Science

Science at Burlington

Our Vision Statement for Science

At Burlington Infant and Nursery School, we ensure science lessons are fun, challenging and intriguing, stimulating children’s curiosity and translating into meaningful experiences. Building on children’s existing knowledge and experience helps science to feel relevant and accessible on their level. This gives them the appetite and confidence to explore and discover the world around them through a scientific lens.  Science is integrated into the curriculum at every opportunity so children appreciate the interrelationship between science and other disciplines.  Hands on exploration both inside and outside the classroom cements their understanding of important scientific concepts. Children are taught how to apply a scientific method to their investigations – including investigate, hypothesis, test, record, and conclude – which sets up a good foundation and vocabulary to build their science learning further.  We want to awaken in our children a passion for science and its limitless possibilities. By giving them the confidence to ask questions, take risks and reflect on what they discover we hope we are planting a seed that will last a lifetime.

Primary Science Quality Mark September 2019

We are thrilled to have been awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark in recognition of our commitment to excellence in science teaching, learning and leadership.  Only 300 primary schools nationally achieved this prestigious award.  Thank you to our Science Coordinators, Mrs MacMillan and Miss Dwyer, and to our Governor Mary Arbuthnot, for leading the school to gain this nationally recognised status.  We are very thankful to parents for their support and enthusiasm with Science at our school and at home.  


Science Day 2019

Annually we hold a Science Day and for the first time ever we invited parents to join us in class during the morning of Science Day.  Throughout the school – from the 2-year olds to Year 2, the children took part in many exciting investigations and experiments!  Parents also had the opportunity to speak to their class about their hobby or job which is science related e.g. physics and forensic photography and bees.

In Early Years (Nursery and Reception classes), Science is part of Understanding the World.  On Science Day the children engaged with science in a really fun and interesting way.  There were many activities representing the different areas of science including a magnetic marble run, floating and sinking and a senses game.

Year 1 children took part in many investigations.  They tried to make the longest paper chain they could using only 1 piece of paper - The longest was 4 metres and 20cm!  They also found out what happened to a sugar cube tower if it was sprayed with water – and the children learnt a new word 'dissolve'!  They thought about how to protect their towers using different materials - tin foil was the best!  They also tested different models of paper aeroplanes and what material was the best for a parachute.  At the end they read a book called '10 Things I Can Do To Help My World' and learnt how to protect our planet.

The Year 2 children learnt about how to keep healthy.  They took part in an experiment to find out what happens to our heart rate when you exercise.  Ask us about animals and their heart beats!  They also learnt about the importance of washing their hands with soap and water.  They enjoyed covering their hands with treacle and trying different ways to clean their hands! After their parents left they made lava lamps and discovered that oil and water do not mix and thought carefully about why this might be.

Here are some quotes from parents who attended on Science Day:

All very well organised and enjoyable. It is amazing to hear all the smart questions the kids asked. Very proud of Venus class.

The most enjoyable part of the morning was spending time doing the activities with the childen.

The children were absolutely immersed with all the scientific experiments.

 
 

Outside Experts

We bring in outside experts such as the space dome and provide a number of educational visits to places such as The Wetland Centre, Wisely, Hobbledown Farm, a local allotment and Beverly Park.  We have recently had an author who writes children’s books based on Science visit us!

 
 

 

Aims of the Science Curriculum

In Early Years, Science is part of understanding the world.  The children explore their environment and talk about animals, plants, natural and found objects.  They learn to show care and concern for living things and the environment.  They are introduced to vocabulary to enable them to talk about their observations and to ask questions.

 
 

The national curriculum for Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) science aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology and chemistry.
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

The Curriculum is divided into two sections:

  1. Scientific knowledge and understanding – What pupils should know
  2. Working scientifically (scientific skills) – What pupils should be able to do

During Years 1 and 2, pupils should be taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:

  • asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
  • observing closely, using simple equipment
  • performing simple tests
  • identifying and classifying
  • using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
  • gathering and recording data to help in answering questions

These skills are not taught separately but through the following knowledge based topics which are as follows:

 

Year 1 Topics

Plants

Pupils should be able to:

  • identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees.
  • identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees.

What and how will my child be learning?

Pupils will use the local environment throughout the year to explore and answer questions about plants growing in their habitat. They will observe the growth of flowers and vegetables that they have planted. They should become familiar with common names of flowers, examples of deciduous and evergreen trees, and plant structures (including leaves, flowers (blossom), petals, fruit, roots, bulb, seed, trunk, branches, stem).

