At Trotts Hill, we understand that children are naturally curious and we encourage this inquisitive nature throughout their time with us and beyond. Science fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. Through the programmes of study in the National Curriculum science document, children will acquire and develop these skills throughout their Primary years. We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout their school career so that they can use equipment, conduct experiments, build arguments and explain concepts confidently, and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
A set of five science principles – fun, inspiring, curious, collaborate, creative and communicate – are followed in the delivery of science learning. They aim to give children a love of science and provide them with transferrable skills. Pupils are actively involved by deciding themselves which principles have been met and which ones need more of a profile. Science Ambassadors meet regularly and air their views about science teaching and learning.
We follow the National Curriculum for science which is delivered through a progressive path of knowledge and skills designed by Herts for Learning. These are available for viewing in school on request. The National Curriculum can be viewed via the link below.
This team of Terrificccc scientists will help the school to follow our principles for scientific learning.
They are responsible for helping teachers to maintain and improve the high standard of science education at Trotts Hill. They monitor their learning experience against the principles listed below.
In science we are investigating forces. This week we explored friction by testing different surfaces within the classroom. We observed and then concluded our findings with our partners.
Year 6 participated in a ‘Children Challenging Industry’ workshop led by Mrs Docking from Sartorius Stedim. They had to find out which filter worked best to extract a solid from a liquid. There were five types of filters: fabric, tissue, J cloth, kitchen roll and filter paper. The solution that was tested was flour dissolved in water.
The children found out that the filter paper was the best material for separating the flour from the water and this was because it had thousands of tiny holes that allow the liquid molecules to pass through.
Year 3 used owl pellets to investigate bones. They uncovered bones and used an identification sheet to identify which animal the bones had come from.
Year 5 enjoyed a terrific day at Airbus learning about the Mars Rover. Their practical experience involved making a moon box to support learning about the phases of the moon and an interactive session about Newton's laws of motion.
LI: To identify circuit components and build working circuits
Today year 4 made simple series circuits. They were given the components and had to work out how to make a complete circuit and troubleshoot any issues, like putting the cell in the holder the wrong way round, or connecting the crocodile clips to the plastic insulator, rather than the wire which conducts electricity.
Year 6 had to devise their own experiment to prove how light travels. The children were responsible for choosing their own equipment and which variables were to be changed or kept the same.
Year 6 conducted an experiment called 'Spot the Caterpillar' where wool caterpillars were hidden in our school bushes. The children had to predict whether the green, blue, orange or brown caterpillars would be best at camouflaging in the bushes. They recorded their results in a table and in a line graph and drew conclusions.
WARNING! GROSS PICTURE ALERT
After reading this, you may never drink fruit juice again!
Year 4 undertook an experiment in science to discover which drinks were worst for our teeth. We used hard boiled eggs to replicate our teeth. The shell was enamel and the hard-boiled egg underneath, dentin.
To make the experiment a fair test, only the liquid was changed (the variable) and it was measured out accurately.
The eggs were left in water, milk, coffee, Pepsi Max, Coke, orange juice and apple juice for a week.
Over the course of the week, the class used their ‘working scientifically skill’ of observation to see what changes were occurring.
Almost immediately, the apple and orange juice eggs started to bubble and peel. The Pepsi Max and coffee started to stain.
By the next week, they were all rather smelly (especially the milk!) and the results were surprising and shocking.
The children observed all of the eggs to gather their results and then write a conclusion.
We concluded that the apple juice damaged the enamel the most – rotting down to the dentin. This is because the apple juice contains the most sugar. Water was the best for your teeth. Well done Year 4 you carried out the experiment excellently and used lots of scientific vocabulary.
Overview of the Challenge
The goal of this project was to design and build a balloon-powered car.
The car had to be sturdy and not fall apart when in use.
The car had to go straight.
The car had to go as far as possible.
Year 6 used a combination of Maths, Science and DT skills during our balloon buggy experiment.
Hannah: We had to look at things from a different approach sometimes. When things didn’t work, we had to have a few tries.
Aayat: We were resilient! We had to keep trying when our design didn’t work. We also predicted, drew tables and analysed our findings. I enjoyed that we were all co-operating.
