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Smart Science Published Resources

Smart Science is a resource pack for teachers of children 9-11years old. It introduces a way of developing children's personal capabilities in primary science.

It introduces ‘Smart Science’ – a way of developing children’s Personal Capabilities.It embeds the Personal Capabilities of teamwork, self management, creativity, problem solving andcommunication into science learning activities andreinforces work in thinking skills and personal, social and emotional development. The pack helps all teachers, teaching assistants, senior managers and parents or carers to improve children’s selfawareness and Personal Capabilities. It is not just forscience teachers.

If you're interested to improve children's teamwork, creativity, communication, self management and problem solving during their science learning - this is for you.

Using science activities

Smart Science incorporates learning objectives from the Science National Curriculum. It focuses largely, but notexclusively, on Scientific Enquiry, developing both Ideas andEvidence and Investigative Skills. The activities enrich and broaden the scope of science learning for 9-11 year olds by using stimulating contexts. Children are challenged to thinkabstractly and apply their science knowledge and skillscreatively in varied contexts.

The Smart Science pack includes:

4 Smart Science Poster Setsto be used as display and reinforcement cards in the classroom

16 Activities

  • 4 for Self Management
  • 4 for Communication
  • 4 for Teamwork
  • 4 for Creativity and Problem Solving

All activities include:

• a Generic task to teach children about a specific Personal Capability objective as a stand-alone activity – activities appropriate for any curriculum area, Circle Time,after school clubs, PSHE, RE etc.

• a Science embedded task which is where a Personal Capability is developed and exemplified in sciencelearning – activities to be used during science lessons, afterschool Science Clubs, transition events etc.• ideas for assessment for learningthrough self, peer andteacher assessment.

Authors: Dr Lynne Bianchi and Richard Barnett


Publisher: Centre for Science Education, Sheffield Hallam University


Teacher's notes

DOWNLOAD the teacher's notes which provides you with the full overview of the pack and how to use it.


How often should I use the tasks?

The ideal is to tackle one generic and one embedded task at least every half term.

When in the year are the tasks appropriate?

The tasks can be tackled at any time. Linked generic andscience embedded tasks are best undertaken within the same week. All of the tasks are context based and many encourage theuse of different science ideas and concepts. The main topiclinks are indicated in the table on page 6. Most are suitablefor use with upper junior children, however teachers maychoose to link them to a science topic they are covering.

How long will they take?

Generic tasks – minimum of 15-20 minutes.

Science Embedded tasks – minimum of 1 hour.

Together – a morning or afternoon session.

How should I use a generic task?

As an introductory activity to help the children tounderstand more about the Personal Capability objective.

How should I use a science embedded task?

• to contextualize and put to use the Personal Capability the children have been introduced to.

• to broaden and enrich science curriculum.• to support the development of Scientific Enquiry skills.

Are the activities differentiated?

All the science embedded tasks incorporate Support Cards or suggestions for additional support. These will assist teachers in differentiating the tasks.


Bodywatch: to keep track of what I'm doing when doing an investigation –human body

Ice Cream Heaven: to clarify what needs to be done when planning an investigation – properties of materials

Roundhorn Reef: to organise and plan howto go about a task when planning an investigation – ecosystems

Bacteria and Custard; to avoid giving up easily when talking and explaining scientifically – microorganisms



Quick on the Draw: to ask different types of questions when organising and planning how to go about a task

Picture Power: to share ideas, opinions and feelings with others when presenting, explaining opinions scientifically – various contexts

Smart Scientific Inventions: to justify opinions when presenting, explaining opinions scientifically –materials and physical processes

Great Granny Green: to share ideas and information in different ways when presenting, using differentmethods – various contexts



Pirate Ship Orca: to overcome challenges together when planning an investigation – physical processes

EcoConsultants: to make sense of what the team has done when applying scientific knowledge – habitats

Crossword Compilers: to cooperate with others when reinforcing scientificlanguage

Safari Camp: to help reach agreements with others when exploring alternative scientificmethods – electricity andenergy sources



Hedgehog Crime Scene: to consider Why? How? and What if? when considering and interpretingevidence – various contexts

Sensory Science: to use different senses to stimulate ideas when reinforcing scientificvocabulary – human body

Rescue Venice: to take time to be imaginative and curious when exploring and explainingideas using scientificknowledge – variouscontexts

Professor Bill: to make decisions after exploring alternatives when reinforcing investigation skills– various contexts


4 posters related to:

Communication objectives: to ask different types of questions; to share ideas, opinionsand feelings with others; to justify opinions; o show ideas andinformation in different ways

Creativity & Problem Solving objectives: to consider Why? How?and What if?; to use different senses tostimulate ideas; to take time to beimaginative and curious; to make decisions afterexploring alternatives -

Self Management objectives: to keep track of what I am doing; to clarify what needs to be done; to organise and plan howto go about a task; to avoid giving up easily

Teamwork objectives: to overcome challenges together; to make sense of what the team has done; to co-operate with others; to help reach agreementswith others

Smart Grids

The Smart Grid is an easy way to enhance Assessment forLearning and has been incorporated into each set of tasks. Each grid is built using the ‘Thumbs Up, Thumbs Sideways, Thumbs Down’ technique.

The purpose of the grid is to give structure to self-assessment and encouragement to the children.

The grid is designed to be used orally; however ifteachers wish to collect written evidence the children canbe asked to shade in and complete the boxes in Column 2 that they choose, and to fill in text in the spaceprovided in Column 3. A blank grid is provided on theSmart Science website.

The grid is written as a collaborative self-assessmenttool, using ‘we’ statements. If they choose, teacherscould adapt the grid for individual self-assessment byusing ‘I’ statements.


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