Pupils might work scientifically by: observing closely, perhaps using magnifying glasses, and comparing and contrasting familiar plants; describing how they were able to identify and group them, and drawing diagrams showing the parts of different plants including trees.

Pupils might keep records of how plants have changed over time, for example the leaves falling off trees and buds opening; and compare and contrast what they have found out about different plants.

 
 

Animals

Pupils should be able to:

  • identify, name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body and say which part of the body is associated with each sense.
  • identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
  • describe and compare the structure of a variety of common animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals including pets).
  • group animals according to what they eat, identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores.
  • identify different groups of animals using differences in the features of groups and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

What and how will my child be learning?

Pupils will use the local environment throughout the year to explore and answer questions about animals in their habitat. They should understand how to take care of animals taken from their local environment and the need to return them safely after study. Pupils will become familiar with the common names of some fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including those that are kept as pets.

Pupils will have plenty of opportunities to learn the names of the main body parts (including head, neck, arms, elbows, legs, knees, face, ears, eyes, hair, mouth, teeth) through games, actions, songs and rhymes.

Pupils might work scientifically by: using their observations to compare and contrast animals at first hand or through videos and photographs, describing how they identify and group them; grouping animals according to what they eat; and using their senses to compare different textures, sounds and smells.

Everyday materials

Pupils should be able to:

  • distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made.
  • identify and name a variety of everyday materials, including wood, plastic, glass, metal, water, and rock.
  • describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials.
  • compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of their simple physical properties.

What and how will my child be learning?

Pupils will explore, name, discuss and raise and answer questions about everyday materials so that they become familiar with the names of materials and properties such as: hard/soft; stretchy/stiff; shiny/dull; rough/smooth; bendy/not bendy; waterproof/not waterproof; absorbent/not absorbent; opaque/transparent. Pupils will explore and experiment with a wide variety of materials, not only those listed in the programme of study, but including for example: brick, paper, fabrics, elastic, foil.

Pupils might work scientifically by: performing simple tests to explore questions, for example: ‘What is the best material for an umbrella? ...for lining a dog basket? ...for parachutes? ...for a bookshelf? ...for a gymnast’s leotard?’

Seasonal changes

Pupils should be able to:

  • observe changes across the 4 seasons (including living things).
  • observe and describe weather associated with the seasons and how temperature and day length varies.

What and how will my child be learning?

Pupils will observe and talk about changes in the weather and the seasons.

Pupils might work scientifically by: making tables and charts about the weather; and making displays of what happens in the world around them, including day length, as the seasons change.

As part of learning about the seasons, we explore our school grounds and may take the pupils to Beverley Park and look for signs of Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer. We have boards displayed outside the Year 1 classrooms to help the children to identify the changes that happen in each season. Each Year 1 class has a 'tree' in their classroom which changes with the seasons.

 
 

 

Year 2 Topics

Living things and their habitats

Pupils should be able to:

  • explore, identify and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive.
  • identify that most living things live in a habitat to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other.
  • identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including micro-habitats.
  • describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food.

What and how will my child be learning?

Pupils will be introduced to the idea that all living things have certain characteristics that are essential for keeping them alive and healthy. They should raise and answer questions that help them to become familiar with the life processes that are common to all living things. Pupils should be introduced to the terms ‘habitat’ (a natural environment or home of a variety of plants and animals) and ‘micro-habitat’ (a very small habitat, for example for woodlice under stones, logs or leaf litter). They should raise and answer questions about the local environment that help them to identify and study a variety of plants and animals within their habitat and observe how living things depend on each other, for example, plants serving as a source of food and shelter for animals. Pupils will compare animals in familiar habitats with animals found in less familiar habitats, for example, on the seashore, in woodland, in the ocean, in the rainforest.

Pupils might work scientifically by: sorting and classifying things according to whether they are living, dead or were never alive, and recording their findings using charts. They should describe how they decided where to place things, exploring questions for example: ‘Is a flame alive? Is a deciduous tree dead in winter?’ and talk about ways of answering their questions. They could construct a simple food chain that includes humans (e.g. grass, cow, human). They could describe the conditions in different habitats and micro-habitats (under log, on stony path, under bushes) and find out how the conditions affect the number and type(s) of plants and animals that live there.

As part of this topic pupils will investigate insects and mini-beasts in our environment and will design homes for them.

