St Mary's

Catholic Primary School

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Science teaches us about the world we live in and the universe around us. We can do this through investigations, experiments, curiosity and engaging in our learning. 


In science we will be taking an in depth look at Classification!


This unit is designed to expand pupil’s knowledge of living things and their habitats by exploring classification in detail. Pupils build on their knowledge from Year 4 and will begin the unit by learning about the significance of Carl Linnaeus’ pioneering work in classification. This will outline the rest of the unit as the pupils explore vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals), invertebrates (such as insects, spiders, snails and worms) and plants by classifying them using the Linnaean System. Pupils will understand that there are seven criteria for classification and that each category narrows to reach a specific species. The unit includes a variety of investigations that enable pupils to learn how and why living things are classified into broad groups based on similarities and differences as well as according to common observable characteristics. Pupils will learn how to use a dichotomous key to classify sub-species. They will research a broad range of animals and plants and come to understand why they are placed in one group and not another. As the unit progresses, pupils will learn about micro-organisms and how they can be both helpful and harmful. This will give pupils the opportunity to realise that microscopic organisms can also be classified. The final session ties the reasons behind classification together as pupils learn about biodiversity. This session aims to explain the breadth of species on the Earth and how they depend on their habitat. Pupils will learn how many habitats are being destroyed due to human activities and that the impact of this is the extinction of species.


Science Experiments!

Fun Science Experiments You Can Do At Home!


Orange Fizz!


  • An Orange or Clementine
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda


  1. Cut the orange into slices or peel separate into sections
  2. Dip a slice or section into the baking soda
  3. Take a bite! As you chew, it should start to bubble in your mouth

How does it work?

When acids and bases mix, you get some exciting chemistry! Oranges and other citrus fruits are filled with citric acid. It is a safe acid, and it’s what gives oranges, lemons, and limes their sourness. Baking soda is a base, the opposite of an acid. It’s also safe, but doesn’t taste very good on it’s own, and will give you a tummy ache if you eat a lot of it. As the citric acid and baking soda mix, it makes millions of carbon dioxide bubbles, the same gas you breathe out, and the same one that makes soda so fizzy.


Storm In a Glass!


  • Shaving cream

  • A large glass

  • Water

  • Food colouring

  • A spoon


  1. Fill the glass 1/2 full with water

  2. Spray some shaving cream on top of the water to fill the glass to ¾ full.

  3. Use your finger or a spoon to spread the shaving cream evenly over the top of the water. The top of the shaving cream should be flat.

  4. Mix ½-cup water with 10 drops of food colouring in a separate container. Gently add the coloured water, spoonful by spoonful, to the top of the shaving cream. When it gets too heavy, watch it storm!

How does it work?

Clouds in the sky hold onto water. They can hold millions of gallons! The layer of shaving cream is our pretend cloud in this experiment. The shaving cream layer can also hold onto water. Clouds can’t keep storing more and more water forever, eventually they get too heavy. When that happens, the water falls out (precipitates) as rain, snow, sleet, or hail.

Further Experiments

  • Try more water and less shaving cream, or less water and more shaving cream. Which one looks more like a drizzle, and which one looks like a downpour?



Rainbow In a Glass!


  • Water

  • A mug

  • 5 separate cups

  • A Tablespoon

  • A clear glass

  • A dropper or pipette


  1. Separate the Skittles into the cups, in these amounts: 2 red, 4 orange, 6 yellow, 8 green, and 10 purple.

  2. Heat a mug of water in the microwave for a minute and a half (or long enough that the water is hot, but not boiling). Be careful removing the water from the microwave–it’s hot!

  3. Measure and pour two tablespoons of hot water into each cup, on top of the Skittles.

  4. Stir each cup carefully so no water splashes out. The cups need to be cool for the next part of the experiment, so leave them somewhere where they won’t get knocked over. Stir them every ten minutes or so until the Skittles are dissolved and the water is room temperature.

  5. Using the dropper, add the colored water from the five cups to the clear glass. Start with purple, then add green, then yellow, orange, and red last. Go slowly here, we don’t want the different layers to mix.

  6. Congratulations, you made a rainbow. You didn’t even have to go outside!

How does it work?

Skittles are mostly made of sugar. When you add hot water to them, the sugar dissolves and the coloring on the shell of the Skittles turns the water different colors. The cup with only two red Skittles doesn’t have as much sugar as the cup with ten purple Skittles, but they both have the same amount of water. The amount of matter packed into a certain amount of space is called the density of the material. The red water is less dense than the purple water, so it will float on top of the purple water.

Further Experiments

  • We added our colors in heaviest-to-lightest order. Does the rainbow still form if you add the red water first, then the orange, yellow, green, and purple?

  • What happens if you stir your rainbow? What if you leave it sitting there over night?