Thursday, 28 June 2012

How to carry on stopping them asking questions

From the rest of my reading of the Draft Primary Science Curriculum, I find that the first time anything resembling a real experiment appears is in Year 5. (Perhaps  I missed something. It's hard to stay attentive to every word. The document makes no concessions to the easily-bored reader.)

No matter, as I understand it, according to the wisdom on show in this document, children should not have a chance to create experiments to test their questions and 'what ifs' till they are aged 9 and 10.

I am hoping that the science community, the science education community is going to blow this stuff out the water - or laugh it into touch. Or perhaps they're thinking of ignoring it to death.

Here's the moment when these great sages think that experiments can begin.

" In Year 5, pupils should be planning investigations, including recognising and 
controlling variables where appropriate; for example, a fair test of factors
influencing solubility might involve varying mass of sugar and temperature of
water to test how these variables influence time taken for sugar to dissolve.
They should be taking measurements using a range of scientific equipment,
with accuracy and precision; using stopwatches: seconds (s) and minutes
(min); using a thermometer:  temperature in degrees Celsius (°C); mass in
grams (g); and volume in millilitres (ml).  They should record their data using
e.g. scientific diagrams and labels, tables, bar and pie charts or models, and
report their findings, including written explanation of results, causal
explanation and conclusions.  They should be presenting their reports in
written form or as displays or presentations, and using their results to make
predictions for further tests."