STEM Day – Summer Term 2 2018

The theme for our STEM Day across the federation was CSI (Crime Scene Investigation). Every child in our federation worked together on a special day of themed working to expand our STEM skills.


Mrs Sutterby came into class to discover that our class dog named Cherry was missing. There was a black hand print on the wall. Mrs Sutterby marked off the area with cones and tape, so we could investigate what had happened. We thought of ways of tracking Cherry down. We looked at the hand print and measured it against our hand prints. We checked out our finger prints with paint to see what they looked like. We decided the hand print belonged to someone with a big hand. Some children used binoculars and magnifying glasses to search for foot prints and hand prints. Other children tried to sniff for Cherry, wrote posters to place around the classroom and searched for other clues. Another child said we should tell the police. We wrote a letter to Mr Barnes the caretaker to see if he had seen or heard anything when he locked the classroom door.  Mr Barnes checked the cameras and told us to check the office. We discovered Cherry under Mrs Borgars’ desk. We are pleased to have Cherry back in nursery.


On STEM day, in Reception, we thought about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and thought about the story Dinosaur Police. We had to see if we could make a ramp that would help the police car travel the furthest to catch Trevor the dinosaur, and after lunch Trevor had visited our classroom and eaten our pizza! We found footprints in the classroom and cheese on the floor, and were able to measure the footprints like we had been practising in our maths this week. Trevor had eaten our pizza but left the ingredients to make more so we were able to have a go and making, then eating pizza. We felt happy at the end of the day as Trevor had been a nice dinosaur to us and left us our ingredients 😃

Year 1 and 2

At the beginning of the day we found a crime scene in our school! We learnt in assembly that all the pencils had been taken and there were three suspects. We spent the day doing different crime scene investigation activities in the Year 1 and 2 classrooms to find out who committed the crime.

Measuring footprints
Footprints were left at the scene and the children used their skills to measure the footprints to identify the culprit. First the children looked closely at the footprints to see if they could see anything that may help them. Then the children used rulers to measure the footprint and compared the length they measured to the size of the suspects.

Computing – Recording the crime

The children looked at different photographs from the crime scene and reported what they could see using the computer. They recorded the evidence found from the suspects using a variety of description to rep

Dusting for fingerprints
The children found fingerprints on CDs left at the crime scene. They used dusting powder to dust on the fingerprints and lift them off using sellotape.

The children were left a note from the culprit and they had to work out which of the suspects had written the note. The children completed an experiment which separated the ink mixtures into the colour compounds to find a matching ink!

The children printed their own fingerprints and looked at the different patterns they could see.

Observing fibres closely
The children looked at fibres from different materials closely using the digital microscope. They matched materials to the fibres they found.

Year 3

We began our Year 3 STEM day receiving an email which said that there had been a break in at our school and the culprit had taken all of our work we have been doing on Fantastic beasts! The only thing the culprit left behind was a bone covered in vinegar from their meal last night…

In our science topic we have started learning about fantastic beasts, their skeletons and different types of food. When we looked at the bone that was left behind, we saw that it was bendy! We all wanted to learn how this had happened so we researched how to make a bone bendy. We found out that this happens when a bone is left in vinegar. Vinegar is actually a very mild acid. We thought we would try this out for ourselves using a chicken bone and vinegar. We also decided, that to make it more of a scientific investigation we would put another bone in coke (another mild acid) so we could compare the two bones after five days! We’re looking forward to the results!

We looked at other ways bones move and discussed the way our backs bend. We realised that this was because of the joints in our back. We were given pipe cleaners and straws and had to make a model using these that explains how our backs can bend! We then sketched different skeletons.

We were asked to complete a Cluedo challenge and work out which Cluedo character committed the crime. We were given a list of the different Cluedo characters with facts about them. We then had to complete different maths challenges to work out which people to might have been. We couldn’t decide between two people…

However, one suspect was allergic to vinegar! It had to be Colonel Mustard! We had solved the mystery! We decided to reply to the email to say that we knew who the culprit was. We all accessed our school email accounts and replied to the Cluedo detective with our good news!

