Science at Cotsford
At Cotsford Primary the children explore and study a range of topics within the National Curriculum using Science Bug and Cornerstones Curriculum. We ensure a hands-on approach, working scientifically, to equip us with scientific knowledge and understanding for our future and beyond.
In Early Years the children have explored ‘our bodies’ and named lots of different body parts including elbows, heart, lungs and heels. They have also thought about healthy and unhealthy food and how to keep our bodies in tip-top condition. They have looked at the life cycle of a chick too having lots of fun observing the real life chicks which hatched in class.
In Year 1, the children have loved learning about the human body. They have enjoyed drawing around each other and labelling different body parts. They have also learned about what body parts are linked to our five senses, which has included going on sense-walks, feely bags, smell testing and taste testing.
The children in Year 2 and 3 have been fascinated with the Plants topic. They looked at a range of seeds and bulbs and even dissected some broad beans. The children planted and completed a plant diary for their sunflower seeds. Every week, they measured their plant and counted how many leaves it had. They completed a class investigation to find out what seeds need to grow. The children decided to explore the effects of plant food, no water, no sun and temperature. They discovered that the seed which grew the best had sun, water and plant food.
The Year 3 children have enjoyed this term, as they explored plants. They used the Ipad’s to research different plants and flowers throughout the world and explored how they adapted depending on their climate. Mrs Rigby brought in a fabulous collection of Cacti and Aloe Ver plants, which led to the discussions of their spikes and how each one was different. Joey kindly brought in fresh grown herbs and vegetables from his allotment. The children labelled them and put them on display. This supported their understanding of roots and soil for plants as they all began to die very quickly due to being cut and on display on the shelf.
The children labelled parts of a flower, including each features role to support the flower to grow. From this they carried out a colour changing experiment using food colouring. This was supposed to show the children how a stem spreads the water throughout the flower. However, science did not do as we expected and predicted, as the flowers stayed white. To resolve this they watched a video showing what should have happened.
The children explored pollination and the different roles that the flowers, as well as insects, have on the lifecycle of a flower. The children researched where best to plant seeds within the school grounds and then planted their seeds in a variety of places. A few weeks later, only a few shoots have appeared.
Year 4 learned about Living Things. The children learnt about classifying animals and plants into different groups and how this can help us to identify different species.
What a fantastic term Year 5 had being Scientists – the children have thoroughly enjoyed investigating how to separate different materials using different methods. They have worked on dissolving, evaporating, sieving, filtering and magnetism.
Does it dissolve? The children investigated which materials dissolved and which did not.
Jelly investigation – The children investigated whether the size of the jelly cubes made a difference to the dissolving time.
They also worked on problem solving where they had a range of materials that had been mixed up and they had to work out the best method to separate the different materials.
Year 6 have been studying evolution and inheritance. They have begun to understand the theory behind evolution and how living organisms are believed to have developed. They understand that offspring can inherit different traits from their parents.
In Early Years this term we have studied lots of different African animals. We have looked at the patterns on their fur and have made our own junk modelling animals. The children did an amazing job!
We have also started a sunflower diary after one of our generous parents donated each and everyone of us in reception a sunflower seedling! We can’t wait to see what happens when they start to get taller and taller! Whose will be the tallest?
Year 1 Science this half term has been all about animals. The children started by investigating our school grounds, to see if they could find any traces of animals. They then learned about the different ways we can group animals, including by their appearance and their diet.
The children in Year 2/3 have continued to explore habitats. They loved searching the school grounds for evidence of different minibeasts and microhabitats. As you can see in the pictures below, they even made their own habitats with natural resources on the school field. Which minibeasts can you find in your local area?
To finish their topic. the children picked an animal and described how they were suited to their habitat. I hope you enjoy reading them.
Year 2 and 3 also enjoyed trying to create a tower using only paper. I was really impressed with some of their ideas, as you can see below, they made some very tall towers.
