Junior science

Well the Juniors have been very busy in science this term.  It continues with great gusto, energy and enthusiasm from all, along with a constant telling off from the science department that we have damaged or broken things!  That’s because we are such good investigators.

May the force be with you!

Back in January Year 3 began to think about Forces. They planned fair tests to find out the answers to questions like these: Which is the strongest magnet? Are magnets as powerful under water as in air? Most of them worked very hard with their group, just like Billy Bee.

Are all coins magnetic? This question really got the Year 3 brains buzzing!  It led to a further investigation from Archie M:  ‘Are cleaner coins magnetic while dirty ones are not?’  Frankie F thought it might be to do with the age of the coin, so another investigation followed and we discovered much about how the Royal Mint have changed the material from which coins are made, thus meaning we had to look at the year each coin was made.  Great thinking like Ollie Owl, curiosity like Cassie Cat and teamwork like Billy Bee!

The children continued their magnetic investigations by doing six activities in which they explored ‘attraction’ and ‘repulsion’.  Billy Bee collaboration skills were put to the test, as well as Ollie Owl, as they reflected on what they had discovered.

One of the highlights before half term was when we invited Years 1 and 2 to visit us in the De Beer block to try out the magnet games that 3E had created. The room actually buzzed with energy as the younger ones explored and were guided by the Juniors.

After the half term break we began our new topic – Rocks and Fossils.  Having played a game called Hard Rock Challenge, classifying various rocks, the children settled down to try their hand at detailed observational drawings of six different types of rock.  Finally they had to work as a team (Billy Bee) to read definitions of the rocks so that each could be labelled correctly.  One ‘rogue pumice rock’ caused a bit of a stir amongst the group with Henry W, Teddy L, Issy DD, Zara SW and Hannah W, but all was well in the end!

As petrologists they have conducted fair tests to find out whether different rock types were igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic. The three tests included finding out if they ‘fizzed’ when acid (vinegar) was dropped on them, seeing if water soaked into them (permeable) and discovering how hard or crumbly the rocks were by scratching them with nails and sandpaper.  All great fun and a brilliant lesson, helped by Mrs Lomas and an ‘old’ gapper, Miss McCulloch, who just popped in to say hello!  We kidnapped her for the hour to help!

During Science week the Juniors were lucky enough to have a visit from Ken Brooks, a local enthusiast and expert on a number of things. This time his illustrated talk was all about rocks and fossils, with particular reference to local geology. The children handled types of igneous and sedimentary rock and learnt about their formation before finding out about different types of erosion.

It is always great to hear the enthusiasm from the children – this is a fabulous subject!

Carina Everist

Year 4

Back in January we were completing our topic of ‘sound’.  Our trip to Herstmonceux science centre included a workshop on sound which helped us develop our knowledge.  They did some interesting investigating looking at pitch and amplitude.  They thought about how some animals use their hearing, how sound travels and how we should protect our hearing.  They were set the task of creating ear defenders which they thoroughly enjoyed, deciding on the best materials to be used based on what they had learnt.

Our new topic ‘Electricity’ started with an excellent trip to Dungeness power station.  It was the first time I had taken children there and it was very successful.  It made the children more aware of the wonder of what happens when you turn on a light. The children have done a lot of investigating with our electrical equipment.  They have tested different materials to work out which are conductors and which are insulators. They have successfully made switches which they will use in our end of unit quiz.  They are able to draw formal diagrams of circuits and all have a good understanding that you need to have a ‘full circuit’ to allow electricity to flow.

They love this topic and have worked hard.

Year 5

Year 5 have been very mature in their approach to science and have taught themselves by asking their own scientific questions and then investigating to answer them.  They have been looking at properties of materials and deciding what materials would be best to use for various tasks on a campsite.

They have carried out fair tests as part of their learning to do with: strength, waterproofing, absorbency, temperature and electrical insulating.  They have recorded their results and created graphs to show their findings.

We have moved on to changing materials where again the children have worked hard to investigate independently and answer their own questions.  They have tried to dissolve things and separate things and have looked at how materials change when a chemical reaction takes place and whether this is reversible or irreversible.