We really enjoyed our STEM day and had fun solving clues to work out the mystery!


Year 4

As the focus of our STEM day was CSI, the children put their detective skills to the test, examining and comparing their own fingerprints. They learnt that although fingerprint are unique to the individual, they can be classified into 3 groups: loops, whorls and arches. The children investigated their own prints and used careful observation to decide which group they belonged to. Using this scientific learning and our recent work on data handling and statistics in maths, the children answered the question ‘How do our fingerprints compare to national averages?’ Children confidently collected the data and presented their findings. Using computing, they investigated all the possible ways they could show the collected class data, including bar and pie charts and donuts. Then, they discussed which image was the most effective and explained why. The children thoroughly enjoyed collecting ‘dactylograms’ (otherwise known as fingerprints).

 by Jack and Willow

 by Benji and Grace

Year 5

Year 5 discovered how to write secret messages using different types of invisible ink, which they made themselves from lemon juice and candle wax.

They worked in teams of three to find a murderer by solving mathematical clues based on measure and later completed a maths investigation involving mysterious footprint casts.

In the afternoon, Year 5 discovered more about the history of fingerprinting. They observed their own fingerprint before designing it into a very individual piece of art.

Year 6

During our STEM Day, we became expert detectives and solved a murder mystery during a giant game of Cluedo! After answering questions by applying our mathematical knowledge and skills, year 6 accused Mr Chris Hemsworth (Hollywood actor), in the school canteen, with a protractor.

In the afternoon, year 6 explored fingerprints! We discovered everyone’s fingerprints are unique! Consequently, this makes fingerprints ideal for solving crimes through gathering forensic information. We learnt there are three different types of fingerprints: the loops (most common fingerprint pattern), the whorl (identified by showing two deltas), and the arch (identified by showing no deltas). After applying this information, which was through the use of charcoal, year 6 students discovered which type of unique fingerprints they have. This then developed into allowing our creative mind to flourish and produce artwork to demonstrate all the different swirls and patterns.


Art in Spring at Toftwood Infant

This term we have been getting busy throughout the year groups! Reception have been looking at the themes fantasy and people who help us and been getting creative exploring these.

In year 1 the children have been learning about the topics, weather experts and our amazing earth! They have been busy learning about Andy Goldsworthy the outdoor artist and creating sunset pictures while thinking about the country of Africa.

In year 2 they children have been creating artwork ready for their Toftwood Tate display in the Summer, focussing on the artist Monet, and painting pictures of the pond and creating mud huts with natural found resources and clay.

Live Music Summer 2 2018

The junior school were treated to music through the ages on Tuesday 5thJune as the Live History of Music Show performed for us in the main hall. After a rendition of the Doctor Who theme song (so we could travel back in time!), the children listened to music by Vivaldi and Mozart and learned that the oldest recorded instrument was a flute/recorder-type instrument from the Ice Age. They were also treated to a segment of John Cage’s 4’33’’ – a song written to be totally silent – and movie soundtrack music from John Williams (Star Wars and Jaws). The performance ended with Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ – which the Year 3s couldn’t help but join in with.

Music in Spring 2 2018

In Spring 2, the children were very lucky to experience some live music. Miss McTavish and Mrs Harrison sang and played the guitar while the children walked in and out of their celebration assemblies.

Thank you very much to Mrs Harrison and Miss McTavish for providing such a wonderful experience for the children.

Ashley said, “I didn’t know that the teachers could play the guitar and sing!”

Amelia said, “I liked how they sang in tune and Mrs Harrison played an instrument as well.”

British Science Week 2018


We had lots of fun investigating and exploring during science week. We enjoyed finding out which materials were magnetic and not magnetic in the tuff spot. We sorted real money from toy money using the magnets. We looked at changes to materials as we mixed and cooked gingerbread men. We made predictions of which materials would float and sink, then tested it out in the water tray. We also found out about our teeth and how to look after them when Anita Webster and Dipsy cam to visit the class.


We learnt about growing and what a plant needs to survive by planting some cress.

We looked closer at plants through some observational drawing of tulips and talked about the different parts of a plant like the stem, petal and leaf.

