Skip to content ↓
Holy Trinity CE Primary School

Holy Trinity CE Primary School

Learning and caring together, building a firm foundation for the future

Magnetic Navigation

After learning about early navigation methods, we followed in the footsteps of the Chinese explorers and investigated magnetic materials before making our own magnets.

Our investigations began with predicting which materials would be attracted or repelled by a magnet. During our experiment, we tested a number of different materials and objects such as:

  • Glass Marbles
  • Metal and plastic coated paperclips
  • Wooden DT wheels
  • Metal Weights
  • Bulldog clips
  • Pebbles




After each test, we recorded our results. Can we remember why some metal objects did not attract the magnet?

We have also learnt about the earth's magnetic forces and the fields at each of the poles. The geographic North and South Poles are called this because the Earth acts like a giant bar magnet – with molten iron at its core. Which poles attract each other?


In the next lesson we put our knowledge about magnetism to work by making our own compasses. When we placed the magnet on the pieces of wood in the water and watched as they were attracted to the opposite pole. This was extremely successful for Kestrels but Skylarks were more unlucky. Instead, we placed a leaf in  a full cup of water and topped it with a magnetised needle. We checked that the leaf had been attracted to the correct pole by using the compass on Miss Seymour's phone. 

To finish our Science learning this term, we linked our compass investigations to facts about early navigation methods and previous versions of compasses.


No comments have been left yet.

Leave a comment

  • The school’s Christian values of love, honesty and respect are well expressed through its caring atmosphere. This impacts positively on the strong sense of belonging and supporting relationships evident across the school.

    SIAMs 2016

  • Teachers inspire pupils to learn.

    Ofsted 2018

  • Teachers model skills effectively across the curriculum and instil a desire to succeed.

    Ofsted 2018

  • There us a culture of aspiration and improvement across the school.

    Ofsted 2018

  • Relationships are strong and pupils’ good behaviour is reflected in a happy and caring atmosphere, with attendance that is well above the national average.

    SIAMs 2016

  • Provision for pupils who speak English as an additional language is strong.

    Ofsted 2018