Wow! The Year 3 children have engaged fully in finding, exploring, measuring and making shadows! The children enjoyed exploring a range of materials to find out whether they were opaque, transparent or translucent. From this they carried out an experiment with shadows throughout the day. The awe and wonder of watching the shadow of the flagpole move as they were drawing it sparked huge discussions at how quick shadows moved. After recording the whole day of the shadows and the sun the children identified it as a clock. This led to researching a sun dial and the early way of telling the time. The greatest fun was creating shadow pictures and shadow puppets. Finally, the children created mythical shadow creatures and themselves as heroes, performing their battle scene for others.
Our Year 4 children have enjoyed their topic Burps, Bottoms and Bile, all about the human digestive system and what happens to our food and drink after we have eaten! We started off the topic by researching specialist dentist vocabulary and the importance of looking after our teeth. We then explored the different processes of digestion and researched what each part of the digestive system does. Then, we created a flowchart diagram using our information to show what happens in the digestive process.
What a fascinating topic, Year 5 have had so much fun completing a range of investigations when they focused on different forces. They researched different famous scientists and created a profile of their achievements.
They learned how to measure using a force meter and the relationship between craters and gravity as well as which material is the best for a parachute.
Our topic for Year 6 Science has been living things and their habitats. We have classified objects into different categories such as living/non-living and used classification keys to group animals and observe similarities and differences. We also spend some time looking at the seven life processes. (MRS GREN)
Spring 2 – Remote Learning and return to school
In Early Years this term we have celebrated British Science Week. We have explored static balloons and had lots of fun! We rubbed the balloons on different materials and surfaces to see which would pick up the most pieces of tissue paper. We found our own hair worked really well! The children then finished off the day by trying to keep our balloon up in the wind/outdoor. We have also explored different foods and drew some different fruits at home. In school, we have completed a food hunt within our class and outdoor learning area.
During home learning, the children in Year 1 have been learning about the parts of a flowering plant. They have also looked at what types of food comes from plants.
At school, the children took part in British Science Week, where they took part in many investigations such as: sink or float, dancing raisins, Skittles on a plate of water, soap bubble prints, volcanoes and fizzy colours. The children asked lots of questions and loved predicting what they thought was going to happen. Maybe you could try dancing raisins at home too. Here is a link to give it another go!
The Year 2 /3 children have started to learn about animal’s habitats. They have sorted animals into their correct habitat, drawn a habitat for a wild animal and looked at one habitat, the seaside, and thought about which type of animals lives in each place; the sky, the sea, the beach and why.
The children enjoyed taking part in a range of activities including making paper flyers, making volcanoes explode, making the tallest tower with paper, and spaghetti and marshmallows, creating static with charged balloons and seeing who’s balloon rocket could travel the furthest. The children had so much fun!
This half term the children in Year 3 have been exploring awe and wonder activities. The children enjoyed carrying out a water refraction activity or how things appear to bend in water. They were encouraged to take the ideas home and explore some more. They discovered that different sized glasses and how round the container was affected the outcome of the experiment. The children were also keen on making salt crystals after watching a video clip showing a range of spectacular salt crystals. They were disappointed when this didn’t work very well in class. Better luck next time Year 3!
During home learning, Year 4 children began their ‘Sound’ topic. They explored the way that sound travels to our ears and children were encouraged to carry out their own experiment at home to see which objects create the most sound and why. As part of Science Week on their return to school the children carried out two investigations from the Awe and Wonder topic. The first challenge was ‘Who can build the tallest tower out of paper?’ Children also had a go at building their own bridge out of paper and testing out the strength of their models. i’m sure we have some future engineers in year 4!
The Year 5 children have enjoyed learning about the lifecycles of humans, mammals, insects, birds and amphibians focusing on their bodies, needs and identifying predators and prey. We have some super scientists in Year 5 as you an see from the amazing detailed work they have produced this half term.