We had a go at making boats with different materials to see if they would float and sink.

Anita from the Oral Health team came to talk to us about how to look after our teeth.

Year 1

Year 1 had a great week finding out new things and investigating different areas of Science. We made our own bubble wands and bubbles out on the playground. We even made giant bubbles with hoops!

We investigated magnets too. We predicted which items we thought may be magnetic and sorted them into a table. We then tested these objects and re-organised them depending on our results.

We also explored how many paper clips we could get on one magnet and made our own flying superheros using magnets!

We looked at a magnified photo of a mushroom and made predictions of what it might be. We then looked at more close up images of fruits and vegetables and matched them with their labels.

Year 2

During British Science Week, Year 2 completed a range of experiments and activities. We looked at cleaning pennies using salt and white vinegar, and then placed some nuts and bolts in to see what happened. The pennies were really clean, and the nuts are bolts turned black!

We also designed and made our own baskets to carry tomatoes, which we tested out by dropping them from a height to see if the tomatoes stayed whole.

Another experiment we completed was looking at how quickly we could make ice cubes melt by putting different things on top of them. We used warm water, salt and sugar. We found out that the warm water melted the ice cube the quickest.

We were really excited to work with students from Neatherd High school where they taught the children how to make a straw rocket. We tested how different angles made the rocket fly differently and then had competitions to try and hit targets!

Year 1 and 2 children also spent the first day of Science week doing 6 different experiments in each of the Year 1 and 2 classrooms. They explored which liquids dissolve gingerbread men the quickest, what happens when you mix baking powder and vinegar, how to make invisible ink, what colours are in felt tip pens, which objects float and sink and how to get a card butterfly to balance on your finger!

Year 3

We began our year 3 science topic ‘Rocks and Fossils’ this week and have looked at the three different types of rock, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. We also discussed natural and man-made rocks and in groups decided what category the rocks went in! We then looked at some rock samples and using a key, worked out what they were! We had a lovely time doing this even if gneiss and granite looked really similar. To finish our week off we started looking at fossils! We learnt about the difference between bones and fossils and that there are 3 different types of fossils (trace, body and chemical fossils), what there are and how they are made! We then learnt about and ordered the way in which a body fossil is made!

On Wednesday we had some visitors from Neatherd High School to complete an experiment with us. We learnt about chromatography and looked at how to separate colours in ink. We used different felt tip pens to see which colour had the most colours inside it! We first put a dot of our chosen felt tip pen on chromatography paper, we then dipped the paper in some water, making sure not to dip the ink in! We watched as the water travelled up the paper and separated out all the colours! We enjoyed comparing our results and discussing them with each other – we were amazed at the pinks, yellows and blues which came out of the black ink!

On Friday we had another visitor come in to teach us all about oral health. We learnt about how much hidden sugar was in drinks (13 teaspoons of sugar in a ‘healthy’ strawberry yoghurt drink!). We also found out how bacteria can build up in our mouths between brushing and how to look after our teeth – we were all left desperate to clean our teeth after the session!

Year 4

Year 4 have had a thoughtful and experimental science week.  It has been fabulous to watch their curiosity and interest grow throughout the week including some opportunities to get hands on!

We started the week by investigating different ways to generate electricity, understanding that fossil fuels can be damaging to the environment and within a few decades we may eventually run out.  Knowing they will inherit the planet we sought to find more earth-friendly ways to generate power and presented an information poster showing what they have learned.

Using the newly acquired knowledge we set forth and tested wind power by building a wind turbine from a kit and experimented with different blade positions to see which would be most effective generating the most power.  We then investigated solar power and how it works.  Afterwards children had a chance to build their very own wind turbine and see how effective they were!

Visitors from the Astronomical Society in Norwich stopped by also to give an assembly on the stars, planets and the effects of light pollution (very little in Norfolk which his quite fortunate for us.)

We finished the week with a health visitor visiting the Infant School which we attended to learn about good oral hygiene and health, discussing the importance of having treats in moderation and taking care to brush effectively after a good meal.

Children are still discussing what happened during science week which would be considered a great success!  Teachers and children alike had a fantastic time and learned a great deal from science week.

