Comparative and fair testing

Key Features

  • children identify the effect of changing one variable on another whilst attempting to keep other variables constant
  • can be used for finding out about materials and physical phenomena because variables can be changed
  • children need to decide how they will measure/ observe the effects and choose a suitable way to collect the data, but have control over all of the other variables to ensure a fair test

The Ogden Trust have a useful resource for developing Comparative Tests which you can download here and one about Fair Tests which can be downloaded here.

Possible enquiries

What is the best recipe for making a sand castle?

Year 1
What is the best material for… an umbrella, curtains, a bookshelf, the lining of a dog basket etc.

Year 2
Exploring the need for light and water for plants to stay healthy.

Year 3
Requirements for plant growth.
How do different objects move on different surfaces?
How does changing the height of a ramp affect how far a toy car travels?

Year 4
How does temperature affect how fast evaporation takes place?
Which material provides the best soundproofing headphones.

Year 5
Which material would be the most effective for making a warm jacket?
Which materials make the most effective switches?
What affects how quickly chocolate melts?

Year 6
What is the most effective way to remove germs from hands?
What is the ideal amount of water needed to keep a plant healthy?
What happens when we shine different coloured lights on differently coloured objects?

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