Year 2 Science Autumn 2020

In year 2, the children have been exploring materials this half term. The children have discussed the properties of different materials as well as conducting a number of enquiries.

They looked at whether certain materials could be bent, stretched, squashed, or twisted as well as investigating which type of paper was the strongest.

The children have also learnt about the materials that can be recycled and learnt about the process of recycling too.

Year 1 Science Autumn 2020

The children have enthusiastically started to learn about animals and humans in our new topic ‘Animal Life’. They were able to build on their prior knowledge and experiences of animals (such as pets and trips to zoos/farms) to name and classify animals into different groups. This led to the children working together to classify animals into Mammals, Insects, Birds, Fish, Amphibians and Reptiles. They then painted their favourite animal and discussed which group the animal belonged to. The children thought carefully about what animals eat and categorised the animals into Carnivores, Herbivores and Omnivores. We used actions to help us remember each group. The children have been thinking about accurately labelling diagrams and can now label animal and human body parts using correct vocabulary. After labelling the different human body parts we thought about what our bodies could do. The children completed some brilliant home learning and discussed the 5 senses in class.

Reception Understanding the World

Autumn 2020

This term in reception the children enjoyed exploring Ted’s den, looking at plants and trees, birdwatching and seeing what they can dig up in the digging area. We have also been learning about our bodies, naming the body parts and finding out what food keeps us healthy. 

Toftwood Junior Science Day 2020: part of British Science Week

On Friday 13th March, we were lucky to have two scientists from Mad Science (Dr DNA and Scientiffany) deliver an amazing assembly for the whole of KS2. Dr DNA started by discussing the pressing crisis affecting everyone at the moment: the short supply of toilet paper! An experiment involving lift, thrust, gravity and drag was performed using toilet roll. Wren in Year 3 and an industrial hairdryer helped to propel the toilet paper across the hall.

After singing happy birthday – twice – to Willow in Year 6 to emphasise how long to wash our hands for, two Oliver and Ellouise in Year 3 were selected to play ‘Toilet War: Paper vs Wipes.’ This was an experiment to show what we should put down the toilet (the three Ps – pee, poo and toilet paper) and what not to put down it. One side of the hall was encouraging the toilet paper to get through a funnel first and the other side encouraged the wet wipes to get through first. The funnel represented the toilet pipes and both sides made a whirlwind to show the toilet being flushed. Of course, toilet paper won and the wet wipes just got stuck! To show how strong wet wipes are and that they don’t break down easily, Dr DNA used a wet wipe rope to safely pull Harrison from Year 5 along on a trolley.

Then, photos of blockages in sinks and drains were displayed and an experiment was conducted where Dr DNA, Scientiffany and their volunteers tried to unblock a fat-stuffed sink with washing-up liquid and boiling water. The explosion hopefully reminded people not to put fat, oils and other items down the sink. After all, “Fat and oil down your sink creates a massive stink!”

Finally, a Year 3 volunteer – Zayn – was selected to help get an egg (Eggbert, one of the Mad Science crew) into his ‘house,’ which was a glass flask. Using a match to deprive the flask of oxygen, Eggbert was successfully sucked into the flask. He was then pulled out of his house by Dr DNA, who blew into the flask to put the oxygen back into it. Unfortunately, poor Eggbert didn’t survive Zayn pulling him out of his flask-house!

Thank you to Dr. DNA, Scientiffany and all of the volunteers for such a memorable assembly!

Year 3:

Year 3 took on the topic of ‘Diverse Places’ as part of the ‘Our Diverse Planet’ theme for this year. They started by taking part in an activity called ‘Don’t Tip the Ship.’

As cargo ships have been around for thousands of years, transporting goods around the world, the children built boats and investigated how much weight could be added to the boats before they sank. They learned that the best way of loading a ship is to spread the load (the weight) evenly across the ship. If too much is put in one place, the ship will tip!

After that, Year 3 children worked in groups and read about Bransfield’s journey to the Antarctic in 1819-20. The children researched and talked about what equipment they would need to take with them and why. They looked at maps and charts to learn about Antarctica, Bransfield’s journey there and how diverse habitats on our planet are from one another.

Later in the afternoon, Year 3 joined Year 5 to learn and play games that the older children had developed based on the topic of ‘Diverse People.’ The aim of Year 5’s task was to adapt games for people who may be visually or hearing impaired, or who may have some other kind of physical disability. Year 3 contributed their own ideas to help Year 5 evaluate and develop their games further.

Year 4:

To celebrate ‘Our Diverse Planet’ Science Day, Year 4 took part in a carousel of activities on the topic of camouflage. We learned about the four types of camouflage: concealing, disruptive, disguise and mimicry. As well as learning about animals that do camouflage themselves to their environment, we also considered animals that do not have any camouflage. Each child then each chose an animal that they thought would like to be camouflaged and decided which way they could camouflage them. The children used their imaginations and created some superb camouflaged animals. For example a deer was given green and brown stripes to blend in with its environment this is called disruptive camouflage. An orang-utan was given tiger stripes so that fewer trees would be cut down as people would be afraid of the orang-utan! This camouflage is called mimicry.

