To engage and excite our pupils, in and beyond the classroom, to develop scientific skills and knowledge which will help them ask and answer questions about the world around them and to recognise the implications of science today and in the future.
Science Lead: Mrs. Gibson
Science at Forest Hall is exciting and hands on, where pupils learn fascinating facts about the world around them. They also develop a variety of skills to enable them to investigate their own ideas. The pupils are not only taught how to plan and carry out a variety of investigations, but also how to collate results and look for patterns and reasons behind their findings. Across both key stages, external visits with a science focus are regularly undertaken at a range of venues, such as the Centre for Life, the Rising Sun Country Park and the Coast. We also have a wildlife garden with a pond,which the pupils can access when exploring different habitats and seasonal changes.
At Forest Hall we are constantly reviewing our practice and striving to give our pupils the very best in quality teaching and learning in this subject area. We now have a STEM after school club which is led by our STEM ambassador,
who works for a local company. In keeping with our theme of "Geordie and Proud" the pupils did some research work about the Tyne bridges before designing and making their own using different materials. The STEM club will resume again in the summer term when we hope to develop some aspects of our wildlife garden.
We encourage our pupils to see the relevance of STEM subjects beyond the classroom walls and every year we have a STEM focus week where classes take part in a variety of STEM based learning activities. Last year we hatched chicks and watched them grow and develop over two weeks. There were lots of opportunities for the pupils to design and make homes for the chicks and some classes visited a local factory to learn how packaging is made. There was lots of food technology going on too with egg based recipes being tried out. We also had parents ,who have careers in STEM subjects, working with our year 6 pupils. It was a very exciting and memorable week. We are all looking forward to STEM week in 2020 now!
Home Learning Summer 1
Look at your class page to find the science topic work for your year group for this half term. In addition to this,why not take part in our whole school "Bird Watching" topic? With less traffic on the roads and more time to spend in our gardens, take the opportunity to learn more about the different types of birds around us and how they live. There is an excellent RSPB website www.rspb.uk/fun-and-learning/for-kids which has lots of activities and interactive games. You can make bird feeders, collect data by recording which birds you can see in your garden or local park, and even listen to different bird songs. You could make a booklet or a power point or even set up some investigations to find out which foods they prefer. You can learn all about migration too. I would love to see what you have done when we get back to school.
Week beginning 11th May
If you have completed lots of work about garden birds why not find out about some birds of prey? Watch BBC. bitesize videos (an introduction to birds of prey and what is a bird of prey?) I have given you some fact files to read and there are a few activities you might like to try. If you do make a booklet or write a poem about some of the birds, then keep them safe and we can share them once we are back at school. You could add lots of illustrations too. Maybe you would rather create a power point to teach other children all about them or record your own pod cast? It is up to you. I have included some key vocabulary to help you with your poems and some guidance.
Week beginning 18th May
Last week, some of the children who were in school went birdwatching on the school field and in the wildlife garden. We took some binoculars with us to help us see the birds more closely. We spotted a few sparrows, pigeons, thrushes and blackbirds. We made a bird feeder and hung it in the wildlife garden so hopefully, once more of you are back at school, we will have a greater variety of birds. Maybe you have been able to spot some birds in your own gardens or local parks and have had a chance to try out some of the suggested activities? If not, have a look at the extra activities I have suggested for this week. You can find out more about the life cycle of birds, perhaps learn more about "The cuckoo" and maybe try out some of the suggested art activities. You could make a bird's nest from bits and pieces of materials too. If you want to relax, then listen to some of the bird songs on the RSPB website or watch the you tube video of "The cuckoo" from the Carnival of the animals. Watch some of the bitesize videos too. (What are birds? and What is a life cycle?)
Have fun learning more about birds this week then enjoy your half term break.
If you need anything printed off then contact the school office. Missing you all and looking forward to seeing your smiling faces again soon. Keep safe ! Mrs Gibson
Summer 2 (Week beginning 1st June)
Hope you have all had a lovely half term in the sunshine. I had a great time spotting birds on my daily walks and cycles. I even saw a kestrel, which was hovering above the field close to my house. If you haven't yet been able to try out some of the activities about birds then have a go this half term sometime. The children who were in school saw lots of birds through the binoculars and they made feeders, nests and masks. They also researched different birds of prey and presented their findings in different ways. You can easily do these at home too. All the activities are on this page so go back and have a look at some. This half term in school is when we usually work on developing all of our key scientific skills and this can be done easily at home too. Every week I will add a new selection of STEM challenges. You don't need to do all of them but choose a few and try them out. You will have great fun and there are links which will give you further information about the topics too.
