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Science in the Early Years

Science in the Early Years
Building Firm Foundations from Birth to Five

November 2009 | 200 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Giving early years practitioners and students the confidence to effectively support scientific exploration and investigation with young children, this book explains the science behind young children's knowledge and understanding of the world.

Linking theory to practice and the Early Years Foundation Stage, the emphasis throughout the book is on recognizing young children as competent, creative thinkers, and building on their ideas. The book is packed with critical questions and opportunities for reflection, to encourage the reader to think carefully about the role of the adult in supporting child-initiated learning and discovery.

The authors look at all the key areas of scientific knowledge, and provide practical ideas suitable for babies, children aged 2 years, and children aged 3 to 5 years. There is also advice on using observations to help with assessment, and for planning the next steps in children's learning.

Chapters cover:

  • Links to the early years curriculum in England ,Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland
  • Creating a science-rich environment
  • Linking science learning opportunities to areas of provision
  • Exploration and investigation, indoors and outdoors
  • New vocabulary to introduce, and when to do it
  • Handling tricky questions
  • Suppliers of resources and equipment

By making clear links to practice, this book enables the reader to implement new and exciting ideas in any early years setting

Supporting Young Children's Scientific Learning
Creating a Science Rich Environment
Introduction to Part 2
Living Things
Habitats and Sustainability
The Structure of the Human Body and Healthy Living
Air and Water
Magnets and Magnetism
Light, Colour and Shadow
The Earth

This book looks very useful and will be used in our additional reading lists to supplement existing texts. It provides practical activities as examples to use with young children.

Joy Carroll
Institute of Education, Worcester University
October 5, 2012

This is an ideal text for students who are planning to work with children in their Early Years. It supports teachers and practitioners in their understanding of why science is important to young children and in their own understanding of the relevant scientific concepts. There are many practical suggestions of how teachers and practitioners can get started and develop creative activities that will stimulate young children's thinking and understanding.

Dr Jane Hamlin
Sch of Primary Education & Early Years, University of the West of England, Bristol
August 30, 2011

Clearly laid out accessible ideas that link theory and practice.
A usuful initial tool for ITE

Mrs Rebecca Kingsley-Jones
CAHE, University of the West of England, Bristol
July 14, 2011

Very useful for Early Years practitioners and students

Ms Shehnaz Tharia
School of Education & Training, Greenwich University
November 4, 2010

Clear and concise. This book is easy to read. It provides good background knowledge with clear links to how each area of science can be approached within the setting. It is great to see the development of babies also considered. Observation points are also included, offering a useful focus for assessment. Highly recommended for early years practitioners.

Mrs Michelle Williams
applied health sciences, Farnborough College of Technology
August 19, 2010

This will be a very useful text for our Early Years students who are often forgotten about in Primary Science textbooks. The book has lots of ideas and activities which are relevant and engaging and the relevant knowledge and understanding is included too. I shall certainly recommend this book to our Early years trainees.
This text has been added to our reading list and copies are being purchased for the library.

SCHOOL OF EDUCATION, Birmingham University
August 9, 2010

A really good supplementary text - practical ideas and just the right anount amount of 'theory'.

Mr Graham Lowe
Faculty of Education, Birmingham City University
July 19, 2010

excellent resource, well written and an excellent practical resource for early years professionals

Mrs Penny Yates
School Of Education, Portsmouth University
July 15, 2010

Written clearly for student level with particularly supportive consideration of theoretical perspectives at the beginning

Mrs Michelle Armstrong-Harris
Health care and service industries, Guildford College of Further and Higher Education
May 25, 2010

This text has great ideas to introduce science to young children. An essential text for students & providers

Ms Lillian Lancaster
[DEPARTMENT NOT SPECIFIED], Institute of Technology Carlow
April 1, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter One

Pat Brunton

Pat Brunton is a research scientist by training, with a postgraduate degree in virology. She has extensive experience of the early years field and provides training for a wide variety of audiences including school governors, teachers, early years and childcare practitioners and children’s centre professionals. She is a director of alc associates, an early years training and consultancy company, and is the author of a range of publications.Pat provides keynote presentations and workshops at conferences and consultancy and training for local authorities, schools and early years settings across the UK. More About Author

Linda C. Thornton

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