Science – Infant

thumbnail of Science Principles in Toftwood Infant School

Science is taught in a practical way, in order to excite the children and engage them in their learning. They are encouraged to enquire and ask scientific questions as well as to plan, carry out and evaluate their own experiments.

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Children also have the use of scientific equipment such as microscopes and magnifying glasses which gives the children hands-on experiences when carrying out investigations.

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In the EYFS, Understanding the World incorporates activities that are linked to Science, for example exploring materials, living things and the environment.

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Science is taught in Key Stage 1 through half termly topics and linked to the content which incorporates cross curricular components. Children also go on educational visits which are related to topics about Science.


Every Wednesday, a gardening club is run to provide a small group of children with the opportunity to learn about plants and living things. They also get the opportunity to plant their own seeds and look after the school garden. This gives the children real life skills that can be used outside of school as well as developing social skills whilst working with others.

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Throughout the year we have visitors who provide the children with real life science experiences, such as Goldcrest Outdoor Education, Zootastic, the RSPB and Starlincs Planetarium.

The children are also given the opportunity to observe and discuss current events from around the globe.

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From Summer 2 2016 we will be focusing on ‘Working Scientifically’ and giving the children additional quality opportunities to be scientists!

Science Core Knowledge

The National Curriculum Objectives are grouped into the following areas:

Year 1- Seasonal Changes; Everyday Materials; Animals, including humans; Plants

Year 2- Growing Plants; Uses of Everyday Materials; Animals, including humans;

Living Things and their Habitats

The children are taught these objectives through activities planned to encourage them to work scientifically. This is the main focus of the Science curriculum and we focus on the children working like scientists!

Asking questions is one the most important elements of Science and working scientifically.

Here are some questions that we might discuss or the children may ask in relation to each objective.

Year 1

Seasonal Changes

  1. Describe the typical weather that you might see in the Summer
  2. Where does rain come from?
  3. Are days longer or shorter in the Winter than the Summer? Why?
  4. Why do we have seasons?

Everyday Materials

  1. What scientific word do we use to describe a material that will not let water pass through it?
  2. Can you name something that is shiny? Flexible? Transparent?
  3. What type of material is magnetic?
  4. What material is the chair made from?

Animals including humans

  1. Name some types of animals that live on the earth or fly in the air.
  2. What is the scientific name for animals that never eat meat?
  3. Which 3 types of animals live in or near water?
  4. What is the name of the body part that helps your leg to bend?
  5. Which body part allows humans to smell?


  1. Can you name the main parts of a plant?
  2. What do you plants need to grow?
  3. What is the scientific name for trees that lose their leaves in Autumn and Winter?
  4. Can you name the parts of a tree?

Year 1 answers

Seasonal Changes 1. Sunshine. 2. It collects in the sky as clouds and then rain is released when they get heavy. 3. Shorter. Daylight is less in the winter months. 4. Because of the rotation and tilt of the Earth

Everyday Materials 1. Waterproof 2.Foil or metal. Plastic. Glass. 3. Metal. 4. Wood/Fabric

Animals, including humans 1. Mammals, birds, 2. Herbivores. 3. Reptiles, amphibians, fish 4. Knee. 5. Nose.

Plants 1. Petal, flower, leaf, stem, roots 2. Air, light, warmth, nutrients and water 3. Deciduous  4. Trunk, leaf, branch, roots


Year 2


  1. What do plants need to grow healthily?
  2. What do seeds and bulbs have inside them that helps them to grow?
  3. Name a typical plant you might find growing on a lawn?
  4. Will a plant grow well if the temperature is very cold?

Uses of Everyday Materials

  1. Should a spoon be made from glass? Why?
  2. What would be a good material to use to make an umbrella?
  3. Find 4 everyday objects made from metal.
  4. What material can you see that could bend/squash/twist/stretch?

Animals including humans

  1. In what order are the 4 stages of growth for a chicken?
  2. Name 5 adult animals and their babies
  3. What do all animals need to survive?
  4. What should humans do to live healthily?

Living Things and their Habitats 

  1. Name some creatures that might live in a woodland.
  2. What is the scientific name for a place that something lives?
  3. Describe what a ‘food chain’ is
  4. Name something living, something dead and a thing that has never been alive

Year 2 answers

Plants 1. Water, light, nutrients, air, warmth. 2. They store food. 3. Daisy or clover. 4. No.

Uses of Everyday Materials 1. No. It will break too easily. Metal and plastic are better 2. A waterproof fabric. 3. Cars, coin, table legs, tools 4. socks, elastic band, blue tac, play dough

Animals including humans 1. Egg, incubation, chick, chicken 2. Sheep and lamb, cow and calf, chicken and chick, butterfly and caterpillar, cat and kitten, dog and puppy 3. Air, food, water, warmth 4. Eat a balanced diet, exercise, hygiene

Living Things and their Habitats 1. Deer, foxes, badgers, birds, adders, beetles, worms 2. Habitat 3. It is how animals obtain their food and energy from plants and other animals 4. Human, withered leaf, a rock


Spring 2018


The children in Nursery have enjoyed exploring magnets and finding out what is magnetic and non-magnetic.

