The Junior School have been going green this term with year groups looking at issues around caring for the environment and sustainability.

Year 4 have been getting “into the Green Scene”, with their work over the term very much focussing on looking after the environment and becoming more sustainable. They launched their learning with an “eggciting” activity drawing on their understanding of plate tectonics and earthquakes.  Working in pairs, the children were set the challenge of creating a 30cm skyscraper from cocktail sticks and mini marshmallows, which could hold an egg and protect it from a simulated earthquake after being placed on a jelly foundation.  All the pupils demonstrated many of the skills, traits and values from the ‘Learning Tree’, and many of them found themselves in the ‘Learning Pit’ when trying to overcome construction issues.  

Year Two have been very hands on with their Ready, Steady, Grow work – they came back to school after Easter to find exciting additions to their classrooms including a golden egg, a beanstalk and riddles left by a giant!  They followed the clues and found gardening equipment and some magic beans which they have planted and observed them growing. They have been imagining what the beans could grow in to as well as learning about caring for plants and where their food comes from.

In the Pre-School they have also been thinking about food. ‘Supertato’ has helped them explore vegetables using their senses and practising their fine motor skills by picking up peas with tweezers!  They have also made smoothies, planted seeds and had fun paint stamping with vegetables. All the activities have encouraged the children to think about food and practices that are healthy or unhealthy. 

Year 1 have been working hard to create posters to inspire our local community to keep the beaches in Southsea clean. In class they read Duffy’s Lucky Escape, a story about the problem of ocean plastic and Little Turtle and the Sea, a story about the challenge’s marine life face, both stories encouraged discussions on what they could do to make a positive impact to their local environment. Restaurants along Southsea beach are being asked if they would like to display the posters, with The Briny poster already on board!

What factors affect the state of our oceans and coastline has also been the question for Year 5. Their topic this term has been ‘Caring for our Coasts’, encouraging the pupils to explore the coastal environment. One, particularly hot topic within this theme is how human activity is leading to the widespread plastic pollution of the sea. Inspired by this, the children set about using recycled plastic for a more positive ocean related activity – boat building. Working in teams of three or four, part of the day was spent discussing and designing ideas, before construction started. With limited resources, care had to be taken not to waste materials and thought went into achieving a buoyant, light weight final design that would not only float, but also catch the wind and sail. The highpoint of the day was undoubtedly the launching and testing of the children’s recycled watercraft in the school swimming pool. The result was certainly surprising, with some craft achieving far better buoyancy and movement in the water than expected, whilst other craft, which had initially looked like potential America’s Cup winners struggled somewhat! Regardless, plenty of fun learning took place, setting the scene for the term brilliantly.  The children also took to the water themselves this term at The Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre. They had the opportunity to take part in sailing and kayaking and showed great resilience and teamwork as the weather slowly deteriorated during the week!  Luckily, they had the opportunity to return for a full (sunny) day on the water too.