 
 

Animals including humans

Pupils should be able to:

  • find out about and describe the basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival (water, food and air).
  • describe the importance for humans of exercise, eating the right amounts of different types of food, and hygiene.
  • notice that animals, including humans, have offspring which grow into adults (at least between egg and adult bird; egg and adult insect ; baby and adult mammal).

What and how will my child be learning?

Pupils will learn about the lifecycles of certain animals. The following examples will be used: egg, chick, chicken; egg, caterpillar, pupa, butterfly; spawn, tadpole, frog; lamb, sheep. Growing into adults can include reference to baby, toddler, child, teenager, adult.

Pupils might work scientifically by: observing, through video or first-hand observation and measurement, how different animals, including humans, grow; asking questions about what things animals need for survival and what humans need to stay healthy; and suggesting ways to find answers to their questions. The children take part in experiments which teach the importance of washing their hands and brushing their teeth.

Snails provide an exciting animal to observe and investigate. What do they like to eat? This gives an investigation designing opportunity. We always make sure we care for living things.

 
 

Plants

Pupils should be able to:

  • find out and describe how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and stay healthy and how changing these affects the plant.
  • observe and describe how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants.

What and how will my child be learning?

Pupils will use the local environment throughout the year to observe how different plants grow. Pupils should be introduced to the requirements of plants for germination, growth and survival, as well as to the processes of reproduction and growth in plants.

Pupils might work scientifically by: observing and recording, with some accuracy, the growth of a variety of plants as they change over time from a seed or bulb, or observing similar plants at different stages of growth; setting up a comparative test to show that plants need light and water to stay healthy.

 
 

Uses of everyday materials

Pupils should be able to:

  • identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses.
  • find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching (applying a force).

What and how will my child be learning?

Pupils will identify and discuss the uses of different everyday materials so that they become familiar with how some materials are used for more than one thing (metal can be used for coins, cans, cars and table legs; wood can be used for matches, floors, and telegraph poles) or different materials are used for the same thing (spoons can be made from plastic, wood, metal, but not normally from glass). They will think about the properties of materials that make them suitable or unsuitable for particular purposes and they should be encouraged to think about unusual and creative uses for everyday materials.

In Year 2 we learn about The Great Fire of London.  As part of Science we test the best waterproof material to be used for the roofs of the new houses that are to be built after the fire.

 
 

Pupils might work scientifically by: comparing the uses of everyday materials in and around the school with materials found in other places (at home, the journey to school, on visits, and in stories, rhymes and songs); observing closely, identifying and classifying the uses of different materials, and recording their observations

 

How you can help your child at home

Talk, talk and talk some more….

The most useful and important thing you can do is to talk to your child about the world around them. Asking questions and talking about what they see happening around them is truly the best way for a young child to learn.

 

Useful websites

These provide a range of activities and information to support your child’s learning.

BBC Bitesize is great to help support learning in Science: BBC Bitesize

Learn some interesting facts about Science topics!: Nat Geo Kids

Crick Web has excellent science games for children, interactive resources and activities.  You can learn science facts about animals, materials, your body , weather and much more!: 

Crick Web

 

Places to visit

There are Science opportunities all around.

  • Museums, farms, parks, gardens, aquariums and zoos are wonderful places to learn.
  • Visit the library too to find books on different topics.

Why not ask Lottie if she is free and can join you on your visits?

Lottie has just joined our wonderful school and is now our Burlington Infants Scientist.  She really enjoys astronomy, but she likes anything involving science.  She was designed in collaboration with the European Space Agency and an astrophysicist.
Lottie is going to help us with science at school, but she would love to come with you on trips. If you are off to somewhere involving science for example The Science Museum, The Royal Observatory, Kew Gardens, the farm or the zoo, please send an invite to Lottie via your class teacher to see if her diary is free and she can pop along with you. 
All we request is a photo and a brief explanation of what you did/saw.  This can be e-mailed to the school office or written up by hand.
Lottie can’t wait to learn with you!

 

 

Resources to investigate at home

Many things may be close at hand!

  • Magnifying glass to investigate things more closely
  • Old or broken items to take apart
  • Old logs, broken flower pots to make bug homes
  • Jars with holes in the lid to collect mini-beasts
  • Bucket, tray or bowl to float and sink objects
  • Seeds to grow and plants to look after
  • Materials and objects to observe and sort

 

Science is FUN!

Try some of these fantastic investigations at home. Take photos of you doing them and bring them into show your class teacher!

Science Kids