What an exciting week I have had visiting different classes to see lovely science lessons in action! In year 1, the children are learning about their senses and I had such a lovely time talking to the children about their learning. They could tell me so many things about the sense of hearing and were enthusiastically exploring their sense of sight when I visited. Eager to show what they had discovered on their table in the carousel of activities,I was pulled from one table to the next! A very exciting hands-on learning experience. It is evident how much the children enjoy their science learning. Check the year 1 blog for photos,
Meanwhile, Year 5 were trying to find the best method to filter and clean water. Once again the children were eloquent as they enthusiastically spoke about their year 5 topics and prior learning. Investigating in a practical way, the children discovered the best filter to use to clean dirty water. Thank you for sharing your learning with me.
This week, Science Ambassadors met with me to share their learning and “pupil voice” to make science learning at St John’s even better. They brought class floor books, science journals and much useful feedback. It was wonderful to see the older children remembering and talking about the learning they had done when they were in the lower years and for the younger children to explain what they had been learning. The ambassadors requested more science days where they can investigate at different stations, so we will plan for this in science week later in the year.
Eco gardening club met on Thursday and did our usual check on the garden and bird feeders before undertaking a survey of the school. Armed with clipboards, the children went class to class during lunchtime break to check whether we were remembering to conserve energy where possible. They checked for the following:
Lights off, doors closed, windows closed, interactive whiteboards off, heaters off. We also checked that each class had a paper recycling bin ( 100% did). Eco/gardening club think we can make further improvements and save more energy!! Not all lights were off and not all doors were closed! We can all help to make this better!!
Eco-gardening club has been busy planting plenty bulbs in the gardens and also in their own planters. We have already noticed that some bulbs in the gardens are starting to shoot and we look forward with expectation at the surprises yet to come in Spring.
Thank you to Gordon, who has helped us with our learning over the term. We continue to feed the birds and ensure that St Johns is kept clean and tidy, as well as a being a welcoming environment for our living things around us.
This week, we were joined by Gordon and we went to our pond to survey it and check the local environment. We filled the bird feeding stations and surveyed suitable areas to plant our bulbs. We now have new, stylish planters at the front of the school so we can reuse the old pots and planters for our bulbs.
Whilst at the pond, we discussed what might be living in it and then went wildlife trail exploring, spotting a trail running through the hedge, into the pond garden and out into the school meadow. Using clues, we decided that the most likely creature would be a fox. Gordon shared his wealth of knowledge about fox behaviour and the children happily joined in retelling their experiences of foxes in their own gardens.
We then spotted some woodlouse and learned that these have existed since prehistoric times. It was a gloriously, sunny day for learning outdoors!
Today, we started off by looking at our gummy bear investigation we started last week. It was amazing to find out that salt water made the gummy bears shrink and sugar water made them grow doubly big! The children explained the investigation to our two science ambassador helpers, Amelia and Maxwell.
Once everyone had looked at the results, they started making mazes out of paper straws. In their groups, they arranged the straws in a pattern on a tray and then stuck them down with masking tape. Some children made ramps, dead ends and even tunnels! We were joined by a Trinity School helper who supported us with sticking and designing. Next week, we are challenging other groups to have a go on our mazes. Mrs Casewell loves a challenge, so we have made the mazes very, very tricky for her.
This term we have a new eco-gardening club led by Mrs Casewell and our lovely, very knowledgeable volunteer, Gordon. We took a while to get going but when we did, we realised that we could achieve quite a lot in half an hour. We fed the birds, checked the bird boxes and began to weed and neaten up the reflection garden. The children talked about their gardens at home and discussed plans to plant vegetables in some of them. They are an eager group of green-fingered children with a passion for the environment. We will have so much fun this term.
We discussed where we might plant our 250 bulbs that we have been given and planned what actions needed to be taken next week.
Please remember to bring your Wellington boots and gloves, and make sure you are wrapped up warm as the weather will be turning chilly and we will be working outdoors the rest of the term. Photographs of our efforts to follow.
Year 2 and 3 have an opportunity to attend science club this term. This week we were exploring ways to make a gummy bear grow. We are looking at the effects of different liquids on the size of the gummy bear and exploring the idea of osmosis.
The children, in their groups of 3, chose their gummy bears and set about their challenge to grow the largest gummy bear by placing their bears in different liquids: water, salt water, sugar water, oil and vinegar.
The children predicted which liquid would work best.
“I think it will be the sugar water because the bears have sugar in them so we are adding more ingredients.”
“I think the salt water will be the worst because salt makes you feel thirsty.”
We developed our knowledge of science equipment and skills in using syringes, measuring, and recording. We learnt the words petri dish, syringe, control
These are photographs of us working, selecting our own equipment and choosing the best way to record. Check back next week to see how much our bears have grown.
As you may recall, during our Drastic Plastic Week earlier in the year, a small team of children (supported by adult helpers) created the spectacularly colourful bird that later went on to win the competition. We welcomed Lauren St John to the our school on Monday and gratefully received our prize of 50 new books for our class libraries.
We were delighted that Lauren St John, author of The White Giraffe, Dolphin Song, Operation Rhino and The Last Leopard spoke in assembly about her life growing up in Zimbabwe, how her interest in conservation developed, her career as a journalist and now an author who is involved in the Born Free Foundation and Authors for Oceans. Her talk was inspiring and something we, at St John’s, will will building upon, particularly with respect to plastic waste. She very kindly led a writing workshop too.
She was astounded by the children’s enthusiasm and commitment to making a difference to the planet and reiterated that St John’s was a deserving winner. Let’s continue to work hard to reduce waste and help to make a difference in protecting our wonderful creatures on our beautiful planet.
This week, Science club members were surprised to see Mrs Mackleworth in the lab to lead their science session. The children explored spaghetti and marshmallow structures, trying to create the sturdiest and tallest towers. They discovered that triangular shapes were sturdier and the found out that a winder base allowed you to create a taller tower. The children developed not only their science skills, but ability to work in a team.
It was super fun! Thank you Mrs Mackleworth.
Last week we were incredibly excited to have a visit from Mrs Quirk. She brought with her a dozen eggs and a feathered friend! Our eggs are now nestled safe and warm in the incubator and also under Clara in her nest.
Clara has already decided that she had too many eggs to look after and has rolled one out from the nest and broken another. Hopefully the other four will stay snug and warm. Each day, we have taken it in turns to check on Clara and her eggs – feeding her, changing her water, scooping out her poo and quietly chatting to her. She seems very happy in her house by the pond.
In the classroom, we have been patiently crossing off the days – now only seven more to go until hatch day! We did a special test last week called ‘candling’ using a bright light, a blue tac nest and a cardboard box. It looked like three of our eggs had chicks growing inside them, we could hardly contain our excitement!
These two pictures show one of our eggs with no chick growing inside (the darker orange area is the yolk) and the other one has an air sack at the bottom indicating that a chick is growing in the darker area above. We are learning to to be great chicken experts!