Science at Eliot Bank

Through the teaching of science we encourage an interest in and an understanding of our world. There are four main areas of learning in science comprising scientific enquiry, life processes and living things, materials and their properties and physical processes.

To help children think scientifically we build on their natural curiosity. They are encouraged to explore and investigate by developing their skills of observing, questioning, hypothesising, carrying out fair tests and recording and interpreting findings. The school has its own wildlife area and pond, where children can study plant, pond and animal life at first hand.


Year 1

Animals including Humans
Come and be immersed in the animal kingdom! In this exciting topic we have the chance to share our knowledge about animals native to our country as well as those from further afield. We delight in learning in vocabulary such as carnivore, omnivore and herbivore and use these to sort and group animals.

Everyday Materials
Are we living in a material world? In this tactile topic we learn to identify a range of everyday materials and start to learn about their properties. We link this to our DT unit – Playgrounds – and make this topic real by observing which materials are used to build the playground in our local park.

Seasonal Changes
Come wind, rain, sun or snow we love learning at Eliot Bank! This topic gives us the chance to use exciting equipment to help us compare the four seasons and how days change depending on the time of year, including the weather and how the length of the day varies.

Plants
Linking to our geography topic of food, we love learning all about plants. We focus on naming different types of plants and identifying the structure of plants. This helps us to identify which parts we tend to eat and which parts we don’t! It is great to culminate this topic by being able to eat something we have grown from seed.


Year 2

Uses of Everyday Materials
How useful is a chocolate teapot? Through interesting questions such as this, and exciting hands on experiments, we explore why materials are chosen for specific purposes.  The focus is on developing an understanding of the properties of materials and how these link to suitability for different uses.

Animals including Humans
Whose baby? What is a baby rabbit called? What is a puffling? These questions begin this intriguing topic about how animals have offspring which grow into adults. The topic develops to investigate the basic needs of all living things in order to survive and grow as well as specific factors such as diet and exercise for humans. We love having some of our pets come to visit us in school so we can learn what things they need to stay fit and healthy.

Plants
Feeling jealous of Jack’s magic beans? This term we learn how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plans and what plants need in order to grow and stay healthy. We enjoy keeping a diary to watch how our plants grow and develop over the term as well as taking an active role to nurture them.

Living Things and Their Habitats
No place like home? Using our local environment as a starting point we explore where different creatures live and what it is like in those places. We have a great time exploring in our pond area and down the gully to see what we can find as well as using data loggers to record what these habitats are like. To broaden our knowledge we also visit the Horniman Museum to explore a rich range of creatures that live in other habitats through the careful handling of taxidermy animals.


Year 3

Forces and Magnets
Magical magnets or freaky forces? Throughout this unit we love exploring how magnets work in this unit and enjoy trying to uncover the mystery of how they work. We have a great time sorting different materials and comparing how a magnetic force is different to other forces.

Light
A great unit to be taught outside in the summer term! During this unit we learn that we need light in order to see and learn about how to protect our eyes too. We particularly enjoy making shadow puppets in this unit to help us understand how shadows are formed and to find patterns in the way that shadows change.

Rocks
What did the rock say to the geologist? Don’t take me for granite! This unit gives us the chance to handle a variety of rocks, learn how they are made and sort them into different groups. We enjoy reinforcing our learning in the classroom with visit to Horton Kirby Educational Centre, where we get the change to explore some larger samples of rocks and carry out some tests on them.

Plants
To germinate or not to germinate? In this unit we step into the life of a flowering plant from germination to seed dispersal, and learnt about the role that flowers play in a plants life cycle. We also investigate how water is transported within plants.

Animals including Humans
Strong skeletons and mighty muscles - we all have them, but what are they for? The focus of this topic is to discover the role that the skeleton and muscles have in supporting and protecting the body as well as for movement. To further our understanding of the human body, we learn that animals, including humans, need the right type of nutrition to keep healthy as they are unable to make their own food.

Electricity
During this buzzing, hands on topic we learn how to diagnose problems with circuits that aren’t working while also learning about electrical safety. Throughout the topic the classroom is filled with buzzers and bulbs as we explore series circuits and how switches work.


Year 4

Sound
Not our quietest of topics but we just love it - as I’m sure you can imagine! This unit gives us an excuse to make lots of noise while learning that sound is made from vibrations, which travel through a medium (e.g. air) to our ear. We really enjoy investigating patterns which link volume and pitch to the characteristics of the object that produced the sound.

States of Matter
Will putting a coat on a snowman make it melt quicker or slower? Curious questions such as this will be explored during this topic as we learn about solids, liquids and gases. As we explore how heating or cooling objects affects their state of matter we also identify the role of evaporation and condensation in the water cycle.

Animals including Humans
Disgusting digestion? This fascinating topic gives us the chance to discover what happens to the food we eat by learning the simple functions of the digestive system. In addition, we learn about the different types of human teeth and the role of each in processing food.

All Living Things
Classified information! Brought to life by a brilliant visit from the Wiggly Wild Show, in this unit we learnt to use classification keys to identify and sort animals into different groups. We also learn about the dangers to living things when their environment changes.


Year 5

Forces
Push or pull? Using pulley’s and levers, we investigate how mechanisms can be used to allow a small force to have a greater effect by building our own mechanism machines. During this unit, we also learn about resistance, including friction, its effect on forces and what can be done to combat it.

Earth in Space
This out of this world unit sees us visiting Greenwich Royal Observatory to aid in our learning of our solar system and how the celestial bodies move relative to each other. We use this understanding to explain why we have night and day and why it appears that the sun moves across the sky.

Living Things and Their Habitats
The circle of life! The focus of the unit lies in looking at and comparing the life cycle of different types of animals. We enjoy a trip to the Horniman Museum to support our learning in this topic, where we broaden our understanding of life cycles by looking at the lives of plants and how they reproduce.

Animals including Humans
Strongly linked to our PSHE learning, this unit develops our understanding of how the human body changes over time and into old age. Alongside our PSHE learning, we identify the key stages of growth and development in humans and how this is related to the length of time humans are dependent upon their parents.

Properties and Changes of Materials
Mystifying mixtures and strange solutions! Come and be baffled by the amazing disappearing solids as they dissolve in liquids as if by magic. This fascinating, practical unit gives us the opportunity to explore how materials interact with each other to create solutions and mixtures, as well as to explore irreversible changes.


Year 6

Light
Light travels? Based on knowledge from the Year 3 Light unit, our understanding of light is explored and developed in order for us to identify that light travels in a straight line. Using this idea we investigate how we see things as well as why shadows resemble the shape of the object that make them.

Electricity
Bright bulbs and blaring buzzers! Building on the Year 4 Electricity unit, we learn how a bulb’s brightness or a buzzer’s loudness depends on the voltage or number of batteries. In addition, we learn the scientific symbols to use when drawing a circuit and enjoy creating these sophisticated diagrams.

Evolution
Survival of the fittest? During this unit we learn how living things have changed over millions of years and how fossils provide us with evidence for this. We use our existing knowledge of adaptation to help us understand how changing environments could lead to evolution.

Living Things and Their Habitats
Out of sorts? A culmination of all our learning on this topic, in this unit we apply our knowledge of different living things to explain and describe we classify plants and animals into different groups. We look not only at observable features to do this, but also specific features and similarities and differences.

Animals including Humans
Is your heart in it? With the aid of models and videos, we learn to identify the main parts of the human circulatory system and describe the function of the heart, blood vessels and blood. We also explore the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way our body, particularly our heart, functions.