This half term Year 6 have worked on the human body. They have dissected a pig’s heart and compared this with how a human heart works. They can identify the four chambers of the heart and can explain how the heart pumps blood around the body. Year 6 have also been working on the digestive system and how food is transported through the body. The children had so much fun with this messy but interesting task.
Spring 1 – Remote Learning
In Early Years this term the children have studied some of the local area, completing walks to find local landmarks and also locating them on google map. We have also took part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this term.
The children in Year 1 have watched a number of different experiments this half term. They watched the ‘dancing raisins’ experiment first. They drew a picture to explain what they observed and also created a list of ingredients from the experiment. They also watched the skittles experiment and from this, had to draw a picture to show what happened, labelling all of the colours they could see. Some children had a go at recreating these experiments at home!
In Year 2/3 the children have described the importance of exercise, eating the right amounts of different types of food and the basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival (water, food and air).
They have thought about where food comes from, the different food groups and what makes a healthy, balanced diet. Year 2 and 3 have also started to look at simple food chains and whether they live a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle by keeping a diary.
The children in Year 3 have explored animals including humans. They began by exploring a range of nutrients that humans need, what they need them for and which foods contain the essentials. From this they created a healthy plate. The children explored how people’s food has changed over time. They also investigated what other animals like to eat, why they eat it and whether it is good for them.
The children enjoyed finding out about the importance of their skeleton and labelling some of their bones. They went on to investigating how much their hand could hold. They had to predict, record their results and conclude their findings.
In Year 4 the children learned about Electricity. They explored the difference between a series and parallel circuit and looked at visual examples of both types of circuit. We also discussed what kinds of electricity there are, such as battery powered or mains powered appliances. Finally, the children looked at different ways that electricity can be transported, including solar power and hydropower.
Year 5 Science this half term was an awe and wonder task – making paper aeroplanes and making scientific observations about gravity and air resistance.
Also, the children developed their knowledge of food chains. They have been able to identify the elements of a food chain and using appropriate vocabulary linked to food chains. They have also attempted to create a food web.
Year 6 have been looking at the impact a healthy lifestyle has on our bodies. They have designed experiments that show a change in a resting heart rate and how physical activity can affect this. They have recorded results using graphs and have written conclusions to their experiments. They have also looked at the heart and the circulatory system. They have watched clips as to how blood and oxygen is transported around the body and have begun to understand the heart is made up of 2 upper chambers and 2 lower chambers.
In Early Years this term the children have looked at the changes we would see in Autumn to Winter and looked at lots of pictures. They have completed an autumn walk and looked for signs of the changing seasons; collecting leaves and other items from outside before returning to class to sort them in different ways. In addition, they have completed a sound walk around our school, listening carefully to all the different sounds that the children could hear. They have also completed an investigation dunking the gingerbread man’s legs into water just like in the story!
Year 1 – Science this half term, has been all about the weather. The children first looked at the seasons and identified what types of weather they might see in each season. They then looked at weather reports to see what symbols were used to represent each type of weather. A wind indicator was made and took it outside to find out which direction the wind was blowing in. The children also set up a rain gauge and observed the amount of rain that fell over a few weeks. There was lots of discussion of their findings each time they observed. The children also talked about temperature and used thermometers to observe the temperature of pots of water.
Year 2 and 3 have been looking at living things. They started by sorting and identifying living things, none-living things and things that were never alive. They created a checklist to determine if something was alive or not including if it could move, grow, reproduce, excrete and breathe. To support the children’s understanding they walked in the school’s grounds and identified living things. The children compared a real baby to a doll and created a Venn diagram showing all of the things that they could and couldn’t do. They discussed the different stages of growth in humans and explained the changes and different features over time. Finally, they looked at animals and explored how some animal babies look like their adults and some do not. The children matched up pictures of adults and their young and created a life cycle of a frog explaining each step.
