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Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second Right, so in our school site policy, what we’ve got is we’ve got a curriculum map, which tells you the programs of study that you’re going to be doing in each different year. So when you look at the year one, you’ve actually got four different programs of study units that you need to cover. They’re all linked with the national curriculum. Okay. So you’ve got the seasonal change. You’ve got animals, including humans, and you’ve got everyday materials, and plants. They’re all separate units. But what you need to do is you need to make sure that you cover your working scientifically as well. Okay, and so how would we cover that?

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds Right, so what you’ll find is that some of these objectives actually fit better with others. So if I look at one of the first ones, where you observe things over time, and you look at changes, can you see one that might actually fit better? Okay, so, well to me, that would be the seasonal change. The seasonal change, yeah. Because it’s, well, it’s throughout and over the year, isn’t it? Yeah, so that’s the right idea. So you don’t want to block it and do seasonal change all in one term. You actually want to get the children out and experience it. Yeah. Because it does say in the objective, observe changes across the four seasons. Okay.

Skip to 1 minute and 16 seconds And so actually getting the children to stand in front of a particular tree, or actually sort of like go to the same place and take a photo- You’re doing the, yeah. Yeah, take a photograph of it. You can actually get them to look at the photograph and then see what changes. What changes to the things that they’re actually wearing, or what changes can they actually see in the environment. And by them doing that, would that be the children working scientifically if they were doing that, taking the photos and making the comparisons? Is that what that means? That’s exactly it, yeah. If we look at the animals, including humans, again, we’ve got lots of identified and classified animals in there.

Skip to 1 minute and 51 seconds Sometimes what I often do with this one is I actually just get the children to sort them anyway that they want to. See what they know first, okay. Yeah, and it might be to do with how many legs they’ve got, but at least they’re beginning- Get them looking and sorting, yeah. Yeah, and then can they see any similarities between which ones are the reptiles and which ones are the mammals? And they begin to sort of make those connections themselves. And they need to know different vocabulary as well, which in year one there is quite, sort of like a thing on explaining, sort of like what’s wood, what’s plastic, what’s glass, metal, water, and rock.

Skip to 2 minutes and 29 seconds And sort of like water, actually making sure that they know sort of like what water is. And that’s quite a difficult one to actually classify. More than just knowing it’s just like a fluid. Yeah. Because lots of things could be a fluid. Yeah. It’s understanding that difference, is that right? Yeah. I’m correct here. Yeah, so actually being able to look at it and explain about it. But then you’ve got the step further. Can they actually describe the different properties? So you’re looking at things to do with whether it’s absorbent or whether it lets light through. And you’ve got the vocabulary associated with that, as well.

Skip to 3 minutes and 5 seconds So for that one, you might want to do something like a test, a comparative test. Could be quite practical, couldn’t it? Yeah. So if you’ve got the different materials there, and then dropping water on to see what happens to the water on the different materials, and then which ones actually absorb the most? Can they actually rank them then, and put them in order from the most absorbent to the least absorbent? You’ve got that comparative language as well. Okay, what about gathering and recording data to help in answering questions? You could do that there couldn’t we, when we do materials? Yeah, how would you do that? What do you think we could do?

Skip to 3 minutes and 54 seconds So for example, if we were looking at how absorbent some materials were, we could compare and look at this material as the least absorbent and why. And just look and see how much water’s being absorbed. And there’s different ways of recording, isn’t there? It’s not always got to be like a tally chart? No. Or something like that? There’s like photographs and like different kinds of diagrams. Yeah. Would that be right? I’m on the right track, I think, with that. It could link him with your maps as well, couldn’t it? I can. With the bar charts and the Venn diagrams. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. That should be useful. And use whatever covers most absorbent and least absorbent. Nice space.

Skip to 4 minutes and 19 seconds And then you’ll- More or less. Kinda cross creek here. Yeah. Feel it and see you’ve got your comparative language. Yeah. And your spoken language as well. But that one would sort of like lend itself to doing quite a few tests. Which they could do a scenario as well, couldn’t they? That you’ve got to make something. Yes, and that’s probably the best way to do it. Should get their interest, and then they- Yeah, and whether you want to make an umbrella. Yeah. Or you want to make a coat. Yeah. Or you want to make sort of like something to mock something. Yeah. Yeah, it puts you into a scenario, would work. Built a context around it. Yeah, yeah.

Skip to 4 minutes and 48 seconds And gives you a purpose, as well. And then they’re actually investigating the materials for a reason. Yeah. And then hopefully, testing them out, and then that creates a really good discussion at the end of it.

Planning for enquiry

In this video three teachers discuss planning enquiry for their classes across a year. Two are new teachers and one is an experienced science leader.

The discussion starts with looking at the requirements of the national curriculum and then focuses on which enquiry types fit into each topic areas.

Things to think about when planning your enquiry:

  1. Find out what the children already know. A KWL (Know, Would like to Know, Learnt) grid could be one way of finding this out.
  2. Find out what questions the children have; what do they want to find out? Add to the KWL Grid.
  3. Ensure National Curriculum Coverage, ensuring you’ve looked at the learning gone before and the learning that will come after.
  4. For more ideas go to STEM Resources collection.

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Teaching Primary Science: Getting Started

National STEM Learning Centre