Class 4 British Science Week

Class 4 have been involved in lots of interesting activities and investigations during British Science Week!

As part of our Living Things topic, Mrs Dennison set the Year 5 children a challenging question: How do plants reproduce?


We worked in groups to plan some investigations based on knowledge that we already had about plant reproduction and hypotheses that we
wanted to test scientifically.

As part of our investigations we had to:

  •  decide what we wanted to find out more about
  •  form a hypothesis
  • make a prediction
  • set up a fair investigation by working out what variables we would
    keep the same and what we would change
  • work out what equipment we would need
  • take ongoing observations and measurements
  • report our findings/keep a record of our results
  • analyse our findings to help us answer our initial question 

Group 1 (Abigail, Elise and Hannah) wanted to find out "Can new plants be made without seeds?" They have set up an investigation to find out if a plant cutting can reproduce, whether garlic cloves will grow into new plants and to see if a new shoot will grow from the top of a root vegetable if it is left in water.
They have also planted some mustard and cress seeds in soil so we can observe their growth.

Group 2 (Abi-Leigh, Ellie-Mai and Hollie) wanted to find out "How do plants pollinate flowers?". They set up an investigation to find out how bees transfer pollen to new plants using apple juice cartons, flower templates and cheese puffs! Pretending to be bees, they drank the nectar from the flower (the juice!) and ate the cheese puffs. Without wiping their fingers, they moved from flower to flower (attracted by the smell of the nectar and the colourfulness of the petals), observing how their fingers left cheese "dust" on each one and also collected more cheese dust that had been left on the flower by another member of the group (simulating the stamen of a flower transferring pollen onto the bee and the stigma taking pollen from the bee). From this, they concluded that insects are very important in plant reproduction and that some plants would not be able to reproduce without them.

They dissected a lily plant so that they could identify these parts of the plant involved in the process of reproduction:

  • stamen
  • stigma
  • ovary
  • sepals
  • petals

Group 3 (Calum, Ethan and Laiton) discussed ways that seeds are dispersed to create new plants. They wanted to investigate if there was a way to help plants disperse seeds efficiently. They decided to investigate "Will tapping a pomegranate release the seeds easier than if we didn't tap it?" They predicted that it would and set out to devise a fair test. Their hypothesis proved correct! After that, they wanted to demonstrate visually that an effective method of seed dispersal is through the digestive systems of animals. Hard coatings allow them to pass through relatively unscathed. They made "poo" by using flour, salt, beef stock cubes then added the pomegranate seeds to show how once they had passed through the animal, new plants may grow in the site where they were excreted.

Group 4 (Cole, Dayne and Jamie) wanted to investigate how animals play another key role in the reproductive process of a plant. They asked "How do seeds hitch a ride?". Some plants that survive for more than one season don't want their offspring growing next to them and competing for resources, so need to find another way for their seeds to travel and grow into mature plants in new destinations. This group hypothesised that some seeds (especially those with barns or sticky mucous) could stick and hitch a ride on animal fur. They tested four different types of material (denim, nylon, fur and wool) by dragging them through some scattered seeds (making sure they had set up a fair test). They predicted that the fur would collect the most seeds and their results showed that this hypothesis was correct.

It was great to see the Year 5's thinking and working like scientists. Mrs Dennison was very proud of them and a fun and informative time was had by all.