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Outdoor classroom week - lessons at Latham Road

Published on 18/10/17

The week of Outdoor Classroom Day was marked in Science by a series of outdoor activities at Latham Road. 

Year 6 visited the Nature Reserve for the first of their series of termly expeditions to study the range of habitats on offer there. The weather was kind on each occasion, making conditions ideal for finding the wide variety of invertebrate species still to be found at this relatively warm time of year. There was particular excitement about some of the finds from the pond, which included leeches and a very large and ferocious great diving beetle. On land, the autumn leaf-fall proved a rich source of centipedes and millipedes, allowing the pupils plenty of opportunities to put into practice their classification skills in telling the difference between the two.



At the Nature Reserve, we did some pond dipping and it was fascinating to see all kinds of living things in the water. We were also excited to see a muntjac deer in the neighbouring field!"



The Nature Reserve Trip was really enjoyable, learning how to collect samples scientifically and about the roles of chemicals like nitrites and nitrates in the environment."


Year 5 put the outdoor spaces at the Eco-classroom to good use, literally stepping out of the classroom to carry out some potentially messy activities, ideally suited to an outdoor setting. The lesson was part of the current Science topic on gases and began with a demonstration of the famous Mentos and Coke experiment, where rapidly injecting a packet of the sweets into the bottle results in a spectacular volcanic eruption of fizzy drink. We discussed briefly the chemistry behind this process, with the mints rapidly extracting the carbon dioxide dissolved in the drink. The pupils then put together and launched their own ‘rockets’ using film canisters filled with water and Alka-Seltzer. The reaction between the two produces a rapid release of carbon dioxide and, when the canister it turned upside down, the resultant pressure can only go one way: forcing the lid off with a small explosion, which propels the canister skywards. Taking away the usual classroom ceiling meant that the tiny rockets were able soar freely into the air, much to the delight of the watching pupils, with lots of “Wows!” and cries of “Can we do it again?”



The outdoor Science lesson was really enjoyable and exciting. I loved the part when we made the small tablet set off a chain reaction that made it fly up into the air."


I really enjoyed our trip to the Eco-Classroom and learning about the gases around us. It was very exciting to see the experiment with the Coca Cola and Mentos and it was fun doing our own experiment with the film canister rockets."


Meanwhile, Year 4 pupils set out for the Eco-classroom with armfuls of cardboard, bright paints and thick paint brushes. As part of their thematic learning, they have been creating shields to use on Roman Day after half term. By recycling boxes from our IT department to create their 3D shields, they spoke about our responsibility to the environment as part of our wider learning as well. The children in each class spent an afternoon building and painting their shields, before attaching gold wings and metal embossed designs. After half term they will be using their shields to demonstrate the various battle formations while dressed up as Roman soldiers. We really are bringing Humanities to life in Year 4!


Tagged  Outdoor learning