Year 3 – This half term the children have investigated forces and magnets. They began by exploring a range of forces including push and pull. The children enjoyed working in groups testing out the car which went the furthest and which surface was the best. The children were introduced to prediction and discussed their findings with their peers.
The children enjoyed investigating a variety of magnets and which materials were magnetic. The children completed a simple results table and drew up a conclusion. The children explored how to move a bowl in water by using magnets. This was definitely a wet and messy lesson! The children tried every way possible i.e. putting magnets in the bowl which made it sink, blowing on the bowl, filling it with a range of materials before they realised they could put a small magnet in the bowl and use a stronger magnet to guide it across. The children predicted which magnet was the strongest and concluded on their results. The children’s measuring and recording skills are improving!
Year 4 – The children have enjoyed learning about Humans and Other Animals. They explored the functions of the human digestive system and created an interactive model for the classroom. Then, they compared human and animal teeth and explored similarities and differences between the two kinds. They also enjoyed looking in more detail at which animals have different teeth to humans due to their diets, such as cows (herbivores) and lions (carnivores).
Year 5 – In Science, the children have been investigating the properties of materials. They have sorted materials into their own categories and have investigated which materials were electrical conductors and which were thermal insulators. The children conducted an experiment to see which material kept water the hottest to be used as an insulating material.
Year 6 – The children have improved their knowledge of working circuits and have planned experiments that prove how to reduce or maximise the brightness of a bulb or the volume of a buzzer. They have made predictions and can write methods and a conclusion to explain their working. They can explain how electricity flows through lots of everyday objects and which materials are best for this.
The children are also beginning to develop an understanding of how we see things and can label parts of the eye.
In Early Years this term we have completed some sorting of wood, metal and plastic using lids. We have thought about the season we are in and talked about the changes we see around during autumn.
Year 1 – This half term, our topic was everyday materials. We identified common materials and discussed their properties. We grouped objects depending on what type of material it was made from. We also looked at the properties of liquids and took part in an experiment to test the density of some liquids.
Year 2/3 – This half term Year 2 and 3 have explored materials. The children went on a materials hunt and named a range of materials and their uses. They talked about how some materials and suitable for a certain purpose. The children enjoyed investigating materials by making slime and trying to find out which materials can change shape by squashing, bending, twisting or stretching.
Year 3 – To start off our new topic Year 3 loved exploring and closely observing the different rocks and identified which ones we liked the most. We investigated the hardness of rocks using Mohs Hardness Scale. After looking at the rocks the children thought of their own questions that they wanted to answer during our topic. The children can now describe different types of rock, compare and group them and explain how fossils are formed. They enjoyed investigating the properties of different rocks and setting up fair tests.
We explored how different types of rocks were formed and categorised them into sedimentary, metamorphic, igneous rocks and man-made. From this we looked closely at a selection of fossils and created our own fossils using clay and plastic animals.
We looked closely at soil from different parts of our school grounds and learnt about what makes good soil. We watched video clips about composting and created a recipe for soil.
Year 4 – The children have enjoyed looking at the three states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. We set up an experiment to see how temperature would affect three different items of clothing as they dried and enjoyed discussing the results.
Year 5 – In Science, the children have enjoyed looking at the topic of Earth, moon and Space. They have investigated the planets; understanding how they were formed and what their orbit of the sun is like. We have learnt some new vocabulary regarding the Earths rotation around the sun and the different planets. They have conducted a shadow experiment so they can see what happens to shadows over a day. Finally, they looked at the different phases of the moon and why the moon sometimes looks different from the Earth. Some of the children recreated the solar system by painting rocks.
Year 6 – In Science, Year 6 have been exploring electrical circuits. They can recognise a complete and an incomplete circuit and used symbols to represent the components in diagrams. Working scientifically, children have investigated how to alter the brightness of a bulb and the volume of a buzzer. They have predicted outcomes and written evaluations for their experiment.
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