Developing Independent Learning in a Caring Environment

Science At Ellison Primary Academy

Our Vision For Science At Ellison Primary Academy


Science at Ellison feeds our children’s inquisitive questions with an insight into how and why things are as they are. It encourages them to explore concepts independently, taking risks and experimenting with their ideas.

Our Next Big Question.


For our Newsletter dated 8th November

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The answer for our BIG question is that it is a polar bear photographed with an infra-red camera showing how much heat is lost from different parts of its body. Polar bears have very thick fur, which is a very good insulator.

This prevents heat energy being lost from their bodies and the infra-red camera shows this as a dark blue colour.

Heat is lost from the ears but, because polar bears have very small ears, not much heat is lost. The areas that aren’t

covered by fur show the greatest amount of heat being lost, and the infra-red camera shows this from red to orange to yellow with yellow indicating the greatest heat loss. Polar bears have dark skin beneath their fur, which retains heat from sunlight very well. Their layer of blubber under the skin also insulates against heat loss.

The Final Winner of the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize

Our Science Ambassadors have been working hard reviewing all the books from the Royal Society. There have been lots of discussions and we finally decided that our winner was 'States of Matter'. 

We discussed our favourites out of the six books and gave reasons why:

States of matter- it gets you active and allows you to create experiments at home.

                           -it was the most interesting and you get to do Science too.

Kid Scientists - this book tells you lots of childhood facts about famous Scientists so I've learnt a                               lot about people who I've never heard of before.

                          -it was more interesting as it's kids so it's easier to understand.

Planetarium     - The book has beautiful pictures.

                          - I liked finding out all about the planets and what they are made of.

                          - it's really interesting finding out all about space and if there could be aliens!



The next Big Question!

Answer for October 18th's Newsletter Big Question.

This image shows the Moon transiting (passing in front of) the Earth. It was taken by NASA’s
EPIC camera on board the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite about 1.5
million km from Earth. DSCOVR is a space weather, space climate, and Earth observation satellite
launched by SpaceX on a Falcon 9 launch vehicle on February 11, 2015, from Cape Canaveral.
The Moon is a natural satellite orbiting the Earth at a distance of about 400,000km from the Earth. It takes 28 days to complete its orbit. The Moonis much smaller than the Earth; it is approximately one sixth of the size of the Earth.

Big question answer for 4th October.

The answer for our Big Question this time was no, not all ears are the same.The outer part of the ear is called the pinna. The plural of this word is pinnae. Using careful observation skills you will be able to see very easily that different people’s pinnae are very different! The pinna helps to amplify the sound (make it louder).

Well done if you knew the answer!

Now have a go at our next BIG question. If you think you know the answer let Mrs. Carpenter know. There could be some dojo points for the correct answers!

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BIG Questions

At Ellison Primary Academy we encourage the children to think of BIG questions they would like to investigate in our learning. To support this Mrs. Carpenter will be posing some BIG questions and would like you and your children to have a discussion and have a go at answering these.  Mrs. Carpenter will post the answer to the question after each newsletter so you can see if you were right!

Our next BIG question is above.  Tell Mrs. Carpenter if you think you know what the answer is laugh

Our Big Question answer

The answer to our BIG question this time was BONE! Well done if you knew the answer!

Now have a go at our next BIG question. If you think you know the answer let Mrs. Carpenter know. There could be some dojo points for the correct answers!

  'Why is the sky blue?'

The light that travels to the earth from the sun looks to be white or yellow. But actually it is made up of all the colours of the rainbow. You can see this by using a prism or a glass. This breaks the sunlight up into its rainbow coloured parts. When you look up into the sky, you are actually looking through the Earth's atmosphere. This is billions of little oxygen and nitrogen molecules that float around in the sky. These molecules make up the air we breathe.  When the sunlight hits the earth's atmosphere, the blue light is reflected in all directions. The other colours - red, orange, yellow - also bounce off the molecules, but the blue light is scattered the strongest. Your eye is sensitive to blue light, and this reflected energy causes the sky to appear blue when we look at it.  

Exciting Science in our School

We have had an exciting couple of weeks in school where there has been lots of Science taking place. We have had two sets of chicks in our Reception classes and we managed to safely hatch out 11 of 12 chicks which was amazing. Please look at the videos below to see and hear the reaction of the children. All of the classes were able to visit the chicks at different points and loved seeing their journey into chicks. 


We have also had our Science Week where each class focused on 'journeys' linked to their learning.  We had all kinds of 'scientific journeys' from how different paper thickness affected the journey of a paper plane to the journey banana and weetabix take as they are digested in the body. 


