St Nicholas Church of EnglandPrimary Academy


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The Apprentice Gardener 

All about our learning:

This unit builds on Year 1 science learning where children identified plants, named their parts, tended a garden and observed seasonal change. Children should already be aware that plants need water and sunlight; this unit revisits and extends that understanding.

They will also be introduced to growing plants from bulbs and from seeds, learning the sequence of germination, and comparing and contrasting the requirements of germinating seeds with those of mature plants to maintain healthy growth. 

We will start with the children demonstrating their current knowledge and asking questions. There are then several lessons that provide contexts for setting up investigations. 

The main enquiry types that we will be focusing on are observing change over time and comparative tests; there is also identifying and classifying, pattern finding and research using secondary sources (videos). Children will record series of observations use labelled drawings and photographs in diaries. They will use their existing knowledge and their observations to make predictions at the start and during investigations. 



Does it matter which way up you plant a seed or bulb? We discussed our concept cartoon that had different ideas about how to plant seeds! We have set up an investigation to find out!! We also planted some beans with no soil to see what would happen! We can’t wait to observe closely to see what happens!!

This week we took a look at our two tomato plants- the one that we placed in the sunlight had needed lots of water and had grown 7cm! The one in the cupboard only needed watering once over the week and only grew 4cm! Lots of the children were surprised that the plant was still alive! We put it back in the cupboard to observe again next week!

We have planted some sunflowers to see how they change from seed to a fully grown plant! We also are keeping a very close eye on our tomato and pea plants in the allotment.

Setting up an investigation to explore the question ‘Do plants need light?’ We thought about our investigation and thought to compare a tomato plant placed in a dark cupboard with one placed on our windowsill. We discussed variables and will give each plant the same amount of water , check at the same amount of time and have used the same type of plant . The only thing that we will change is where the plants will be kept! We made predictions and can’t wait to see what happens...

We had an exciting afternoon listening to Zac from Bell’s nursery. We planted pea seeds and cannot wait to watch them grow! Welear to about the different parts of the flower. We discussed how Companies grow large quantities of plants in order to sell them! What an informative afternoon it was!

Exploring Seeds and Bulbs

What do plants need to survive? | Primary Biology - Plants

Suitable for teaching 5 to 11s. Find out what plants need in order to survive through a mix of scientific enquiry and comedy!Subscribe for more Biology clips...

Key vocabulary:

seeds, plant (verb and noun), apprentice, gardener, bulb, grow, observe, observations, describe, identify, expert, question, predict, prediction, water, compare, answer, investigate, bean, soil, surface, test, bury, light, dark, water, germinate, fair, same, plan, suitable, radicle, root, shoot, leaves, change, evidence, height, tallest, shortest, bar chart, scale, pattern, question, connection, measure, seedling, mature plant, wilting, healthy, unhealthy, warmth, care, die, block, agree, disagree, alive, food store, fi rst, next, later, after…days, order, conclusion, because

Parts of a plant | Primary Biology - Plants

Suitable for teaching 5 to 11s. Discover the various parts of a plant and their functions through a mix of scientific enquiry and comedy!Subscribe for more B...


Seeds need water and a suitable temperature to germinate. The required temperature varies from plant to plant; some seeds only germinate after a period of low temperatures. Most seeds do not need light to germinate. The seed provides a store of food for the growing plant until the first leaves are above the soil and it can start to make its own food by photosynthesis. Seeds do not need soil for germination to occur; any medium that holds water is suitable, although as the seedlings develop they need anchorage for their developing roots.

Growing plants need water, light and a suitable temperature. Temperature is also considered in OCW when children consider when to plant their seeds. 

Children need to recognise some causes of changes seen in unhealthy plants. Plants deprived of water wilt and eventually die. Plants deprived of light continue to grow at first, becoming etiolated (pale and drawn out), but they eventually die.



Science | KS1 | The plant life cycle | BBC Teach

This film is an ideal tool to help pupils to explore what a plant life cycle is and how these change over the course of a plants life.From this film, pupils ...