Year 5

Monday 12th March was the beginning of British Science Week at our school where we got to enjoy lots of fun activities focusing on Science. Year 5 and 6 had a talk from a PHD student from the UEA about marine biology. He told us what it is like at University and what to expect from studying a science subject. The Astronomical Society gave a talk to the whole school about different types of stars and how they view them. We also had an oral health presentation over at the Infant school. This gave us some handy tips on how to keep our teeth clean and why we should avoid sugary drinks. On Tuesday 13th March, some teachers from Northgate High School, came to help us design a suit for an astronaut on a spacewalk. We had to test different materials to see which one gave the most U.V. protection when exposed to sunlight for 30 seconds and we measured our results on a colour chart. We also tested different liquids to see if they would be an appropriate coating for the suits against U.V. rays. It was very exciting wearing the goggles and using new equipment. Year 5 thoroughly enjoyed Science week and we learnt a lot about different areas of Science. Lots of us were very inspired by our visitors.

Year 6

On Wednesday 14th March, Northgate science teacher Mr Jones greeted us in the classroom. He introduced himself and explained the purpose of his visit: it was science week. The topic of the science week was exploration and discovery, so we were going to discover the uses of vitamin C. He showed us six pictures on the interactive whiteboard and showed us how they were all linked together. There images were: Captain Jack Sparrow, a gorilla with rotting teeth, oranges, some potions, Charles Darwin and a boat. We discussed this for a while in small groups before turning our attention back to the teacher to discuss our ideas. Most of us put in our ideas before someone proclaimed, “Vitamin C.” Mr Jones then explained the result of not eating Vitamin C is scurvy. Scurvy can prove deadly or leave your teeth in chaos.
This led him onto explaining his activity. We were to discover which of the following food had the most vitamin C: oranges, kale, lemons, potatoes and carrots. He set each group one of those foods and asked us to test its vitamin C. He left the instructions on the board and we followed them. Our safety goggles were very useful as our group’s ingredients, lemons, could have squirted us in the eye.Once we had reached around the seventh step, he explained the dangers of iodine, a chemical which can irritate your skin. We were very careful and we dropped each drop into our tube.  The lemon took 86 drops to turn the correct colour: a night-sky black. We recorded our results on our tables and we asked each group what their results were. We concluded that oranges contained the most vitamin C  and kale had the least. This meant that if we were on a voyage like when Charles Darwin did, we would take oranges with us so to not get scurvy. This was a fun experience and we would wish to see another experiment.
By Courtney N, Emma D and Alyssa H

During world science week, we had two astronomers (from the Norwich Astronomy Society) come in to tell us about astronomy. It was an exciting experience to have, since not everyone in the world has a chance to learn about astronomy. They first told us to about what the difference is between a light polluted location and a non-light polluted location. Even if you have a high building you need an isolated one to see the stars clearly. Afterwards, they said that every star has a name. Then one person from Year 4 spotted a bright pinkish star in an image of space. We later found out that the star was a bit like a mother star, it was creating millions of stars. Next, we learnt about the planets’ sizes. This was represented by placing planets as balls next to each other (making Earth look tiny in relation to the other planets in our solar system). Then the astronomers showed us images of space which were extraordinary. In conclusion, the experience was fascinating.
By Aksayan, MS6

On Friday, Year 6 enjoyed an informative session about dental hygiene and care from Anita Webster. All the children (and adults alike) learnt some interesting facts about ways to brush your teeth and keep them healthy. We were all surprised about the sugar content of some of our well known favourite drinks. It rounded off what was a fantastic week of learning, thank you to all the organisers.

If you want to continue to be a Scientist at home, there are some experiments below that you can try.

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Design and Technology – Spring 2018


The Nursery children visted the Resources Room for the first time. The children really enjoyed making gingerbread men together, which was part of a class reward. The children followed a recipe and got the opportunity to add ingredients and decorate their own!



Children in Reception classes have continued to have access to a variety of modelling resources and have been developing their ideas based on their own interests. Some of their work has inlcuded building sledges during the snowy weather and a fire station, linking to their topic ‘People who help us.’

