At St Fagans Primary practical science lessons often follow a pattern of: engage, explore, challenge, apply, reflect. This lesson structure provides the opportunity for pupils to discuss and reflect a number of times during the lesson. This scaffolding breaks the lesson into chunks to support cognitive load, whilst also providing the opportunities for deeper thinking.
For example, in a lesson on separating solids:
Engage: solids mixed by mistake, need your help to separate, but can’t use hands.
Explore: groups discuss how to separate mixtures using a range of equipment.
Challenge: separate each mixture in turn (rice/salt, paperclips/counters, sand/water, gravel/soil).
Apply: explain equipment choices. How separate if all mixed together?
Reflect: What have you learnt today? How have you learnt it?
Year 5, St Fagans Primary, Cardiff