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.

Science Selfie Challenge

I love to see you all enjoying Science and would like you to continue sharing your Science Selfies with me!  Please take a photo of yourself trying out an experiment, sharing something that you have created or an interesting find. You could be with an animal, reading a book, feeding the birds, watching the butterfly lifecycle or planting in your garden.  Feel free to add captions or comments explaining what your science selfie is about and what you were learning.  Please email your science selfie to and please let me know if you would allow for it to be shared in the school newsletter and on our school website.  I look forward to seeing your Science Selfies! 

You can check out the selfies we've received so far by clicking below:

Science Selfie Challenge Photos

Mrs MacMillan

Science Day 2021

Our Annual Science Day was a little different this year as it was held at home during lockdown!  The children were able to wear a science related top and shared their science learning on Tapestry and Google Classroom.  The theme for this years Science Day was ‘Bubbles’.

The children in Nursery learned how to make bubbles and then investigated how to make them bigger, smaller and different shapes.

Reception children explored how to make the biggest and best bubble possible!  They used a range of bubble wands and a range of tools such as straws, whisks, sieves, spoons etc. and mixtures.

Year 1 children tested one brand of bubble bath to see how to make the most bubbles.  They tried different methods such as whisking, mixing with hands and a spoon.

Year 2 received an e-mail from a new bubble bath company and were asked to be secret spies.  They had to test a range of bubble baths to see which ones made the most bubbles to find out which one was the best.  The children had to keep the test fair by using the same quantity of bubble mixture, the method to use to make the bubbles and how to measure and compare the bubbles.

The children presented their results in a variety of ways including graphs. 

In preparation for Science Day, parents were invited to share videos of themselves on Tapestry explaining their Science hobby or Science related job.  These were uploaded to year group Tapestry pages and watched by the children and parents in that year group.  Thank you to all the parents who sent in videos.

All the boys had lots of fun trying to make the biggest bubbles.  Thank you for the inspiration.

My daughter really enjoyed doing the bubble experiment using different liquids we had around the house.

My son really enjoyed this experiment.  He’s been living in a football kit all week bu he did change into a science themed top for the occasion!

My son absolutely loved Science Day and learning all about bubbles!  Firstly he watched his younger sister make bubbles for her Nursery activity.  He had lots of fun blowing bubbles using different kitchen utensils and seeing which ones made the best bubbles.  Then he carried out his own experiment.  He chose the items he wanted to make bubbles with and then wrote these down in a list ready to record his findings.  He tested each item for 15 seconds.

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.  


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


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.



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.



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