The Reception children have also made chocolate crispy cakes. They carefully used the scales to weigh the correct amount of each ingredient and practised stirring their mixture before putting it into the cake cases.

Year 1  

During Book Week, Year 1 enjoyed making vegetable Gruffalo Crumble alongside their Julia Donaldson learning. This recipe used lots of healthy ingredients and made the whole corridor smell amazing. The children enjoyed chopping the vegetables themselves and measuring the correct amount of each ingredient before tasting the finished product. Lots of the children really enjoyed this dish!

Year 2

During their Air, Land and Sea topic work, Year 2 have been learning about the importance of eating healthily. They have explored the main food groups of carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables, protein, dairy and fats and have designed their own healthy sandwiches. The children tried to include as many of the different food groups as they could when completing this task.

At the end of this piece of work, the children made and tested the sandwich they had designed. Some of the children discovered some very interesting sandwich combinations!

Year 2 have also used junk modelling resources to create their own baskets. They did this having to meet two criteria: all designs had to have a handle and they needed to hold tomatoes. The finished baskets had to transport tomatoes without the fruit being squashed. The children really enjoyed testing their creations. After the testing, the children discussed what went well and what could be done next time to make the baskets even better.

Computing in the Spring Term


Some of the children in Nursery have been using the computers to research about fire and chopsticks. They were able to look at pictures to make their own fire and also watched videos about how to use chopsticks.


Children in reception have been researching about where they live and about animals they want to find more about. They have used Google Earth to find out about where they live and have used Google to look at pictures and videos about animals they want to know more about.

Some of the children have been able to move the beebot around the maze using the controls on the computer. They have been able to select the arrows using the mouse to turn the beebot and also move it forwards and backwards.

Year 1

Year 1 have been using the new beebot maze creators. The children can make their own beebot maze using the smaller pieces of wood and then program the beebot to move around the maze in smaller instructions. They had the challenge of writing the algorithm for the whole maze and the children could de-bug their beebot if it did not reach the finish.

Year 2

Year 2 have been linking their computing lessons to their topic ‘Art Around the World’. They used Google Earth to look at Dereham and surrounding areas such as Norwich. The next lesson they looked at places in the England and then finally they explored different countries around the World. They really enjoyed finding familiar places such as McDonalds, Tescos, Disneyland Paris and the Eiffel Tower.

Science Spring 2018


The children in Nursery have enjoyed exploring magnets and finding out what is magnetic and non-magnetic.

They have enjoyed testing their ideas such as which objects will float and sink.

The children have also enjoyed using the computers to find out the answers to their own scientific questions including “What do monkeys eat?”


As it has been so Wintery recently, the Reception children have enjoyed exploring the snow and ice!

They have also enjoyed using Scientific equipment to explore things around them, taking a closer look at what they can see and testing their ideas.

Some of the children also decided to make their own ladybirds after reading the story ‘What the Ladybird Heard.’ They talked about how many legs insects have and other body parts including antennae.

Year 1

Year 1 have been learning about materials and their properties. They went on a material hunt to find different objects around the school and recorded the object and what material it is made from.

They also discussed the properties of different materials and how we can describe what they are like. Then they tested the properties of different objects such as seeing if a sock was bendy, a piece of Lego was waterproof and if a window is transparent!

Year 2

Year 2 have also been exploring different materials around us. They have learnt about natural and man-made materials and have sorted these into groups.

They have also thought about the suitability of different materials for different purposes. They had a problem to solve as they had some sea creatures which were stranded on the beach and they had to create something to help them get back to the sea when water was poured onto it. They had to consider the best materials for the job by thinking about their properties.

STEM Day – Spring Term

Our work for STEM day in Nursery included focusing on the lifecycle of a butterfly. We used the story ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ to help us. We could choose to paint symmetrical butterflies, play with the small world butterflies and caterpillars, create repeating patterns on the caterpillars and use the internet to find out more about the lifecycle of a butterfly.


