Science at Downside

Why Teach Science?

Here at Downside we believe that science is of fundamental importance for several reasons:

  • Many scientific discoveries and science-based inventions shape our lives and will continue to do so in the future,making an understanding of science important for an understanding of the world.
  • As science continues to develop, capturing pupils’ interest and encouraging an early love of the subject at Primary School provides them with the opportunity to move towards science-linked employment in the future.
  • Developing an understanding of the natural world enables pupils to develop an interest in the planet on which we live. As children begin to recognise the many challenges it faces (E.g. the impact of climate change on polar regions and the impact of littering on the local area) they are better equipped to make informed choices both big and small in caring for and improving the environment.
  • Understanding the workings of the human body enables pupils to make informed choices regarding lifestyle.
  • Developing an evidence-based approach and learning to think carefully about data, moves pupils towards developing critical thinking skills that can be applied across their lives.

We also believe that the skills learnt through collaborating on practical tasks equip pupils for the future.

In addition, science can both fascinate and amaze, developing curiosity and providing opportunities to experience the joy of finding things out.

Understanding our webpage

The Curriculum:

This tells you how we organise biology, chemistry and physics throughout the school and what these words mean. It also sets out the different types of scientific investigation that we cover.

Science around the school:

To see some of the science that takes place at school, please look in this folder. This is only a snapshot of what we get up to so please do take the time to look at your child’s science book when you come for parents’ evenings or chat to your child about the science they have done each week.

Science at Home:

In this folder, you will find some fun things you can do with your child at home and some suggestions for things you could look for in the garden or when out and about. We would love to see photos of science being carried out at home, so please do send these via the year 5 email ( and mark them for Mrs Zamarad.  She is looking forward seeing these and uploading some to the website. 

Science club 2022-2023:

To see what we get up to in the year 4 science club, please take a look in this folder.

Other folders:

These folders give a flavour of some of the science that has been happening in our school over the last few years.

Science to do at home

Science is one of the core subjects and experiments are a critical part of any science curriculum because they allow you to get up close and personal with learning concepts.

Here are some super exciting science experiments for you to try at home. They are not only quick to do, but also give great results. All you will need are some ingredients and materials that can be found around the house. 

Have fun trying these experiments, but remember in order for your science experiment to be safe and successful, be sure to:

  • Get your parent’s permission and their help
  • Follow the directions as written

To access the websites, hover your mouse pointer over the link. If it switches to a hand pointer, click the link. If your pointer remains unchanged, press and hold “Ctrl” whilst right clicking the link on the mousepad.

Please remember to send pictures of any experiments that you have done to You can also bring your finished work to Mrs Zamarad in Mackay class.

Summer Term 2023

Spring Term 2023

Autumn Term 2022

Science club from past years

Tidying Fruit Beds

This week in science club, we learnt how to identify the raspberry, blackcurrant and strawberry plants in our fruit beds. We looked at the flower buds and learnt where the fruit will grow.

We then learnt how to safely use a variety of gardening tools and set to work tidying the beds. We collected a huge amount of weeds, all of which will be composted so that the nutrients can be returned to the soil. We also cut back last year’s raspberry canes and placed them in an area of our wild garden where they can become home to all sorts of minibeasts.

We are looking forward to carrying on with our gardening adventures in the coming weeks.

If you want to create a compost heap for all your weeds, grass cuttings and vegetable waste, you can find some handy tips on these and other websites and videos.


Tower Building


RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) Wild Challenge

The KS2 science club has signed up to the RSPB Wild Challenge. When we have completed 6 different activities about the wildlife in our school, we hope to receive our first Wild Challenge certificate from the RSPB.

We started by making suet cakes to attract the birds to our pond area. If you would like to do this at home, the following link gives you all the information you need.

You can see pictures of our suet cakes hanging in the pond area. The birds soon ate up the tasty treat!

The following week, we spent an hour observing the birds that came into our patch of land. We then sent our results off to the RSPB Great British Bird Watch. Every year, the RSPB collects results from schools and homes across the country to help them monitor the health of the wild bird population. If you want to take part in January next year, the RSPB website has all the details.

Birdwatch Sheet

The Birdwatch results sheet – HERE


Science Club 8th and 15th March 2022 – Habitat Explorers

As part of the Wild Challenge, the children became Habitat ‘explorers’ for the day! The activity was about discovering how many habitats were in our school grounds.

The children used a nature scorecard from the RSPB to record which habitats we have. The higher the score on the card, the greater the variety of living things that benefit from that habitat.

Recording sheet – click HERE


Science Activites to do at home

The Primary Science Teaching Trust has written some simple science experiments for children to do at home. The experiments only use things that can be found at home. They are designed to be easy to follow and great fun.

The experiments are on the Primary Science Teaching Trust website. You will need to scroll down the page to find them.


Autumn Term Science Challenge

The children at science club were set a challenge from to design and make a chair that would fit and support the three bears.

Take a look at these photos to see how well they all did at using their knowledge of materials to meet the challenge.

Once the chairs were complete, the children explored separating materials using magnets, sieves and filters.


Science Club December 2021


Litmus Testing

March 2019

Testing Liquids

We have been having a lot of interesting fun in science club.

Take a look at us testing different liquids and combinations of liquids to see if they are acids or alkalis. We used a special paper called universal test paper. This changes colour depending on the acidity or alkalinity of the liquid and gives us a PH reading.