Look at your class page to find the science home learning for your year group, but you can also take part in our whole school "Dinosaur Discovery" topic. Each week I will add new activities for you to do at home and there are some great online resources about dinosaurs which you can access easily. A good place to start is the Natural History Museum website (www.nhm.ac.uk)
You can research when the dinosaurs lived on the earth, the many different types of dinosaurs and why they eventually died out. You can present your findings however you like. You might want to create a power point or an information booklet. You may prefer to draw and create dinosaurs from bits and pieces at home. No humans were around to observe dinosaurs or take photographs so how do scientists today know so much about them? During this first week maybe start by having a look on line or see if you might have some books about dinosaurs in your house and see what you can find out. A good way to begin a topic is to think of some questions which you would like to know the answers to and write them down. At the end of the topic see how many you have been able to answer. Look out every Monday for new resources which will be added to this page. Enjoy learning about dinosaurs and hopefully when we are all back in school, you will be able to tell me all that you know and show me some of the things which you've made.
Week beginning 8th June
If you had time last week to begin researching dinosaurs, you will have found out lots of information already. The children who were in school last week had fun making dinosaur fossils using plastic dinosaurs and melted chocolate and we watched a video about Mary Anning who discovered a dinosaur fossil on her local beach. You can watch this video too at home www.bbc.co.uk/teach/class-clips-video Mary Anning. After watching the video you can have a look at the power point presentations to learn more about dinosaur fossils then have a go at some of the suggested activities. Don't forget to try a few of the STEM challenges at home too and there are some great craft ideas to try.
Week beginning 15th June
Hopefully you were all able to watch the Mary Anning video and have had a chance to try out some of the suggested activities about dinosaur fossils. This week there is an additional activity about dinosaur skeletons to try and I would like you to do some further research about a few of your favourite dinosaurs. You will find lots of information on the Natural History Museum website and BBC bitesize also have some good resources about dinosaurs. Read the information then make a few notes about each dinosaur e.g. What did it eat? What did it look like? Could it fly? etc. Notes and sketches will be useful to refer to later on in the topic so keep your information in a safe place. One child in year 2, who has been coming into school, is working on a fabulous book all about his favourite dinosaurs with some super drawings included. Test your knowledge of dinosaurs by doing the matching activity (cut up the pictures and descriptions and see if you can match them up correctly.) Don't forget to try some of the STEM challenges too this week. Have fun and stay alert !
Week beginning 22nd June
I was so excited when Ms Parker said that more of you would be coming back to school next week and that everyone would be able to come for a visit to meet their new teachers before the summer holidays. Can't wait to see you all again (even if it is only through your classroom window or outside in the yard on your way in and out of school.) Hope you have had a chance to try out some of the fantastic STEM ideas and find out more about different types of dinosaurs. This week, as young scientists, why not try sorting and classifying dinosaurs. There is a Venn diagram and a Carroll diagram to complete. (Most of you will have used these before in school.) You might also like to try using your own criteria to sort dinosaurs in different ways. Which ones had long tails? Which ones could fly ? Which ones were herbivores ? etc. You can present your findings however you like and you might like to try creating your own Venn or Carroll diagrams.
Week beginning 29th June
The key workers' children who were in school with me last week did some fabulous work all about dinosaurs. We had great fun hunting for toy dinosaurs in the wildlife garden then identifying them back in class using books and the internet. We also buried some and learned about how fossils are made. Scientists learned so much about dinosaurs from studying fossils. They could even work out what they ate by looking closely at the shape of the dinosaurs' teeth. If they had canine teeth then they would have eaten meat. (Meat eating dinosaurs are called carnivores.) If they only had molars then they would have eaten plants and vegetation. (These dinosaurs are called herbivores.) This week I would like you to explore why the dinosaurs died out. Read different theories and find out lots of information before making up your own mind, based on the evidence presented. Have fun and I'll look forward to hearing which theory you think is most likely and why, when we are back in school again.
Week beginning 6th July
I have been in school last week, working with the key workers' children and we have been busy doing maths and English in the mornings so we haven't had much time to learn more about dinosaurs. Hopefully some of you have had more time to have a look at some of the activities or try out some of the STEM investigations. This week, I have added a few more for you. Remember you don't need to do all of them. Just try a few out and see what happens. It was great to see some year 4 and 5 children back in school and hopefully in September we will all be back together again.
Week beginning 13th July
Although this has been a very strange year for all of us, it has made us all rethink the way we look at lots of things and ask lots of questions. Who would have thought that an invisible virus could cause so much disruption to our way of life? I have really missed every one of you and I'd like to say a special farewell and thank you to all the year 6 children for working so hard and doing so well in science this year. Who knows maybe some of you will go on to study science at university and work towards a STEM related career one day? Don't ever underestimate what you can achieve. Be inspired by some of the scientists we have learned about in school. What might you discover one day? There are scientists all around the world doing experiments and setting up investigations to try and find a vaccination which will stop the spread of this virus. They are doing studies to find out how the disease travels from one person to another and how it affects different groups of people. How exciting will it be when a breakthrough is made ? The scientists involved will go down in history.
This week I have added a few more STEM challenges to try out at home and there is a fun pack of ideas about dinosaurs which you can access on line at bp.com/bpes by entering a student code a the top right hand side of the page 46763. I will also leave all the resources about birds and dinosaurs on the website so there are lots of fun things to do over the summer if you want them. Have a lovely summer and we will all be back together again in September to begin a new year of fun learning activities in science. Look out for me on the back to school video! Mrs. Gibson