The activities in Reception included using the children’s sense of smell when playing with the playdough; we added a range of herbs and spices to the dough and talked about their different smells, we decided that some were subtle smells and some were strong smells. We learnt about animal habitats; we thought about and discussed where the different animals would like to live in their natural environment. We also used our sense of touch when using the feely boxes and described what we could feel inside; rough, bumpy, smooth, soft or hard.

Year 1

Bird Beaks

The children watched a video about how bird beaks were adapted to what they ate. They talked about the shape and size of the beaks to be able to make the best beak to pick up as many beads as they could.

They had a trialling station to be able to try their beak before their tested it. At the end of the session, they all tested their beaks and we recorded the total for each group. We then looked at the best beak and the way they had created their beak.

Symmetrical Butterflies

The children learnt what the word symmetrical meant and looked at photos of symmetry in nature and buildings. We looked more closely at the symmetrical wings of a butterfly. We talked about matching the shapes, the colour and the position to make a symmetrical wing.

The children worked with their partners to create symmetrical butterfly wings using lego bricks. We then looked at each other’s butterfly to check they were symmetrical.

Creating a minibeast

The children watched a video about all sorts of different minibeasts and then looked at different photos of minibeasts. We discussed the parts of their bodies including antennae, legs and wings. The children constructed their own minibeasts using lots of different materials, they then wrote about how many legs they have and where they might live. They used rulers to measure how long their minibeast was too!

Year 2

In year 2, we enjoyed taking part in a range of different STEM activities all linked to learning about the Human Body.

One session involved learning about our Skeleton. The children discussed why we need a skeleton and whether all animals need to have one to survive. Lots of children already knew some of the important bones that make up our skeleton and we learnt the names of more. The children were then able to make their own version of the human skeleton using a range of different pasta shapes. All of the children made their own unique interpretation of the human skeleton and really enjoyed it!

Year 2 also investigated the human lungs. The children talked about the important job the lungs have in helping to keep the body alive. We learnt that the air travels down the trachea and then is shared to the left and right lung by the bronchus. When the air reaches the lung it travels along the bronchioles to the alveoli’s where the air is split into good air and bad air. The children made their own paper lungs to help them understand how they work.

Another area of the body that we looked at was muscles and how they work. We thought about very small movements that we make and how we still use muscles to move. We looked at how muscles work in pairs, and we then worked with a partner to make our own moving hand using straws and string.

Year 3

We have had a lovely day today exploring many new things about plants. We have been using different ways to record how a plant is pollinated, creating our own models of a leaf cell up close and recording and interpreting data from information given to us!

To make a model of a leaf cell, we looked at lots of different pictures of leaves up close. To begin with, we could not work out what they were! Some of us thought they looked like a donut, a cactus or even a wormhole in space! We were all surprised when we found out what they were! To make our models we used a range of materials, including art straws, masking tape, tissue and crepe paper as well as lots of other things we found and thought of along the way! They all look amazing!

Using data given to us about the growth of a bean, we also drew bar charts to show the how much the bean grew over 9 weeks. We explored how plot our data on a graph and then used this to answer questions.

We used technology to create a video to explain the process of pollination. We created different props for this video and used different plant vocabulary. Some of us used these props to become parts of a plant for this video whilst others directed it! Some of us even began to type this up as well.

Year 4

For the Spring term STEM Day, Year 4 decided to focus on one area of our Biology curriculum – habitats – and had so much fun studying trees. Once again, the children experienced a range of activities and learned lots too.

One of the tasks was to answer the question: “Which tree in school provides the largest habitat?” Mr Hambright took the children outside to do some maths in the open air. Working in groups, they measured the circumference of trees in the school grounds as well as performing some very tricky manoeuvres to also find out the height of the trees too! They were a bit disappointed that measurements were from the ground and no flying was allowed!!

With Mrs Bowes-Mulligan, the children were able to really let their imaginations fly as they used their creativity and science knowledge to write poetry about tree habitats. Following the creation of their poems, the children then used their technical learning and computing skills to present their poems in a variety of layouts and different styles to add to the meaning of their words – wow! We think you will be impressed by these examples:

For their activity with Dr Francis, the children became designers and engineers. They began by looking at the different habitats within a rainforest and what made each one (the emergent layer, the canopy, the understory and the forest floor) different and special. The children went on to research the features of different animals and to think about how their bodies are specialised to allow them to live in particular habitats. Finally, they used all the information they had gathered to design and draw their own “new creature” to successfully live in a rain forest. They had to explain why they had used each feature so construct an animal suited to its habitat. They came up with some truly astounding creations!


