Science in the Early Years

Nicola Connor describes some of her experiences of teaching Science to her Early Years class.

Primary Teacher, Uphall Primary School, West Lothian

With no science background despite enjoying lessons at high school I was looking forward to taking my ideas into a classroom setting. At PGDE we were only given a small amount of curriculum time on the subject which did make me a little more apprehensive about how well equipped to teach effectively out on placement and in probation.

On my placements there were science specialists who covered my teacher's rcct time. I didn't take this time out, but sat in on lessons and also took the opportunity to team teach some lessons as well. Resulting in being more confident in being able to teach it on my probation year and it was definitely more beneficial to my practice than taking 45 minutes doing paper work.

My first Science lesson

That being said, my first science lesson was a disaster. I had pitched it a little too high and being observed by my Head teacher didn't help either! I learnt a lot from that lesson and it didn't put me off. I have tried to link science into our interdisciplinary learning so for our famous scots topic we decided on Scottish scientists and inventors. We looked at for example how does mould grow (for Penicillin)- which was my worst lesson.

We also looked at how telephones work using cups and strings which my class loved...and engaged their thinking at the same time.

I asked the question: "Why can you hear someone when the string is straight and not when it is curly/bent in the middle?"

One pupil explained: "The sound has to go all the way down the wire and back up the hill- it'll have used up all its energy getting back up before getting to my ear and might have run out of puff. The straight wire means it can run straight along and use less of its energy.

I couldn't have put it better myself!


Despite the shaky start, I love teaching Science. My class are great at orally explaining their thinking and do have the ability to think outside the box.

I have been looking at forces this term and am going to cover gravity within the next week, followed by the egg challenge in time for last week of term. This will be set by our scientist friend Dr. TG. Dr TG sends challenges to the class through his picture on a display in a gold envelope (do you watch Top Gear?). We carry out his challenge whether it's technology, problem solving, maths based and send a letter with our learning back through his display picture or put information and pictures up on our blog for him to see.

Sometimes Dr. TG comes to visit the class personally dressed in lab coat and grey hair and apparently he looks a bit like me! I don't see the resemblence myself!