Another of our activities was researching animals that use camouflage and the reason for the camouflage. The children worked in pairs to research their chosen animal and create an information poster. We had a variety of different animals including sidewinder rattlesnakes, artic wolves and leaf insects! They all worked really well together and created some wonderful pieces of work.

Building on this, the children took the opportunity to develop their artistic skills through creating their own watercolours based on camouflage art. Using watercolours can be tricky, but year 4 persevered to make some wonderful art. The children were creative with their approach, thinking about the colouration of animals and the patterns they have that help them when they are out in the wild.

All in all, a fabulous day for year 4.

Year 5:

In Year 5, the children learned about games that had been adapted for ‘Diverse People.’ They watched videos and researched games such as Hugby, which is a form of rugby that has been developed for visually impaired people. Instead of tackling, people hug each other and then the person being hugged calls out their team name so that the person hugging them knows whether they are on the same team or not. The children thought about other games and activities and researched their own ways to develop them.

In the hall, the Year 5 children used equipment to pursue their ideas further. They came up with individual and team games that could be played to include people with a range of disabilities and diverse people. As our focus was on inclusion, the children came up with ideas and played games against each other using such things as blindfolds, sitting on chairs or having one arm held behind their backs to simulate what it is like for those who do not have full use of their senses or limbs. This meant that everyone playing had the same chance of scoring or winning a game.

After lunch, Year 5 children researched their own games to play using laptops and tried out ideas for their adapted games in groups. They came up with rules and instructions for their games so that they could rehearse them ready to show a different year group. Each Year 5 class then teamed up with a Year 3 class to teach the children how to play their adapted games. Year 3 contributed their own ideas to help Year 5 evaluate their games scientifically and to help develop them further.

Year 6:

As part of British Science Week, Year 6 focused on adaptation and diversity in plants and animals to explore the theme of ‘our diverse planet’. This links closely with our current Science unit, evolution and inheritance. We studied the work and research of Charles Darwin and learnt how influential his theories are today. Our first activity involved investigating diversity within plants and exploring how plants have adapted to suit new environments. This gave us the information we needed when choosing our own environments and plants to design. Our plants had to have been adapted in some way to highlight the diverse environments such as: a lack of water, very hot conditions, very shady conditions or bright sunshine.

Our second activity highlighted the theory of ‘survival of the fittest’. To do this, we read an interesting story about peppered moths. The story outlined the effects of the industrial revolution on environments. This had an impact on the environments in which everything lived including people, plants, animals and even insects. Originally, the majority of the moths were white so they could camouflage against the lighter birch trees. As pollution discoloured the air, the birch trees became darker, as did the moths. This meant that the darker moths were able to disguise themselves against the bark which resulted in them living longer and the number white moths falling. Our task was to illustrate the story of the peppered moths in a comic strip style to show how the peppered moths changed colour and camouflaged against the bark. 

Mad Science, wicked weather workshops – Spring Term 1 2020

As a start to the year 1 topic ‘Weather Experts’ the children had a visitor, Dr Dee Enay, from Mad Science. She started with a whole school assembly focussing on how electricity travels. Dr Dee Enay explained how there were tendrils of electricity trying to get to the Earth as quickly as possible and that materials are either conductors or insulators. This built on the children’s learning from last term (everyday materials) and provided them opportunities to ask questions to further their understanding. She explained how the electricity could travel through a human circuit and demonstrated with several children from Reception and KS1.

“The electricity went through 6 people”.

“Dr Dee Enay made a dimmer switch with the children she said dim dim dim off and it turned off”.

Afterwards Dr Dee Enay worked with each year 1 class to explore rainbows and how light bends.  She started by discussing the children’s previous science learning, how they had been observing the changes in the seasons, and provided children opportunities to share their own experiences. The children discussed what they knew about the sun and light and Dr Dee Enay extended their learning by providing fun facts such as:

  • The sun is 93 million miles away
  • The light from the sun is called white light
  • If you bend the light you can see the colours of the rainbow

The children were able to wear special light bending glasses to observe all the colours in white light. They also discussed how white light and laser light are different. Finally the children witnessed how the lightning in the Vander graph could create static electricity. The children learnt that static electricity is caused by friction and that it could be transferred to others.

These sessions extended the children’s current science skills and knowledge and prepared them for the learning that will be taking place this half term. The children are now enthusiastic to learn more and become Weather Experts!! Each class will be completing an enquiry where they observe changes over time. The children will create weather diaries recording what they could see and hear. After each recording the children will discuss the similarities, differences, patterns and changes between the weather we have. We are looking forward to some exciting science this term!

PSQM Awards – Toftwood Federation

We’ve received the certificate for being awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark for both the Infants and Juniors. Much hard work has gone in across the Federation into obtaining the Mark, of which we are very proud. The certificates themselves are available to view by the Science subject display boards at each side of the school.  Please come and look at these and the super Science that we have to share!