Year 5

Our theme for this stem day was biology.

In the morning, year 5 designed birdhouses. They carefully designed their birdhouses by sketching there ideas for materials that birds could use to make their own houses in the wild. Later on, Year 5 transformed their ideas from paper to reality by using junk materials to bring their birdhouses to life.

During the day, year 5 learnt about the effect of exercise on our body with Miss Gilfillan .They took part in different exercises to see how it affected their heart rate. They participated in running, hopping, walking and skipping. They counted their heart beat to see the difference between the different exercises and their heart rates.

The third activity took place with Mrs Lee. They learnt about germs and hand hygiene. They put cream on their hands that show up in UV lighting. The equipment that we used was borrowed from The John Innes Centre. They had to thoroughly rub in cream to make sure it covered their hands. This is to show that they can wash their hands properly. They then placed their hands under UV lights to see if they missed any places. They then washed their hands to wash off all of the cream. The children went back to the UV lights to see if they washed off all of their cream.  They really enjoyed this activity and it shows who knows how to wash their hands properly.

Year 6

Miss Connors investigated the ‘survival of the fittest’ by asking children to create their own paper bird to ‘take flight’ across the classroom. Those that were unable to complete their journey unfortunately left the class’s ‘flock’ and children were asked to replace them with ‘offspring’ of those that did. Each time, the birds had further to travel. However, each ‘generation’ of birds also improved their aerodynamic shape. From this, children could observe that within three generations birds, their suitability to their environment dramatically changed and only those most adapted to flying could survive.

Mrs Williams investigated the evolution of birds from the Galapagos Island if the island became flooded. The children learnt that the birds would survive if they had random mutations that gave beneficial tendencies from a seed eating beak to a type more suitable for water. They drew this in four pictures, then using Movie Maker created a movie showing their images evolving.

Mrs Smith had a battle of the beaks! This activity involved the children becoming Galapagos finches with empty stomachs (plastic cups). They tried to eat various food sources (including rubber band worms, beetle paper clips and matchstick twigs) using only their beaks (tweezers, scissors, spoons and binder clips). There was lots of learning about science and maths and competition and survival. We observed lots of interesting behaviour when food supplies were getting scarce and how different beaks evolve and take advantage of different food sources.

We enjoyed getting together as a year group at the end of the day to share some of our fantastic I-Movies and to share what we had learned about evolution and inheritance.

STEM Day – Autumn Term


Nursery children had the opportunity to participate in a selection of activities, including making magic potions, boats that float to fit a dinosaur, and building the tallest tower they could before it fell down.


Reception enjoyed taking part in the whole school STEM day (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
We experimented with circuits and learnt how to make a bulb light up by connecting wires to a battery and the bulb.
We explored Cuisenaire rods and made shapes, patterns and built towers with them.
We also learnt how to make paper lanterns by using scissors to cut lines into the paper and then use tape to join it together and create a handle.

Year 1

Year 1 explored different methods of transport for STEM day. They made paper rockets using drinking straws and tested how far they could fly. They made boats out of tin foil and counted how many pennies their boats could hold in the water. They also made bridges for a train out of different types of pasta and play dough and tested their strength with a toy train.

Year 2

Year 2 enjoyed taking part in a variety of different stem activities. One activity involved making towers out of newspaper. The children had to work in groups and discuss how to make their tower stable. The towers were tested by seeing how many books the towers would hold, one tower held 50 books!

We also did a science experiment to test the absorbency of biscuits. We heard the story of the gingerbread man and talked about what would have happened if the events in the story were to change We tested 3 different biscuits; gingerbread, digestives and rich tea and tested them by timing how long each biscuit would stay in warm water for before falling apart. All 3 classes found that the rich tea biscuit lasted the longest before breaking.

