Observing over time
Investigations have included planting seeds and watching them grow, studying mould growth and watching the life cycle of stick insects and tadpoles.
Identifying and classifying
Pupils have opportunities to identify and classify living things first-hand such as mini beasts in the reception garden, types of birds, insects, leaves and seeds in the nature trail or river species at the local water meadows.
This is about looking for patterns where data cannot be controlled and looking for a realtionship. For example pupils investigated whether catching accuracy in a ruler drop test was better if right handed or left handed, a taller or shorter person, before or after exercise, for boys or girls.
Pupils have opportunities to conduct further research using the school library, internet and by asking experts. Monthly STEM Assemblies give pupils the opportunity to ask questions to a range of scientists and engineers first-hand. Pupils in upper Key Stage 2 recently enjoyed finding out about inventions linked to materials that had been discovered by accident and proved to be very profitable such as silly string, post-it notes, slinky and silly putty.
This involves carefully controlling variables in order to answer a specific question. Pupils have compared seed growth for rocket seeds that have been in space and those that remained on earth. The science of bottle flipping investigation led to children predicting & investigating what makes the best bottle flip. They chose which variable to change such as the amount of water, shape, size or flipping technique then planned and carried out their fair test experiments with much excitement!