Year 3 Light Sources

This half term, Year Three have investigated light sources and the need for light to be able to see. We investigated materials which best reflected light and the purpose for which we might need reflective materials, for example, to be safe when walking home. We also investigated the reasons why we need to protect ourselves when out in the sun and looked for patterns in the way that the size of shadows change when we move the light source in relation to an opaque object. Fair testing was a big focus in these investigations to ensure that we were manipulating the variables. 

To finish off the term, we combined our learning in history about mummification with an investigation over time on drying out tomatoes. The children chose between rice, flour and salt to absorb the liquid from the tomatoes and then left them for over a week to see the effect. It was very interesting to see the results that each choice had on the tomatoes!

Science – Autumn Term 2019

Reception Understanding the World- Autumn 1

This term in reception the children have been learning about healthy and non-healthy food.  The children read The Very Hungry Caterpillar focusing on what is a fruit, a vegetable and a special treat. They have also been learning that some foods give us lots of energy and why is it so important to have a balanced diet.  Everyone in the year group looked at body parts and spent time learning the names of them.  To help us remember the names of some body parts the children have been singing the song ‘heads, shoulders knees and toes.”

Year 1 Science- Autumn 1

This half term we have focussed on identifying and classifying enquiries about animals. The children worked together to classify animals into groups (mammals, fish, insects, reptiles, birds and amphibians). They also thought carefully about animal diet and classified the animals as carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. We thought of fun actions to help us remember the names of the groups!

The children also had an amazing educational visit to Banham Zoo, learning more about animals and completing a workshop about animal diet with expert zoo staff. For more information about this please see our Year Groups, Year 1 page.

The children have also enjoyed a ‘Mad Science’ visit for another fun filled assembly and we are sure the after school club will inspire the children who attend to continue to be curious and to ask lots of scientific questions.

Year 2 Science – Autumn 1

In science this half term, year 2 have been looking at different materials. They have enjoyed exploring materials such as wood, plastic and metal and described them. The children also enjoyed going on a material hunt around the school. The classes discussed the objects they found around school and what materials they were made from and then discussed the suitability of these materials for their uses. The children also learnt a materials song which helped them to understand the properties and suitability of a range of different materials. Have a listen and sing along at home; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOKr462HLc0

Well done to all the children who completed some amazing home learning linked to this work!

Science Summer Term 2019

Nursery

Barefoot sensory walk. We talked about the textures of items as we walked through them.

Rainbow walk- we looked at the colours in the rainbow and made coloured footprints!

Bubbles-children had a go at blowing giant bubbles using a hoop. They talked about techniques for making the best bubbles.

Shadow puppets! Children talked about shadows and how they were made.

Reception

This term the children have enjoyed exploring the outdoor areas. They have encountered several mini beasts and this led to lots of questions! When the children found a worm they were very keen to try and measure the length of the worm and made estimations first. They also thought carefully about what they could do to help a spider that they found. Some of the children were inspired to write their own mini beast story about what they found!

Year 1

Year 1 children have enjoyed learning about inventors during our Step Back in Time topic. We have learnt about Thomas Edison and how he invented the light bulb. We explored lamps, wires and batteries and investigated how to make a circuit. We were very pleased when we found out how to do it and we switched all the lights off so we could see our lamps shining!

We also learnt about Alexander Graham Bell and his telephone. We looked at different photos of telephones through the years and made our own phones using cups and string. We explored how the different length of string affected the sound.

Year 2

This term the children have enjoyed learning about habitats and environments. They built on their previous knowledge and explored the school grounds, including the pond area, identifying and classifying different animals. The children researched some of the animals they found and created amazing non-fiction fact file booklets in Literacy.

As part of this topic we visited Easton Farm and were able to ask lots of scientific questions about the animals and their habitats. More information about this can be found on the Year 2 tab of the website.

Summer 2019 STEM Day

KS2’s Summer STEM Day featuring marvellous Maths!!

For our summer term STEM Day, we focussed on M for maths and the children experienced lots of fun and interesting activities incorporating a variety of maths skills.

Time was the key idea for our Year 3 children. They thought about the different ways that time can be represented and built their own device (a sun dial) to measure time. As well as that, they also investigated time differences around our planet.

In Year 4, the children’s main focus was on food and in particular, how much sugar was “hidden” inside. They did lots of measuring and used bar models to think about ratio. They also used statistics to read and compare information presented in tables.

Our Year 5’s looked at a really wide range of maths skills form pattern seeking (looking at spirals), to measuring and estimating the sizes of very large organisms, and using their statistical knowledge to collect data about a woodlouse’s habitat preferences (do they like it dry and light or dark and damp?).

While in Year 6, they concentrated on problem solving. They used their skills with algebra to decode messages and thought about how these techniques had been used in the past for sending information. They also thought about risk and probability when dealing with money.

Across the Key Stage, the children experienced a fantastic range of maths and realised that, just like science, maths really is all around us in everything we do.