Discovery Week

Science Investigating at John Hampden.

As part of our Discovery Week, the children have been taking part in engaging Science investigations within their topics. This week as explorers, Foundation Stage have been making salt dough and observing the changes in state of the mixture before using it to make their very own dinosaur fossils. They have noticed cracks and fading as the dough dries making them look like genuine fossil finds! In KS1 the children have focussed on investigations within the unit Materials. Year 1 investigated the best materials to use to build a roof for Teddy’s house. The children relished the free reign given to come up with their own ideas and theories and the activity generated discussions about the strength and waterproof properties of different materials. Some children doubled up layers of material, while there were some interesting observations about how the pitch of some roofs even made a difference. Year 2 were given the challenge of producing a flying object that could travel the furthest in a test. The children drew on their knowledge of materials’ properties and how they could manipulate their shapes to make a flightworthy vehicle. The activity produced some rich discussions, including how to make the test flights fair.  Our Science Governor Jay Edley came in to watch some of the sessions and took some tips from the children on how to mend his leaking roof!

Thinking Day

As part of Discovery Week we have been developing our thinking skills.

In Foundation Stage the children have had fun learning about the different parts of the brain and how we can ‘grow our brains’ by challenging ourselves. This links to the Foundation Stage character Captain Challenge, with whom the children are now very familiar. The children enjoyed making brain hats to help them learn. They have also joined in a ‘mini enquiry’ to introduce them to P4C.

In Years 1 and 2 the children have been developing their P4C skills. This involved playing some circle games which created a sense of a trusting community, valuing differences of opinion and showing respect for each other. This is closely linked to our school values of ‘Respect’, ‘Reflection’and ‘Belonging’. During this ‘warm up’ Mr Edley, our link Governor, enjoyed joining in a debate with the children in Hedgehogs class as to whether it was better to be an adult or a child. Their thoughts were very interesting. Mr Edley was persuaded by the children that life as a child was definitely more fun! Each class then moved into a P4C enquiry. The children were shown a picture of an alien who had allegedly appeared in the entrance hall of John Hampden School. They had to discuss why the alien should or shouldn’t be allowed into the school. They had to justify their opinions and explain their reasoning. Dilemmas were added into the enquiry to get them to question their ideas even further. There were some great discussions throughout the school with some children convinced that the alien should be allowed (as long as he followed the Golden Rules!) and some adamant that he should not be welcomed as he may disrupt their learning. The children seemed to thoroughly enjoy the activities and it was fantastic to see how confident they are in sharing and justifying their own opinions whilst still showing respect for those with differing opinions.   

Maths Day 2018

On our Maths Day we had lots of fun and practised lots of maths skills. We worked together and encouraged each other. We celebrated our successes and failures together.

The aims of our maths day were:-

· To develop the pupils knowledge and enjoyment of mathematics

· For the children to enjoy maths together

· To develop the children’s awareness of links between maths and other subject areas

· To have a chance to try new things

· To develop thinking skills

· To raise standards

For the children in KS1 we also had a visit from “Maths in a Suitcase.” Selwyn has been coming to our maths day for the past few years, and he always amazes all the children with his array of “hands on” activities and investigations.

Foundation Stage enjoyed a visit from ‘Bubbly Maths’.

In each of the year groups different maths challenges were taken on - including cross curricular links to other subjects, working inside and outside our classrooms.