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Trotts Hill Primary School and Nursery

Science

Science Ambassadors, 2022-2023: 'Our greatest achievement this year was making sure lessons follow the TERRIFICCC principles. For example, making sure they are fun and we work collaboratively.'

Intent of our Science curriculum

 

The 2014 National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all children:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • 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 skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. We understand that it is important for lessons to have a skills-based focus, and that the knowledge can be taught through this.

 

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.

Curriculum Overviews

Science Ambassadors

 

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.

Year 2023-2024

Summer Term

Year 3 Light and shadows

The children found examples of transparent, translucent and opaque objects within the classroom.  They explained what each of these means and then used this knowledge to investigate and explain how shadows are formed.

Year 5

Year 5 pupils felt the force during an investigation into levers.  They found out that a lever reduces the effort needed to lift a load.  The investigated the question 'Does the distance the load is from the fulcrum affect the effort needed?'.

Spring Term 

Skittle Experiment

This half term nursery are thinking about colours. We performed an experiment using skittles and water to see if we could make a rainbow. In groups we had a plate and placed skittles around the edge. One by one we used a pipette to add some water. We waited and added more water and finally we saw a rainbow of colours emerging.

January 2024 Don't Tip the Ship - Maths/Science Day 

The whole school took part in an investigation into floating.  The children investigated the mass taken to sink a boat and evaluated their findings.  

Year 1

Year 2

Year 4

Nursery

Reception

Year 5

Year 3

Year 6

Year 5 L.I To sort and classify, separate materials and understand a chemical reaction

There have been lots of practical investigation as part of the Materials and their Properties topic.  The children have consolidated and applied previously learned concepts and now can explain thermal conductors and insulators, dissolving and chemical reactions.  

Year 1 Autumn Term - LI: to investigate building bridges with different types of paper, as part of our Materials topic.

Year 6 - Yeast investigation

Year 6 investigated the micro-organism, yeast as part of our topic, Living Things. Our enquiry question was: How does the temperature of water affect the rate that yeast respires? We made observations and took measurements throughout the investigation. 

Year 2 - LI: To sort food into their nutritional groups. 

Year 3 Autumn Term 2023 - Forces

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 Summer Term - Sartorius Stedim Workshop

 

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 Summer Term  Animals including humans

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 Earth and Space, and Forces

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.

Year 4 unit on electricity

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 Light

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 Spot The Caterpillar

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.

Year 4 investigates

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.

Maths/Science Day Autumn 22 - Balloon Buggies!

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.

Autumn Term 2022  Year 1- Materials

Year 2 created bridges for the Billy Goats Gruff and tested their strength.

Autumn Term 2022  Year 3  Forces

 

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.  

Autumn Term Year 5 Materials and their Properties

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. 

Autumn Term Year 6 - Living Things and Their Habitats

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. 

Design a Boat Competition Winners

Design A Boat STEM Competition

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.

Summer Term  Reception  Animal Habitats

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. 

Summer Term  Year 3  Animals including humans

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.

Summer Term Year 5 and 6 Knex STEM challenge

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.

Summer term Year 2- Animals and their habitats.

Year 2 investigated different micro habitats in our Forest school.

Summer term Year 6 - Light

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. 

Summer term Year 5 Insect Lifecycles

Year 5 have been observing the lifecycle of a ladybird and comparing it to that of a dragonfly.

Summer Term Year 5 Plant Lifecycles

"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. 

Summer Term  Year 3  - Animals including humans

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.

Spring Term - Nursery  Life Cycle of a Frog

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.

Spring Term - Year 4 - Electricity 

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. 

Spring Term Year 3 Investigating plants

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.

Spring Term Reception Melting and Freezing

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.

Spring Term Year 5 Forces

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. 

Spring Term - Year 6 - Animals including Humans

Year 6 devised an investigation about pulse rate. We took repeat measurements and recorded our data, which led to forming an analysis. 

Spring term Year 2 Materials

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.

Spring Term Whole school investigation 'Flap a Fish'

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 

Autumn Term Year 3 Investigating rocks

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.

Autumn Term Year 4 - Animals and Humans