Science at Summercroft

JUN
22
2018

Super Science Update – June 2018

 Hello and welcome to the Super Science Update for June 2018!   As you may already be aware, the first week back after the half term break was STEM week. This stands for science, technology, engineering and maths. The whole school focus for the week was ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ and each year group had a different set of activities and foci.

General questions for all the children could include:

What did you learn about in STEM week?

What does STEM stand for?

What did you make in STEM week?

What did you learn from your visitors? (Please note that not every year group had a visitor!)

 

The following questions are aimed at specific year groups.

The children in EYFS looked generally at recycling. You could ask your children:

What is recycling?

Why is it important to recycle?

What materials can be recycled?

 

Years One and Two children focused on food waste and food packaging. To follow up the learning in school you could ask:

What happened when you dug up the bags on the field?

What materials were they made from?

Which one had started to break down?

 

Years Three and Four focused on paper recycling for STEM week. You could ask your children:

How do you make recycled paper?

Why is it important to recycle paper?

Why is it important to try to use less paper?

 

Years Five and Six focused on plastic recycling. To follow up the learning in school you might ask:

What impact does plastic have on the environment?

What plastics should we try to avoid using completely? (The children learnt about how bad plastic straws are

for the environment!)

Which plastic products take the longest to break down/degrade?

 

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MAY
11
2018

Super Science Update – May 2018

Hello and welcome to the Super Science Update for May 2018, your one-stop spot for great ideas on how to get science discussion going at home. There are lots of ways to get discussion going below, which is linked to what each year group are covering in school, so dip in and start talking science!

The children in Nursery have been asking questions about archaeopteryx (pictured below). The children loved asking questions about what it was (many scientists see it as a ‘missing link’ between dinosaurs and birds) and Miss Webster reports that the language children were using was exceptional.

You could follow up this discussion by asking:

What kind of animal is this?

Is it a dinosaur?

Is it a bird?

Why do you think this?

 

Children in Reception have been learning about minibeasts. The children have been learning the names of different minibeasts and finding out where they live. You could ask your children:

What different types of minibeasts do you know?

What minibeasts might you find living near the ground?

What minibeasts might you find flying in the air?

Ask an adult to go outside with you on a minibeast hunt! What did you find?

 

Year One will be learning more about plants over the coming few weeks. Their focus will be on identifying and naming the different parts of plants. You could start discussions by asking:

What different parts of a plant do you know?

What are the different parts of a plant for?

Do all plants have the same parts?

 

Year Two have also been learning about plants. Specifically, the children have been learning about how seeds germinate and are now moving on to finding out which parts of a plant we can eat.

Which different parts of a plant do we eat?

What examples can you remember (for example, carrots are roots; apples are fruit; peas are seeds)?

What does germinate mean?

What do seeds need so that they can germinate?

Year Three are carrying on their learning about light and dark. A large part of their focus is on shadows. These questions follow on from the ones you might have considered before the Easter holidays, before Year 3 started their learning about light and shadow.

Where do we get shadows?

Why are shadows created?

What affects the size and length of shadows?

 

Year Four will be learning about teeth in the coming weeks. Their focus in the classroom will be mainly on human teeth and hygiene but your discussions at home can, of course, follow your children’s own interests and lines of enquiry. You might ask:

What different types of teeth do humans have?

What are they for?

What foods or drinks cause the most damage to your teeth?

Why do different animals have different kinds of teeth? (For example, horses have flat teeth whereas cats have sharp teeth.)

 

Year Five have been learning about life cycles, including those of plants and animals. They have been comparing the life cycles of different living things and have also gone into more depth about the life cycles of plants. You could ask:

What parts of a plant are for reproduction?

What jobs do they do?

What important process in flowering plants is needed for reproduction?

 

Year Six have been learning about the Titanic and this could lead to some very interesting scientific questions.

Where is Titanic now?

How do we know?

Why did Titanic sink? (Note to parents and carers- children in Year 6 should, I’m sure, be able to go into more detail here than simply “It hit an iceberg!”)

What might have happened if Titanic had hit the iceberg head on?

There’s a link to a computer generated reconstruction of the sinking below:

 

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APR
25
2018

Super Science Update March 2018

Welcome to the Super Science Update for March 2018. As ever, we’ll be keeping you updated on what’s been happening in school over the last month and there will be plenty of suggestions for ways you can get science discussions going at home. In some cases these will be about what children have been learning about in class.   However, where classes have been going into greater depth on one particular topic, questions will be linked to the children’s learning for when they return from the Easter break.

