Investigation into teaching science in KS2

Topics: Scientific method, Science, Theory Pages: 7 (2370 words) Published: November 26, 2013
A2:S School Based Science Assignment

The lesson was taught to a group of four children in year six. The children ranged in ability with one higher achieving pupil, who will be addresses as T, two middle achieving pupils, addressed as Z and R below and one lower achieving pupil, who will be addressed as S. The group also consisted of both boys and girls with Z being a girl and the rest boys. The focus of the lesson was on force and the relationship gravity has on different masses.

The learning objectives for my lesson were:
to learn that how much an elastic band stretches depends on the force acting on it to make careful measurements of length

The idea for the lesson came from the QCA website where they suggest an elastic band experiment in order to investigate the effect gravity has on different masses (QCA: 2008, Children will measure the gravitational force applied to different masses by attaching elastic bands to the masses and seeing how far they stretch and measuring this with a ruler. The children will record their results which should show that the greater the mass the more gravitational force is applied to it.

The lesson covered primarily the following parts of the National Curriculum: Sc1 2d – make a fair test or comparison by changing one factor and observing or measuring the effect while keeping other factors the same. Sc1 2f – make systematic observations and measurements, including the use of ICT for datalogging. Sc1 2l – use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain observations, measurements or other data or conclusions. Sc4 2b – that objects are pulled downwards because of the gravitational attraction between them and the Earth.

The Sc1 focuses on this investigation enable the children to use scientific enquiry. As the National Curriculum states, I am taking a point from the Physical Processes (Sc4) section of the National Curriculum and involving scientific enquiry through this (The National Curriculum Handbook for Primary Teachers in England: 1999, p83). In the lesson, the children are going to undertake an investigation that will involve learning “that objects are pulled downwards because of the gravitational attraction between them and the Earth” (The National Curriculum Handbook for Primary Teachers in England: 1999, Sc4 2b, p88). Children will learn that gravity acts on all objects and that the greater the mass the more gravity there is acting on it. A vital part of any scientific investigation is thinking about how to make a fair test. When writing up an investigation, the year six class always include a section on fair testing when their note what they will have to keep the same and what they will have to change when they conduct their experiment. In the elastic band investigation, children knew that the one thing they had to change was the mass and that they had to use the same ruler, the same person who uses the ruler, the same elastic band, the same person holding the elastic band, in order to keep their test fair (Sc1 2d). The children will also need to record their results in a table which will let them use Sc1 2f. The table will record how far the elastic band stretched according to what mass it had attached to it. This will allow the children to clearly see that the greater the mass the more the elastic band stretches. From these results, they will be able to come up with a scientific conclusion using their scientific knowledge they have already been taught on forces and what they have learnt from this experiment (Sc1 2l).

Although the children had already been taught the difference between mass and weight in the lesson before this one, I decided to begin the lesson by revising this with the children. As discussed by Wenham, I used the analogy of a person’s mass being the same if they were on Earth or the moon but their weight would be different because the force of gravity is less...

Bibliography: Farrow, S. (1999) The Really Useful Science Book: A Framework of Knowledge for Primary Teachers, London: RoutledgeFalmer, Second Edition
Millar, R. and Osborne, J. (eds.) (1998) Beyond 2000 King’s College London
Murphy, C. and Beggs, J. (2005) Primary Science in the UK: A Scoping Study Queens University Belfast
Oliver, A. (2006) Teaching Science. In Cockburn, A. and Handscomb, G. (eds.) Teaching Children 3 to 11: A Student’s Guide London: Paul Chapman Publishing, Second Edition, Chapter 14
Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) (2008) (Online) Available from:, Date retrieved: 14/11/07
The National Curriculum Handbook for Primary Teachers in England (1999) London: Department for Education and Employment, and Qualifications and Curriculum Authority
Wenham, M. (2005) Understanding Primary Science: Ideas, Concepts and Explanations London: Paul Chapman Publishing, Second Edition
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