Primary science: Balloons, star jumps and mopping up the water before it destroys the laptop...

Teaching Primary Science Online - balloons, star jumps and mopping up water before it destroys the laptop...

The UK primary science curriculum is very hands-on, with children planning and carrying out investigations, learning to conduct fair tests, recording their results in lots of different ways and coming to their own conclusions about what is happening. How on earth was I going to manage that with my first class of online Year 6 students scattered around the world, eagerly logging in for their weekly science lesson? Well, it turns out I needn't have worried - they are only too happy to cajole parents into gathering supplies together, investigating scientific questions and reporting back with their results. How the eye reacts to light, making rainbows with torches and glasses of water (don't spill it in on the laptop kids!), proving that light travels in straight lines, finding out what our lung capacity is, measuring the effect of exercise on pulse rate, watching the international space station pass over their heads. These are just a few of the activities they have eagerly thrown themselves into.

So  I apologise to the parents of my students, who, from Tokyo to Turkey to Tunbridge Wells, are blowing up and measuring balloons, being forced to reveal their heights, weights and ages, being coerced into measuring their pulse rate, putting their backs out doing star jumps and squat thrusts and measuring their pulse rate again, having torches shone in their eyes and glasses of water spilled on desks. But judging from the excitement in the subsequent lessons as we talk about our results and draw our conclusions, it's all worth it to produce the next generation of keen scientists.

Mrs Dart, Year 6 Primary Teacher