British Science Week

Pupils across both junior and senior schools have enjoyed a week of scientific wonder and discovery as they immersed themselves in activities to celebrate British Science Week.

A range of curriculum-linked hands-on activities was held to explore and discover, from dropping ‘meteorites’ onto a floury moon surface to a gruesome analysis of blood splatters.

The week began with an assembly for junior pupils to introduce the Space theme chosen for the STEAM (STEM + Art) week, including live experiment demonstrations from Year 6 pupils. Activities kicked off in earnest with a Teach Rex Science workshop where KS1 and 2 created movies using a green screen and some startingly realistic T-Rex models which certainly kick-started the imagination – and adrenaline – of the children.

As part of the Smashing Stereotypes and jobs in STEAM theme, Women in STEM has been a featured topic for the junior school, with an assembly linking to sustainability and looking after our planet kindly presented by a parent representing sustainability energy company SSE, who is also a leading member of the team working to meet the UK’s Net Zero Goal.

Each year group in the junior school has enjoyed exploring scientific themes in subjects across the curriculum, with Year 1 creating a space station in the classroom complete with control panels, a NASA control centre and an immersive space observation experience, and alongside Year 2, coding a journey through space using Bee Bots in computing. Year 3 and 4 pupils plotted their own journey through space using Spheros robots, coding the Sphero to make space noises and say facts about the planets.

Experiments have formed the backdrop to the week for all, including dropping ‘meteorites’ from different heights into a flour ‘moon surface’ to measure the craters, and volcanic eruption experiments to bring the Humanities learning to life.

Connecting with the Arts, junior pupils discovered answers to the big scientific questions through analysis of Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock’s book ‘Am I Made of Stardust?’, alongside writing fact files, stories and poems about space and biographies about the author and other famous scientists. In Music the children enjoyed listening to Holst’s The Planets suite, while in Art they have been making space buggies.

Senior pupils, meanwhile, enjoyed plenty of hands-on activities, with Year 7 classes designing their own rockets and launching them on the school field, with the whole year enjoying a spectacular falconry display to round off the week.

Pupils in Year 8 honed their detective skills and got a flavour of life as a forensic scientist in a gloriously grisly Crime Scene Investigation where they identified crime patterns through the analysis of shapes of (fake) blood splatters. Drawing on all three sciences and maths, the groups investigated how height, angle and velocity affects the shape and pattern of the splatter.

Plenty of fun was had through the learning, with pupils’ comments including:

“We saw results showing the big effects gravity has on how the blood dropped in a certain way.” (Conor, Y8)

“It’s been fun doing this. We found that the higher you drop, the more the blood splatters.” (Chloe, Y8)

“I was super excited to come into the classroom and see a real life space station, and learning about astronauts.” (Jack, Y1)

“We had a real dinosaur in school today!” (Xavier, Y1)

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