They have enjoyed testing their ideas such as which objects will float and sink.

The children have also enjoyed using the computers to find out the answers to their own scientific questions including “What do monkeys eat?”


As it has been so Wintery recently, the Reception children have enjoyed exploring the snow and ice!

They have also enjoyed using Scientific equipment to explore things around them, taking a closer look at what they can see and testing their ideas.

Some of the children also decided to make their own ladybirds after reading the story ‘What the Ladybird Heard.’ They talked about how many legs insects have and other body parts including antennae.

Year 1

Year 1 have been learning about materials and their properties. They went on a material hunt to find different objects around the school and recorded the object and what material it is made from.

They also discussed the properties of different materials and how we can describe what they are like. Then they tested the properties of different objects such as seeing if a sock was bendy, a piece of Lego was waterproof and if a window is transparent!

Year 2

Year 2 have also been exploring different materials around us. They have learnt about natural and man-made materials and have sorted these into groups.

They have also thought about the suitability of different materials for different purposes. They had a problem to solve as they had some sea creatures which were stranded on the beach and they had to create something to help them get back to the sea when water was poured onto it. They had to consider the best materials for the job by thinking about their properties.

Autumn 2017

Early scientific learning starts with exploring and expanding our knowledge about the world around us.


We have been learning about colours. We explored making new colours by colour mixing with our hands.

We looked at the book called “The Rainbow Fish”. We printed our own fish using celery for the scales.

We have enjoyed exploring our outdoor environment.


The Reception children have been exploring the world around them using different equipment such as magnets, binoculars, magnifying glasses and the digital microscopes.

They have been asking questions and testing their ideas as well.

They have also been working together, sharing ideas and solving problems.

Year 1

Year 1 have been learning about Animal Life. They visited the Sealife Centre in Great Yarmouth to learn about sea creatures including starfish, rays and sharks. They learnt what these animals eat, where they live in the sea and how they survive.

They had a visit from Zootastic which included meeting and learning about lots of different animals, including a snake, a tarantula and two owls!


They have grouped animals, observed different animals closely and learnt about the parts of the human body and their senses.

They have also been carrying out experiments in the classroom. One experiment was to find out which material was the best to stop ice melting and another explored why penguins have oily feathers!

Year 2

Year 2 have been learning all about materials. They have looked at different types of material and thought about describing them using their properties.

They have also considered the materials used for building a castle and why these materials would have been used in Medieval times.

They used what they had learnt to build a throne for a Lord and a bridge for a castle.

They had to consider the best materials for the job. Then they tested and evaluated their bridges.




Spring 2 2017 – Science Club

This half term, one child from each class has been attending Science Club! We have been doing all sorts of different activities from the different areas of Science – chemistry, biology and physics.

Biology – Planting seeds.






We discussed what plants need to grow and what we might need to do to keep them healthy. We discussed putting soil and water in the put along with the seed and where we should put them. We decided to put them near the window so they had sunlight and warmth.

Physics – Helicopters







We made helicopters out of paper and attached paper clips to them. We threw them in the air and watched in amazement as they spun to the ground. We made big and small helicopters and compared how the different sizes affected their movement. We also explored using a different number of paper clips and how they fell quicker when they were heavier.

Chemistry – Lava Lamps and Bubbles

We  talked about Lava Lamps and we looked at pictures of them on the internet. We poured water and oil in to a beaker and discussed why the liquids seperated. We then added food colouring and loved watching the blobs get stuck in the oil! We then took it in turns to add a small piece of alka seltzer to the beaker. We loved seeing the food colouring blobs dancing in the liquid and the bubbles moving around!

We made our own bubble wands and enjoyed blowing different shape bubbles. We then made giant bubbles in the tuft spot and each child got a turn

Spring 1 2017


The Nursery children have been investigating freezing and melting using the ice and snow!







They tested to see how long the ice would take to melt. They thought about how the warmth of their hands made it melt quicker

The children also explored ice to see what they could notice. They realised that they could see through it and that it would break easily!



The children in Reception have been busy observing, finding out and experimenting using different Scientific equipment.








They have used thermometers to take temperatures of different things such as ice, wood and the sun’s heat!









Lots of the children enjoyed finding out what was made of metal using a metal detector in the classroom.







They’ve also used test tubes, measuring cylinders and beakers to make their own magic potions.









They even learnt how to use new equipment such as a pipette.








Year 1

The children in Year 1 have been outside looking for signs of Winter. They recorded their findings using drawings, mind maps and notes.







Miss Hooper’s class also explored melting ice. They put four toy people in separate pots of water and left them outside to freeze. They discussed how they could make the ice melt. They held one pot in their hands, one pot was left outside in the sun, they put warm water on another pot and they chipped away at the last ice block using a pencil.


They used a split timer to compare the times it took for the ice to melt. The children made predictions and recorded their results.


Year 2

The Year 2 children have been exploring living and non-living things this half term. They have talked about how we know something is alive and what living things need to survive.









Every child has planted their own bean seed, which they have used to observe a plant growing and all the parts of a plant.







They also observed seeds using magnifying glasses and digital microscopes.


They recorded their observations and the results of their experiment.


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