For our final activity we made our own marble mazes using a paper plate and different materials including, straws, lolly sticks and string. The children had to design their marble maze and think about the most suitable equipment to use before making it. Once the children had made their marble runs they were able to test them out and use each other’s. At the end the children had to decide if they would change their design as some of them had made their designs too complicated whereas some children’s were too easy!

Year 3

Year 3 had loads of fun taking part in our STEM day!

First, we made some rocket mice! We each made our own mouse and investigated different ways to make it fly like a rocket using different sized bottles. We learned about forces. We found out that the bigger the force the further the mouse went. Some of us thought the large milk carton worked the best because it was bigger and had more air in it. Some of us thought the small water bottles were better because the plastic that was thinner. The rest of us thought that the large coke bottles were the best because they had more air in and their shape made the air come out in a different way!

After break, we challenged ourselves to move an object without touching it using force. We came up with lots of ideas like blowing an object, sliding it and using gravity. We realised that we could use the force of a magnet to move an object without touching it. We then tested some different materials to make magnetic mazes. For our base, we decided that something strong and smooth would be best to move our objects around. We decided as a class that a piece of card, a paper plate, tables, trays or a white board were the best things to use!

In the afternoon, we turned into explorers and used a design specification to plan and build a boat. We needed to make a boat that could cross our ocean without us touching it but we were only allowed to use a bottle, some straws, card, tape, scissors, paperclips and a magnet! We used our knowledge of magnets and forces to make it move!

Year 4

Year 4 had a fantastic, thought provoking and exciting day introducing them to their new topic, sound, and allowing them to revisit some of their previous learning about states of matter.

The children took part in three different activities which allowed them to practice a range of skills:

Mr Hardy lead the children in converting a liquid (milk) into a solid as hard as concrete. The children needed to measure their materials accurately, work cooperatively with a partner and carefully follow a set of instructions to make their “rocks”. They were absolutely fascinated to see the change of state they produced.

With Dr Francis, the children’s focus was on making predictions and then testing their ideas. The children were shown three balloons which each made a different sound and, using their skills of observation and background knowledge, they made predictions about what was inside each balloon. Following on, they made predictions about the volume of sound other objects would make then tested their ideas using dataloggers to measure the volume of sound they produced.

With Mrs Bowes-Mulligan, the Year 4s became budding engineers as they constructed machines to show how sound waves travel. They worked really hard, using their maths skills to measure accurately to position the different parts of the machine correctly and were so proud of themselves when they could see how well their devices worked.

What a great learning day we had and everyone is already looking forward to the next one!

Year 5

Year 5 took part enjoyed several science investigations including:
1. What happens when you dissolve skittles in water?
2. Can you make flubber out of flour and lotion?
3. Can you create a lava lamp out of kitchen ingredients?
4. What combinations of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar do you need to make the biggest volcanic explosion?

This developed our understanding of materials and their properties. We made predictions by thinking scientifically about the ingredients involved. We discussed key terms and explored new vocabulary to enhance our learning.

‘My favourite was making flubber. Solid + liquid = a new type of solid with elasticity (today was the best!)’ George VH5.

Year 6

On Friday 10th November, Year 6 enjoyed an exciting afternoon of STEM activities.

The children rotated around the three classrooms and enjoyed stretching their scientific skills!

Mrs Smith’s class explored the power of air and the groups built balloon rockets. The children were given baskets of equipment from which they had to work as team to use a basic diagram to build their rockets. There was lots of scientific discussion about the best way to attach the balloons. Once the teams had built their rockets, their challenge was to investigate how they could get their rockets to travel the furthest. There was lots of discussion and lots of trial and error!

Mrs Williams’ class investigated chromatography. The class learnt about how chromatography is used in industry and forensic science. The children then they carried out their own investigations where they separated out the colours of felt tip pens. The class learned that one colour can be made up of many different dyes.

Miss Connors’ class investigated density using oil and ice cubes. Children made predictions based on their knowledge of the properties of materials and observed an oil and ice mixture change over time as the materials responded to one another. Each class discussed variants of the experiments, such as beaker shape or size, amount of oil or ice and children’s ‘enthusiasm’ when stirring the mixtures.

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