that science plays within the world and the opportunities that this creates for future careers
Encourages our children to be self-motivated, independent, curious and resilient learners by developing enquiry-based skills and lessons
Encompasses outdoor learning to create meaningful experiences within the natural environment

ENQUIRY TYPES‘How do we investigate in science?’

Science lessons at St Paul’s are based around investigative work wherever possible. Children are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. As a part of this, they will be introduced to, and develop their understanding of, the 5 types of scientific enquiry:

SCIENTIFIC SKILLS‘What are the skills we use when we investigate?’

As well as learning about types of scientific enquiry, another important aspect of science involves the ‘skills’ children need to develop as budding scientists. Children will be introduced to, and develop, these important skills as they move through the school via a range of practical investigations:

– Asking questions
– Making predictions
– Setting up tests
– Observing and measuring

– Recording data
– Interpreting and communicating results
– Evaluating



At St Paul’s we are lucky enough to be an Ogden Trust lead school.  We are able to co-ordinate different scientific events for our children and others across Nuneaton in our group.

The Ogden Trust School Partnerships programme offers funding and support to groups of schools that are committed to enhancing teaching and learning in science, specifically physics.  As a group of schools we have planned an exciting programme of activities for the academic year which will enrich and enhance the science curriculum for all of our children (such as science fairs, science workshops, family learning nights and professional science talks/shows).  The Ogden Trust will provide professional teacher training and teaching resources for all schools in the partnership to raise teacher confidence and skill in delivering inclusive, challenging and engaging lessons.  We hope that with all of our excellent practise and the additional support and ideas through our partnership will enhance the science culture within our schools.
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