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Cotmanhay Junior School

Safe, Happy Learning

Working scientifically

National curriculum content

In this topic, children learn about building towers and bridges, starting with constructing tall towers, then exploring bridges, next they look at animals as builders and finally engage in researching famous engineers and architects and the structures they built. Children will already know many things about the materials they will encounter, how different materials stretch and their uses. They will use and develop working scientifically skills and understanding though comparative and fair tests, measuring, repeat readings and drawing and reading bar and line graphs.


Lesson objectives

  • Build a structure to hold a given weight.
  • Use evidence to answer questions and support findings.
  • Explain why triangles make a stronger structure.
  • Present information about ‘Big Builds’.
  • Research and present information about a chosen animal and their ‘Big Build’.
  • Demonstrate what you have learnt.


What we want children to know

  • Shape is just as important as materials when it comes to making bridges.
  • Why triangles make stronger structures compared to other shapes.
  • Wider advantages of bridges (they can join communities together).
  • Common types of bridges and which is the best type for a given purpose


What skills we want children to develop

  • Teamwork to achieve a desired outcome.
  • Make careful observations, take accurate measurements using a wide range of equipment.
  • Develop use of scientific vocabulary and knowledge to explain ideas and theories.
  • To effectively use the internet to refine searches based on a given topic.



Build, bridge, construct, construction, structure, tower, triangular-based pyramid, cylinder, cuboid.