Pocklington School

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Pocklington Prep School delves into the world of science to celebrate British Science Week

Two boys using water, yeast and sugar to inflate a red balloon in classroom

For Pocklington Prep School pupils, the full return to school on the 8th March was met with great anticipation and excitement as the whole school followed the theme ‘Science Heroes’, to celebrate British Science Week.

Prep School Science lead and Year 4 teacher, Lizzie Kennedy, chose the wonderful theme to base the pupils’ work for the week around all things based on science. Lizzie said: “Our aim was for children to see that science is an important, far reaching subject and there are so many exciting and interesting careers which stem from science.”

During the week pupils from Reception to Year 6 engaged in a variety of activities, across several curriculum areas, to explore the world of science and scientists, past and present, who have made great discoveries to change the world we live in. The children welcomed ‘Science Heroes’ into their classrooms via Zoom, who gave talks about various occupations that use science including a paramedic, biostatistician, sports scientist, forensic scientist and zoologist, which sparked interest and aspiration amongst the children.

The pupils in all year groups used their enquiring and creative minds to conduct a vast number of investigations and experiments, to answer questions such as: which is the best tool and fuel to use to light a fire; how to light an electric bulb using a circuit; which combination of yeast, sugar and water results in a reaction large enough to inflate a balloon? Year 3 and Year 4 pupils enjoyed a virtual visit to The Deep, in Hull, to learn about how penguins survive in the freezing cold weather. Following this, the children designed their own experiment to find out how they would keep warm themselves in the Arctic, using ice, rubber gloves and a block of lard! Henry, in Year 4 said: “I loved it when our hands were covered in lard! It was great to know why a penguin was able to keep warm.”

three girls holding bowl containing ingredients to represent a model of blood

Year 5 pupils discussed the circulatory system and the function of blood and its components, before creating their own 'blood' using yellow coloured water, Cheerio cereal mixed with food colouring, small purple smarties and white marshmallows to represent the different blood constituents.

The science theme was explored across the curriculum. In Art, Year 2 pupils drew pictures of what they thought a scientist looked like. To learn about scientists’ discoveries and the contribution they have made to the world we live in, English lessons focused on producing fact files, posters and biographies of eminent people such as Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, David Attenborough and Professor Brian Cox and on the final day of the week, the whole school dressed up as their favourite ‘Science Hero’.

4 Pock Prep pupils hold their science book prize, standing outside Pocklington Prep School

Throughout ‘Science Hero’ week, pupils were encouraged to get creative and enter two competitions. The first is a national poster competition and part of British Science Week, whereby children are asked to design a poster around the theme of ‘innovating for the future’. The details of this competition are here and the closing date for arrival of entries is 30th April 2021. The children could also enter a Pocklington Prep competition, in association with Chatta, the learning app that is used within the Pocklington School Foundation to help early learners improve their command of language and vocabulary, as well as supporting overseas boarders as they master the English language. The competition challenged pupils to create a Chatta board about a Science Hero who has inspired them from the past or present. Chris Williams, founder of Chatta, awarded the prizes to Skye Finnigan, Emily Longthorp, Tamara Schumacher and Martha Whitfield.

In conclusion, Lizzie Kennedy commented: “Science Hero week achieved what we wanted – lots of buzz and excitement about the many different opportunities that science has to offer. I hope that some of our pupils will become Science Heroes themselves one day and make a difference to the world! In the meantime, it was a lovely way to see children learning and a great way to return to school after lockdown!”

To view the Pocklington Prep School Science Week Flickr album, please click here.