Nursery– children in Nursery have been learning about plants. They looked at how plants grow, learnt about seeds and looked at the life-cycle of a sunflower. At home, you could ask your children:

What do plants need to grow?

What are bulbs?

What did you learn about sunflowers?

 

Reception have been learning about plants too. Specifically, they’ve been learning about the different types of plants and what is happening outside now Spring has (hopefully!) arrived. They have also been learning about the different parts of a plant. Ideas for plant talk might include:

What different types of plants do you know?

Why do lots of plants start to grow in Spring?

What different parts of plants do you know about? How do they help the plant?

 

Year One have also been learning about plants. They’ve learnt about different types of plants, with a focus on flowers, and have been comparing the types of flowers you’d find in a garden to wild flowers. You could ask:

What trees can you name?

What flowers can you name?

What sorts of plants live near your house?

What is the same or different about the plants you find near where you live?

What would it be like if there were no plants?

 

Year Two have been learning about how different animals are suited to their habitats. They thought about different animals (such as polar bears, sharks and snakes) and discussed how each animal has different features that help to live in a particular place. You could ask:

What do all fish have in common? How does this help them live in seas, oceans, lakes or rivers?

What would happen if a fish left the water and tried to live on land?

What has happened to the mammals that live in water, such as dolphins, whales and seals? How are they suited to their habitat? How are they similar or different to mammals that live on land?

What habitats did you learn about at Hatfield Forest?

What happens when animals lose their habitats?

  

Year Three have been looking at magnets and magnetism in some depth in the past few weeks. They’ve followed their own lines of enquiry, asking questions such as, “Do magnets work underwater?” and “What is the greatest weight the school magnets can hold?” You could of course ask your children what they learnt about magnets as, I’m sure, they will remember a variety of different things. After Easter, Year 3 will be learning about light and dark. A good place to start discussions might be:

 

What is light?

Why do we get shadows?

What affects the size and length of shadows?

 

Year Four are continuing their learning about sound. They’ve been learning about this in quite a bit of depth, so try asking your children:

 

What is sound?

How does sound travel?

 

 

Year Five have been learning about forces and recently they made spinners to investigate these. After the Easter break they will be comparing the life cycles of different types of plants and animals. You could ask:

What are life cycles?

What life cycles are similar?

In what ways are life cycles different? For example you could discuss animals that have live births and those that lay eggs; or investigate insects that have very short life spans such as the Mayfly, some of which live for only a few hours!

How are the life cycles of animals and plants similar or different?

 

Year Six have been learning about light over the past few weeks. You could follow up their learning by asking:

What is light?

What else is produced alongside light (often heat, such as from stars or lightbulbs).

What would happen if there were no artificial light on Earth?

 

 

 

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MAR
09
2018

Super Science Update March 2018

Welcome to the Super Science Update for February 2018. As usual, this is your one-stop shop updates about the great science learning that’s happening across our school and the place to find some discussion points to get some great science talk going on at home. There’s plenty to get you all talking here and, as before, there’s no expectation that any of it is recorded- just get discussing!

 

EYFS and Year One will be looking at seasonal changes over the coming weeks. The weather should give you plenty to discuss, such as:

Why is it snowing/why has it been snowing?

What happens when the snow hits the ground?

What happens if you bring snow inside?

Will it snow in summer? Why or why not?

Are there any places where it never snows? Why or why not?

 

Year Two will be looking at animals over the next few weeks, examining how they can be grouped according to shared features. They will also be looking at food chains. You could ask:

 

How do you know if an animal is a carnivore?

How do you know if an animal is a herbivore?

What different animal families do you know?

What do all cats/birds/fish have in common? How are they different?

The orca is top of the food chain (apex predator; nothing eats it in the wild).

What would happen if there were no orcas?

 

Year Three will be continuing their learning about forces. So far they’ve been looking at pushes and pulls. In the last update we mentioned that magnets would be part of Year Three’s learning and these questions could get a good discussion going!

 

What metals are magnetic?

Do magnets work on all metals?

What do people use magnets for?

What would happen if there was no magnetism?

Over the coming weeks Year Four will be learning about sound. You could ask your children:

 

What is the best medium for sound to travel through (sound must travel in something- a solid, liquid or

gas).

What would happen if you were in space and a rocket whizzed past?

What makes the loudest sound on Earth?

 

Recently Year Five have been learning about forces, with a focus on gravity, friction and air resistance.

Next, they’ll be looking at water resistance. You could ask:

What would sink faster- a bowling ball or a car?

Would these two objects fall in the same way? Why or why not?

 

Over the next few weeks Year Six will be looking at light. To get discussions going you could ask:

How can humans see in the dark?