As part of our Promenade in school, to celebrate all of the fabulous learning that takes place at Ellison Academy, our Science Ambassadors and members of the Discovery club demonstrated lots of different experiments with magnets, paper planes and spinners with everyone who came to visit. Thank you to all of our visitors. We had a fantastic afternoon. Mrs. Carpenter was extremely proud of all the children who took part.  Well done!


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Big Garden Bird Watch

On the weekend of 26th -28th January our school took part in the  ‘Big Garden Bird watch’ gathering valuable data that will help work towards conservation of different types of birds in our community by becoming conservation scientists and helping the RSPB to track the ups and downs of birds across the country.

By using a sheet to help identify different birds, we recorded which birds visited our gardens. We handed in the sheet to school so that all the information could be counted by Mrs. Carpenter and the Science Ambassadors and then submitted to the RSPB to help conservation for future generations.  Over 190 children took part in our Big Garden Bird Watch and we spotted lots of different birds including a pelican and a Canadian Goose! Our Science Ambassadors worked very hard to count all of the sheets very carefully and here are our results!

Our most popular bird that we spotted was the Woodpigeon, with the Blackbird and Magpie being close favourites while our least spotted birds were the chaffinches and the Dunnocks. It was lovely to see so many families taking part and the enthusiasm that the children shared. Well done everyone!  

Big Garden Birdwatch allows the RSPB to monitor trends and helps them understand how birds are doing. As the format of the survey has stayed the same, the scientific data can be compared year-on-year, making the results very valuable to conservational scientists. With results from so many gardens, they are able to create a 'snapshot' of bird numbers across the UK. The results help to spot problems, but more importantly, they are also the first step in putting things right. This is why it's so important that we count garden birds.  

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Primary Quality Science Mark.

We have been awarded the Primary Quality Science Mark here at Ellison Primary Academy! Here are some a few examples of all the wonderful learning that takes place at our Academy. We love Science as you can see! Well done everyone!

Our Great Science Share

On the 17th and 18th of October we invited parents in to share our Science Learning. The children led the learning and lots of parents came to take part. There was lots of different vocabulary to teach the parents ,which we all understood and could explain and everyone enjoyed sharing with the children about a wide variety of science learning across the school including plants, the water cycle, materials, being healthy and the rock cycle to name a few of the lessons that took place  .  It certainly demonstrated how our children are all incredible scientists and have a great passion for Science here at Ellison Primary Academy. Thank you to all the parents who came to share in our learning. It was a very memorable experience and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

Our Science Ambassadors  


This year at Ellison our Science Ambassadors have already been working hard reviewing books for the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize. We have had lots of intense discussions on the books so far and made very lively videos about our views which we have shared below.

Mrs. Carpenter is intensely proud of the effort, enthusiasm and hard work that has gone into our videos this year.  We have celebrated each week with treats to sustain our stamina....see if you can spot these! 

Look what happens when Science Ambassadors pose for a photo!   

Scientific Things To Do Over the Weekends or Holidays.

Science doesn't stop when school is closed so here are some ideas to keep you going over the weekend or holidays at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre and Gentleshaws! If you do visit anywhere please let Mrs. Carpenter know so she can add your ideas to our list and we can share it on our webpage. smiley

Museum of Science Industry 

If you enjoy Science you will love the 'Science Showdown 'that is taking place in Manchester from the 22nd December - 6th January. There will be many free activities that you can take part in. To find out more click on the link below.

The Final Winner of the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize

The overall winner of the Book Prize was Optical Illusions.   Our Ambassadors were very surprised at this result as you will tell from our review below!


We all decided on which was our favourite book and here are the results!  Curiousity was our Winner!

Our Winner Curiosity the Mars Rover

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Here are three videos about our winner. We had so much to share Mrs. Carpenter had to split the video up !

Mars Discovery part two

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Mars Discovery part three

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The dinosaur atlas

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This is our review of the Dinosaur Atlas. We were so passionate about this book it is in four parts!

Dinosaur Atlas part Two

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Dinosaur Atlas Part Three

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Dinosaur Atlas part Four

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Exploring Space Part One

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This is our least favourite book. Spot what happens when you have a lolly and someone hands you a book to review! :)

Exploring Space Part Two

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Exploring Space Part Three

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Women in Science

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This has 3 parts. It was a definite winner with some of our reviewers, not so much with others!

Women in Science Part 2

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Women in Science Part 3

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Optical Illusions

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This was another favourite with some of our reviewers but not all as you will hear.

