A whole school investigation to consider progression

Doing a version of the same investigation throughout the school can help to support staff to see how science inquiry can be more exploratory with younger children and become more systematic and accurate with older children.

Lynsey Grubb, STEM lead at Sidlaw Primary School, set up an o-wing investigation for all ages, where children make a glider using two circles of paper attached to a straw.

Within this investigation, some classes developed their measuring skills, both to create the o-wing and to measure how far it went or how long it flew for. Other classes focused on fair testing, considering which variables to change or control.

P3-7 children made their own o-wings, whilst P1-2 children used o-wings that the older year groups had made, exploring how they could make them fly and go higher.

All children needed time to test out the o-wings, but it was clear that the older children were more systematic in the way they controlled variables (e.g. standing on a start line for throwing).

Sidlaw View Primary School, Dundee, Scotland