Could you see a white cat in a dark room?

What are shadows? How does light affect them?

 

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JAN
22
2018

Super Science Update January 2018

Welcome to the first Super Science Update of 2018. Once again we’ll keep you updated with the great science learning that’s happening across our school and also give you some discussion points to get some great science talk going on at home. There will be some ‘What if?’ questions too, just like last time. Once again, there’s absolutely no expectation that your children record any of these- it’s just good to talk about science!

 

EYFS will be learning about forests in the coming weeks. Their focus will be on the different kinds of animals that live in forest and woods. You might like to start a discussion with your child or children by asking:

What animals live in forest?

Which part of the forest do they live in? (E.g. inside a tree, under a log etc.)

What would happen if a polar bear lived in a forest?

What about a shark?

 

Year 1 over the next few weeks will be learning about materials and their properties. At first they will cover basic types of material, such as plastic, glass, wood and metal. Your home discussions could start with what these different materials are used for, and why.

What if cars were made of wood?

Why are your knives and forks and spoons made of metal? Why aren’t they made from paper?

What if your house was made from plastic?

 

Year 2 will be learning about the human body and will learn to identify different parts of the body (including those related to the senses).     They will also learn about the function of these and our learning will cover hygiene too. Some discussion points might include:

What is the most important bone in the body?

Why do we have skeletons?

What if there were no germs?

 

Year 3 will be learning about forces, including magnets.

What makes objects fall to Earth?

What affects how fast objects fall to Earth?

What if Earth’s gravity was stronger? What if it was weaker?

 

Year 4 will be learning about electricity. Some discussion points might include:

What would happen if you tied a knot in a wire? (This might require a discussion about safety.)

What if there was no electricity in your home?

What if there was no electricity anywhere?

 

Year 5 will be learning about forces, including pushes, pulls and gravity. They will also look at the effects levers can have.

What would happen if a space rocket took off from Earth and ran out of fuel?

What would happen if a space rocket took off from Earth and made it into space, then ran out of fuel?

 

In Year 6 the children will be learning about the explorer Ernest Shackleton and linking their science to various forms of survival, such as melting water and water filtration, food preservation and insulation. You might like to discuss:

What happens to the weight of water when it’s frozen?

What happens to the weight of water when it’s frozen and then melts?

What would happen if you drank unfiltered water?

 

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DEC
01
2017

Super Science Update

There’s so much great science going on across the school, we thought we’d add a new monthly section to the newsletter to keep you updated.

Each month you’ll be able to see what science is going on in different years, and there will also be suggestions for scientific discussions you could have with your child/children at home. A great way to start discussion is with a ‘what if…?’ question and each month we’ll put some of these in the newsletter to get you started, along with some other suggestions. There’s no expectation that the children bring in any of these in but they should make for a great discussion starter at home!

 

EYFS have been looking at what changes with the arrival of different seasons. They’ve looked in more detail at the changes in Autumn and Winter. You could ask your children:

How are Winter and Summer different?

What happens outside when it gets very cold?

If it snows does the snow always stay on the ground all day?

 

Year 1 have been labelling the different parts of animals, including humans. They have also been sorting animals into different groups, such as mammals, fish and birds. You could ask:

What would happen if fish didn’t have fins?

What if birds didn’t have beaks?

 

Year 2 have been learning about what animals need in order to survive. You could ask:

What different kinds of shelters do animals use or make?

What if an animal didn’t have any shelter?

 

Year 3 have been learning about the different food groups and why it’s important to eat a balanced diet. They started their healthy eating unit by thinking about what would happen if you only ate chocolate for a year. Other questions you could ask include:

What if you only ate carbohydrates for a week?

What about for a month, or a year?

What if you only ate protein for a week?

What about for a month, or a year?

 

Year 4 have been learning about different states of matter (solid, liquid and gas) and how these can be changed. They’ve also been learning about whether these changes can be reversed, or not. You could ask:

What if all the land ice on Earth melted?

 

Year 5 have learning about Earth and space. They’ve learnt about the relative sizes of the Earth, sun and moon and also investigated how these move (including orbits and rotation). The children are starting to learn about the order of the planets of our solar system too. You could ask:

What if the Earth stopped spinning?

What would happen if the Earth was closer to the sun?

What if it was further away?

 

In Year 6 the children have learning about evolution and have been investigating how animals inherit traits from their parents. Some questions you could ask your children to stimulate discussion include:

How do humans adapt to different environments?

What would happen if we didn’t inherit traits from our parents?

What would happen if animals didn’t inherit traits from their parents?

 

 

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