Bailey: We learnt to ask for help when we needed it. We became open minded.
Amelia: We were confident helping other people when we were problem solving. We worked collaboratively. We recorded data and found averages. It was the most fun day of the year!
Alanna: We learnt to be creative when designing. We also had to be committed! I enjoyed working as a team to create our design.
Lacey: We had to be hard working, patient and self-motivated. We also conducted a fair test.
Jake: I enjoyed combining maths and science learning together.
Year 5 applied a lot of knowledge of friction when designing and modifying their vehicles. They wrote conclusion and suggestion for further investigations and improvements. All the Trotts Hill PRIDE learning behaviours were in evidence. Lena was inspired to make her own at home.
It was fun to put it together - Myah
We used a lot of our learning - Olivia
I didn't like it; I loved it - Joe
I'll remember how hard it was - Poppy
We used all our 'Terrificccc' principles - Patrick
Lena's home learning
Year 4 enjoyed the balloon buggy project immensely. It raised lots of scientific questions and was a great opportunity for the children to observe and problem-solve. We were very proud that all of our buggies worked and some were very speedy, whilst others went a long way!
During the project, children commented:
You have to measure carefully to make the base accurate. (Brian)
The straws need to be parallel otherwise the wheels aren't straight. (Izzy)
I need to find zero on the ruler first. (Zohaib)
The friction of the doweling was slowing the axel down. (Ruben)
We observed our buggies so we could make improvements. (Emelie)
Year 3 had lots of fun building their balloon buggies. They used their measuring skills to create the buggy and when they were testing it. We discussed fair tests and the children also used their previous learning of friction to decide on the best surface to test their buggies. We also discussed what happens when science investigations don't go to plan and learnt about how products have been invented through an investigation acting not as expected!
I liked the testing when we saw the cars zoom across the table. But it was hard measuring and cutting out the dowel. Brandon
I liked working together. Ruby
Year 2 investigated the question 'Does the size of the bottle affect the distance the balloon buggy travels?' The children made their own predictions.
Daniel - I think the size of the bottle won't make a difference because the same amount of air has to come out of the balloon.
Harry - I think the bigger bottles will go further because more air can get behind it.
Gabby - I think the smaller bottles will go further because they are lighter.
The children then went to the hall to test their buggies by blowing up their balloon and comparing how far they travelled.
We concluded that the larger bottles tended to travel further than the smaller bottles.
Year 1 created balloon buggies using plastic bottles. They raced them in the hall and measured how far they moved.
Year 2 created bridges for the Billy Goats Gruff and tested their strength.
Year 3 are investigating forces. During this lesson the children explored whether all objects have a magnetic force. They began by using sentence stems to discuss their ideas. Next the children made predictions and then sorted and classified objects. Finally, they tested their predictions and recorded their results.
Year 4 Autumn Term; Digestion
The Year 4 classroom has been filled with a buzz of energy and practical hands-on experiences this term. In science, we made models of the digestive system. It was very messy and a bit gross; squishing mushed banana and crackers through tights – which represented the intestines – ending with…well the end of the digestive system! The children will certainly remember their learning through this experience.
Following on from investigating electrical conductors and insulators, Year 5 investigated thermal insulators. Using a planning chart, they devised a test to answer the question 'Which material is the best insulator? A prediction was made following the examination of different materials on a cold surface. Then, temperature readings were taken every 5 minutes.
Year 6 identified plants in two different areas on our school grounds, presented the data and analysed accordingly. Next, we will be moving onto classifying plants.
The Science Ambassadors have been helping to organise a competition. They tested out how much modelling clay would be suitable for the task.
The details of the competition are below. We hope the challenge floats your boat. The deadline for entries is Monday 18th July.
This term Reception class have been exploring different animal habitats. We found some habitats around our school grounds and the children also found may different habitats for their home learning, around our local area.
Year 3 used owl pellets to identify the animals which an owl had eaten from the bones which they discovered. They used their working scientifically skills of observation and using secondary sources to identify.
Year 5 and 6 engineers undertook a challenge to design and build a moving bridge using Knex. The competition was provided by SETPOINT Hertfordshire and delivered by Emma Richardson, a Trotts Hill governor. The winning bridge from each class is being entered into a county wide competition.
