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Taking science education across the world

Our future depends on exploring all the frontiers of science, on innovative technologies based on these explorations and on the development of scientific literacy in all peoples through science education.

Growing Plants

The nursery and reception classes at Settle School have been looking after their bean seeds since they received them at the Play Barn.

All the beans germinated and the children observed the growth of the seedling shoots. As the pots are transparent the children can observe the development of the roots. The children have been watering their seedlings and keeping the pots by the window so the plants can get the light they need to make food.


This line of scientific enquiry is called making observations over time. The major working scientifically skill is observing. At one point the children were asked to demonstrate another scientific skill – to make a prediction. This was recorded as thought bubbles. The child’s name is written in the second bubble by the teacher, the child’s prediction is written in the third bubble by the teacher and the child draws a picture of the prediction in the large bubble. I have done on in the style used in school.

Beanstalk thought bubbleThe children’s predictions included “it will grow into a sunflower”, “into grass” (perhaps from recalling a previous plant growing exercise), “into a colourful flower”, “a rainbow flower” (use of imagination) and not surprisingly “a beanstalk that grows up to a castle.”

The children have now taken them home but are being encouraged to photograph their plants as they grow and send them into the new children’s blog facility so all the data on bean plant growth can be reviewed in the summer term, predictions evaluated and conclusions drawn.

Here is the first photo report arriving from home showing the measurements being made as
the bean plant keeps growing.


Soon, more reports on their progress came in to the school. They show just how enthusiastic the children have been about taking care of their beanstalks and they have used several different ways to measure the growth of them.

Some children have made drawings of their plants and had them labelled by an adult.

Beanstalk drawn by child, labelled by adult.

Beanstalk drawn by child, labelled by adult.

Some families have made a record of the beanstalk growth and the number of leaves.

Recording beanstalk growth by counting the number of leaves.

Recording beanstalk growth by counting the number of leaves.

Some children sent in photographs.

Beanstalk photographs

Beanstalk photographs

One family used the tiles in the kitchen to measure their beanstalk growth!

Using kitchen tiles to measure beanstalk growth

Using kitchen tiles to measure beanstalk growth

My Books

Follow the links below to find out more about my books and book series, as well as downloadable resources for teachers and parents using my books.

Books for Primary Schools
Books for Secondary Schools

Books and Resources for Teachers

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I can be contacted in the following ways. If you have a picture for the Natural World Photo Gallery or the Science Exhibition Gallery, please send it by email.