Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Testing the ph level of a range of soils

Kestrels class enjoyed testing the ph levels of soils. Our learning began with discussing how the testing of soils could be used as evidence for a crime scene. We worked well in small groups and shared a range of ideas: analysing marks left by finger prints or shoe treads, evidence of DNA and giving clues as to what could have been buried in the soil.

We used a range of equipment to analyse our soil samples accurately: pipettes, litmus paper and colour ph level charts. The best results were achieved when we made a slightly runny solution with soil and water in addition to giving the litmus paper time to change colour. 

Some groups chose to label the soil samples carefully and use this information when recording our learning. 

Most of our results were within a neutral ph level score. We tried repeating investigations to test our accuracy.

At the end of our lesson we shared ideas of substances we could try to test to gain a range of ph levels such as: orange juice, cooled black coffee, milk, vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda. We look forward to investigating these scientific ideas next week.

Thank you to all those children who brought in soil samples from home. 

Our 1940s party! Monday 8th January 2018

Today we had a 1940s party as we have been studying this period in British history. As you can see from the photos, the children dressed up in historical costume to mark the occasion.

The class made authentic food to reflect the wartime situation when food was rationed and not always available:

Uncooked chocolate cake (see recipe below)
Vegetable salad (using cabbage heart and grated carrot)
Corned beef and spam 
Cucumber and grated cheese sandwiches

In addition, the children made decorations to add to the party atmosphere - Union Jack placemats, name cards, flags for the sandwiches, bunting and World War 2 posters.

The recipe for the chocolate cake is as follows:

No-cook Chocolate Cake
For the cake:
8oz (225g) digestive biscuits
3oz (85g) plain chocolate
3oz (85g) butter or margarine
1oz (25g) caster sugar
Few drops of vanilla essence
1 level tablespoon golden syrup

For the topping:
2oz (50g) butter or margarine
Few drops of vanilla essence
4pz 115g) icing sugar
Approximately 2 teaspoons of milk
1-2oz (25-50g) chocolate drops

Crush the biscuits into fine crumbs.
Break the chocolate into small pieces, put in a heatproof bowl and melt over hot water.
Cool slightly.
Add the butter or margarine with the sugar, vanilla and syrup to the chocolate. Beat until soft and creamy.
Add the crumbs and mix well.
Place a 7-8 inch (18-20cm) flan ring or flan dish on a serving plate and fill with the crumb mixture.
Press down firmly and chill overnight or for several hours.

Cream the butter or margarine for the topping with the vanilla.
Sift in the icing sugar and mix well.
Gradually beat in enough milk to give a fairly firm spreading consistency.
Coat the top of the cake then decorate with the chocolate drops.

The cake was delicious - just goes to show what you can make with only a few ingredients!

Here are some photos from the day - food preparation first, followed by decoration creation and then the party. Enjoy!

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Celebrating different cultures - Raksha Bandhan, a Hindu festival

To celebrate different cultures, each class has enjoyed finding out about a festival in a different country. We will share what we have found about in a special assembly tomorrow.

Kestrel Class have been learning about a festival called Raksha Bandhan, which is a Hindu festival. Approximately 80% of the population of India follow the Hindu religion and there are many Hindus around the world. In this festival, traditionally there is a ceremony between siblings, but these days, this has been broadened to celebrating loyalty and support between other family members, friends and even between leaders of countries. 

We learnt some of the principles of the Hindu religion, then played a game to remember them...

After that, we wrote prayers to share with a special person from home and also for ourselves, to show support and loyalty...

Then we designed and made modern versions of a Rakhi bracelet, which we can give to our chosen person as a gift to show our loyalty and support, similar to how Hindus give bracelets to show these feelings at the Raksha Bandhan festival...

This was the first time that many of the children had sewn on a button- another life skill.

Here are our finished bracelets...

We can let others know about Raksha Bandhan, the Hindu religion and India; what will we find out about other countries tomorrow in our sharing assembly?