Year 2 investigated different micro habitats in our Forest school.
We devised our own experiments to prove that light travels in straight lines. Given a choice of equipment, we collaboratively planned and conducted a fair test and proved this theory in a number of ways.
Year 5 have been observing the lifecycle of a ladybird and comparing it to that of a dragonfly.
"I'll never look at a plant the same way again," exclaimed Hannah after a Year 5 lesson on asexual reproduction in plants. Having learned about pollination and fertilisation - sexual reproduction - the children were amazed to learn about other ways plants can reproduce. We looked at a daffodil and found the seeds but learned that they make new offspring much quicker by growing bulblets on the parent bulb.
As part of our science learning, the children investigated the fat and sugar contents of a range of everyday food. They began my estimating which food items were the healthiest and then looked at the information on the packet. Children then constructed graphs and used these to form conclusions.
Nursery have been looking at the life cycle of a frog. We then painted the different parts of the cycle and made a display about frogs.
Year 4 have been learning about electricity this half term. They have identified electrical appliances, explored making circuits with different components including light bulbs, buzzers, motors and switches as well as identifying conductors and insulators.
Year 3 have been investigating plants. They have explored the parts of a plant and their function; planned and carried out an investigation to find out what a plant needs in order to grow and have learnt the lifecycle of a plant.
In Reception class the children have been investigating melting and freezing. They explored natural objects frozen into blocks of ice and observed it melting. They attempted to speed up the process by breaking the ice. The children made predictions and used Scientific vocabulary to describe what was happening.
We investigated air resistance. We listed the variables we could test to find out what affected the distance a hoop glider could travel. Each group decided on its own line of enquiry. After testing several times, we wrote a conclusion and evaluation. Most groups decided that their results weren't reliable as different children had launched the gliders so there were different levels of force applied.
Year 6 devised an investigation about pulse rate. We took repeat measurements and recorded our data, which led to forming an analysis.
Year 2 learned about different materials and waste linked to plastics. The children reused plastic bottles to make pots for Mothers Day.
Spring Term Year 1 - Animals including humans
We had some special visitors in Year 1 as part of our Animals including humans topic. 3 of Mrs Masterson's tortoises came to visit, and we were able to closely observe them and discuss their habitat and what their diet includes. We completed observational drawings of the tortoises and labelled the different parts of their body.
To kick start 2022, the whole school investigated different questions about what affects how a fish far or fast a fish can be flapped. There was a variety of enquiries across the year groups such as:
Which is the best material for the fish?
Does the size make a difference?
Does the object that is used for flapping affect the travel of the fish?
"It was fun because we got to time them and recorded in our books." Izzy
"I thought it was exciting, fun and different because we had not done an activity like that before. I also thought it was interesting because it involved lots of skills." - Alanna
Year 3 have been investigating rocks. They have explored the properties of rocks and tested for strength. In addition they have learnt how fossils and soil are made.
Year 4 have been learning lots about the human body including the digestive system and teeth. They carried out an experiment to test which drinks are the best and worst for your teeth by using an egg. Year 4 have also learnt about food chains, labelling producers, prey and predators. They concluded the topic by comparing animals' and humans' teeth, identifying how their diet effects the teeth that they need.
Year 5 chemists set about investigating what makes the best bath bomb. The chose their own question and tests varied from whether the colour had an affect on the effervescence, or the brand of bicarbonate of soda, the amount of an ingredient or the type of acid. We discussed the industries that make use of this chemistry.
In Science, we are studying Evolution and Inheritance. We have learnt about Darwin's Theory of Evolution, in relation to his trip to the Galapagos Islands where he discovered 15 different species of finch with different shaped beaks, which correlated to the types of food they were eating. We decided to test which tool would make the best shaped beak for collecting food. Each group decided on their own way to investigate and present their results.
The whole school became naturalists as we conducted our own research into bees. The children were fascinated by these hard-working pollinators. Many were surprised to learn how different bumble bees are to honey bees. Years 5 and 6 also learnt that being a bee detective is an actual job! There were maths skills in evidence too with the use of tally charts and graphs.