Do you know that a PH reading of 7 tells us that the liquid is neutral (neither an acid nor an alkali)? The lower the PH reading, the more acidic the liquid. The acid in our stomachs has a PH of between 1.5 and 3.5. Blood has a PH of between 7.35 and 7.45.

We found out that vinegar orange squash and lemon juice are acidic (the orange strips). Milk, water, tea and coffee are neutral or weak alkalis (the green strips).


Levers and Catapults

March 2019

In science club we learnt about levers. They are a very simple yet clever way of using a small amount of energy to produce great results. We learnt the names and purpose of the different parts of a lever.

We made our own levers with the aim of sending a small ball as far along the corridor as we could. We altered the length of the lever, the position of the fulcrum and the height of the fulcrum to find the combination that would send the ball the furthest. Take a look at our final catapults ordered from left to right with the furthest distance coming from the catapult on the left.

You can also see the proud designers of the two catapults that sent the ball the furthest along the corridor.


Science Club – 4th December to 18th December 2018

For the last 3 weeks in KS2 Science Club, we’ve been really stretching our brains to build different structures out of KNEX.

We’ve had to use our problem solving skills (such as when we ran out of pieces) and also our fine motor skills (snapping the pieces together). Although none of us managed to finish our structures, we hope you’ll appreciate the hard work we put into them!

Can you guess what each structure is supposed to be?


Rain Gauge

November 2018

The KS2 science club is in the process of setting up a weather station in our wildlife area. Today we made and ‘planted’ rain gauges. If you would like to set up a weather station in your garden, this site will give you all the instructions you need:

Watch this space to discover how much rain we have in Luton!


Science Club (Years 4, 5 and 6)

16th January 2018

In Science club today we carried out an experiment called ‘Walking Water’. We placed clear, plastic cups on the table in a row, and filled alternating cups with water and different food colouring. Then, we folded up kitchen towels and placed them in the cups, linking all the cups together. What then happened was that the coloured water travelled up the kitchen towel, and spread to the next one. As we had alternated different colours, this created a rainbow effect. Have a look at our results!

19th December 2017

In Science club, we explored the concept of density. The density of liquids refers to how heavy the liquid actually is- some liquids are heavier than others! We carried out an experiment to see what would happen if we put liquids of different densities together, and we found out that liquids with a greater density sink to the bottom. See how we did it!

February 2017

In the years 4,5 & 6 science club, we learnt that yeast is a living thing that respires (breathes), eats, grows and reproduces just like every other living thing. We proved it is alive by adding water and sugar to some dried yeast and watching the result. When the yeast was given warm water and sugar, the bubbles from the respiration spilt over the top of the test tube.

Yeast is used in many food products including bread where its respiration provides the bubbles needed to give each slice a soft, squishy texture.


Today in Science club we learnt all about how our body digests the food that we eat. We explored the journey that food takes once it is in our body, looking more closely at the role that our small and large intestines play. We mashed some chocolate cake, just like our teeth would, and added some water. We then squeezed the mixture through some tights to show how food travels through our intestines, and how the nutrients and water are taken. We now know lots about the digestive system!


Science Club (Years 2 and 3)

Week 5

This week in science club the children had to see how much weight they could put on top of six eggs before they cracked…they loved this messy activity and found that eggs could take a lot of weight.

Week 3

The children observed what would happen when they dropped coloured sweets into water…they were very surprised.

Week 1

This was the first week of Science Club and the group had to predict what would happen if they mixed lemon juice with bi-carbonate of soda…      they were amazed with the results.


Year 4 – Science ‘WOW’ Day

The children participated in a science wow day on light. They explored a range of optical technology: creating pinhole cameras and periscopes- just to name a few!


Each group had a different activity to explore and they had to work together to find out more. After they investigated, they created a poster on sugar paper ready to present what they made.

Some of the activities included:


  • Creating a camera (not like the ones you see today!)
  • Seeing which direction light travels in.
  • Reflecting light on water

Children in Piccadilly Circus


I liked the WOW day.  I liked how I had to make a box with black paper.  I then used a torch to shine light through the box.  I had fun!” (Laaibah Tallat Marble Arch)

“I liked using orange boxes to make a periscope.  I didn’t know what a periscope was at first.  I now know we can use them to look around corners.” (Anam Akram)




River Wardens

The older science club is taking part in a two year project with Luton’s Groundwork’s team to monitor the state of the Luton part of the River Lea.

On Tuesday 4th October, we went on our first trip to the Cat Brook site in the Limbury area to work with the Senior Environmental Education Officer. We measured the levels of different chemicals, took wildlife samples from the river bed and surveyed the surrounding area.

We found that the water was clear but only contained animals that are indicative of pollution. Fortunately we did not find any invasive plant or animal species. Whilst oxygen levels and the pH of the river were entirely normal, the phosphate levels were high enough to cause some concern. Phosphates are present in detergents and can easily wash into the river.

The children were very professional River Wardens and will be returning to the site a few times over the next two years to record any changes in the river. All the data will be added to the national data base to better enable the environment agency to monitor the health of England’s rivers.


Science in Year 4

As part of our topic on Magnets, the children investigated the purpose of magnets. They learnt that some forces needed contact between two objects, but magnetic forces could act at a distance. They also investigated materials that were magnetic and non- magnetic. To consolidate their learning, the children completed a homework task. Take a read of some of the children’s homework.

Example 1 – click HERE

Example 2 – click HERE


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