Optical Illusions part 2

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Optical Illusions Part 3

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Optical Illusions Part 4

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Scientist Academy

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We really enjoyed this book for lots of different reasons.

Scientist Academy Part 2

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Scientist Academy Part 3

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Scientist Academy Part 4

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If you want to spend some time discovering all about different animals and birds of Prey come and visit Gentleshaw's Wildlife centre. Here you can see bats, raccoons, wild cats and even Saxon who is half dog and half wolf! There is a picnic area and a play area if you have any energy left.  You can also see flying exhibitions where birds of prey such as owls, falcons and hawks are flown.  It is an amazing opportunity to see these animals up close! 

Our Science Ambassadors

Our Science Ambassadors are democratically elected to capture the learning during our scientific investigations. They also help children throughout the school recognise how science is an integral part of everyday life. Our Discovery Club is an additional opportunity where children can take part in additional scientific opportunities after school.

New Science Ambassadors

This week our current Science Ambassadors gave up their lunchtimes to conduct interviews for the new Science Ambassadors for each class from Year 1 through to Year 5.  They took this very seriously as they were intent on making sure the new ambassadors were perfect for this very important role.  

They had lots of very eager and enthusiastic applicants who made their job of choosing very hard, but we now have our new ambassadors who we are very excited to have join our team at Ellison.

We would like to thank all the children who came to interview. We were delighted with the response to our interviews which demonstrates how much we love Science here at our school.  

STEM Week At Ellison Primary Academy

This year our STEM was interrupted by the snow but it didn't cool our enthusiasm for Science! 

We had lots of visitors and had lots of exciting lessons all built around the investigation of 'Rocket Mouse' who needed to get the moon via bottle power!

Every year group decided how they wanted to get Rocket mouse to travel by changing one variable from the force used, bottle size, angle of launch, weights and even wind resistance!  There were a lot of fantastic ideas shared and investigated where the children led the investigation and then thought of more questions that they wanted to find out about. Here are some photos of our learning.  The smiles say it all!

STEM Assembly

STEM Career Assembly

On Wednesday we had lots of visitors in to discuss their jobs and how they use Science every day.

Our visitors were Gilly and Bran from White Cross Vets, Mr. Newton (our caretaker), Mrs. Piper (who is in charge of cooking all of our delicious lunches) and one of our coaches from Stoke City.  They all shared how they use Science and why it is important for their job.  Our Science Ambassadors told us all about other people that we have met and know and how they use Science.  They did a fabulous job talking in front of the whole school.  There were lots of discussions afterwards about the jobs that we might want to consider in our futures as scientists in all sorts of areas of Science  which was really inspiring and promising!

Discovery Club


Our new discovery club has started with children from Key Stage 2 who have chosen lots of different experiments to conduct and explore.  Our first session involved making paper airplanes and how to adapt these to get the best smooth flights or to cause them to twist and turn in the air.  This week we are making slime so the children are very excited!  Watch out for the pictures could get messy!  frown

This week we used lemons to make an LED light work!  It took lots of hard work to set it up but we were really pleased (and Mrs. Carpenter was really relieved!) to get it to work. We also planted different seeds of peas, spinach and cress to see if we could grow these at home and bring our results in at the end of the term.
Royal Society Young People's Book Prize

This year our science ambassadors from Year 2-6 were given the opportunity to review six science books shortlisted for this year’s Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize. 

UK publishers submitted their best science books for under-14s to the 2017 Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize and an adult judging panel narrowed them down to the six best books. The prize celebrates the best books that communicate science to young people in an accessible, creative way and has been running for over 25 years. 

 The overall winner of the annual prize will be selected entirely by groups of young people across the UK and our ambassadors were  chosen to represent our school by taking part.

Our overall winner was 'Home Lab' by Robert Winston which won unanimously with a score of 19.5 out of 20!

Our Winner Home Lab

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100 Things to do in Space

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My little pebble.mp4

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My first book of animals

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If edited.mp4

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The Amazing Body Book

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Our WOW Science Assembly

On Friday 3rd February we were very lucky to have a visit from Tim Harrison who is a professor from the University of Bristol. He came to show us a multitude of experiments all about the different gases including nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and helium.  He wowed us all with his knowledge and his experiments. The children thoroughly enjoyed the hour he spent with us! Thank you Tim! In the words of our children 'That was off the charts awesome!'

Stem Week

Our stem week took place from the 27th February until the 3rd of March. Here are some examples of our learning written by our Science Ambassadors to tell you all about our learning that week.