Dr Fran

Dr Fran Barnes is Cornerstones' expert in primary science. Fran is a molecular and cell biologist with a passion for hands-on, practical science in the classroom. She writes our Love to Investigate series and the science topics in our curriculum.

FREE resources for British Science Week!

From the 9th to the 18th March, it is British Science Week – a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. Free resources To celebrate, Cornerstones are giving away six, spring-themed Love to Investigate projects for Y1 to Y6. Each investigation is easy to teach, needs minimal resources and includes an engaging method board… Read more

Teaching primary science…our top 10 tips for non-experts

As British Science Week draws to a close, Cornerstones’ expert in primary science, Dr Fran Barnes, shares her tips for teaching primary science. 1. Is it a fair test? In the previous science curriculum there was an over emphasis on fair testing. However, the new science curriculum now places equal importance on five different investigation… Read more

Science Week lesson ideas

Here’s where you’ll find all of our easy-prep Science Week lesson ideas. Why not give them a go and let us know how you get on? Lesson 1 – Find a bug! Go outdoors to find a brilliant bug. Collect it gently using a pooter or plastic tub. Can you find out its name? Whose bug… Read more

Science Week lesson plan: Chocolate structures (EYFS/KS1/KS2)

Demonstrate how to use melted chocolate to ‘weld’ together edible items to create super-yummy chocolate structures. Resources Lots of chocolate in all shapes, sizes and types Marshmallows, cereal hoops and other small food items Reusable, metal water bottles Hand-hot water Show Add hand-hot water to the metal bottle and put the lid on firmly. Hold the edge of a piece… Read more

Science Week lesson plans: Milk shapes

Science Week lesson plan: Milk shapes (EYFS/KS1)

Demonstrate how milk curdles into curds and whey. Then use the solid curds as a mouldable plastic to create fun shapes and models. Resources Whole milk White vinegar Access to a microwave Cup Tablespoon Bowl Sieve Kitchen roll Cookie cutters (optional) Glitter and food colouring (optional) Show Heat up a cup of whole milk in the… Read more

Science Week lesson plan: Bubble bang

Science Week lesson plan: Bubble bangs (KS2)

Outdoors, demonstrate the ‘blasting’ chemical reaction between bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Resources Zip-lock sandwich bags (use good quality bags) Vinegar Bicarbonate of soda Squares of tissue Spoon Cup Show Lay a square of tissue on a surface. Put two spoonfuls of bicarbonate of soda in the centre of the tissue. Fold the edges of the… Read more

Science Week lesson plan: Floating flowers (KS1/KS2)

Demonstrate this simple but amazing blooming flower, science activity before letting the children have a go themselves. Resources Floating flower template (provided) Saucer Water Scissors Other resources including variety of paper types, liquids and craft materials Timer (optional) Show Cut out a flower carefully from the template provided. Fold each of the petals inwards. Pour water… Read more