Monthly Archives: March 2016

Family Gardening Date – Easter Holidays

Many thanks to all those replying back with your generous offers of help.  I have surveyed your available days and the most requested day was THURSDAY 7th April  (suiting 71% of you).  Huge apologies to those who cannot manage that day.  We only have one day to spare for this task I’m afraid.

The jobs involved include transplanting sunflower seedlings, weeding plots, sowing BEE friendly seeds for Our Friends Of The Earth ‘Bee Friendly’ Campaign, planting up the pots at the front of the school, cleaning the bird baths and most importantly taking out the large raised circular bed in the small garden to make way for our Key hole African Garden which will be installed by our Year 5 children next term.

The family gardening event will run throughout the day from 9.00am until 4.00pm as flexible drop-in/drop-out event!  You can give as little or as much time as you can spare, it will all be greatly appreciated.

Drinks and biscuits will be provided only so please bring a packed lunch with you if you plan to stay over lunch time.  Please note that children must under the supervision of a accompanying responsible adult at all times.

We are looking forward to a sunny productive day!




September Update – Learning Farming with ‘The Little Red Hen’


“We wish we could grow wheat and make bread like The Little Red Hen”…

Children throughout Brambleside Primary School are very excited about the recent news that The Royal Society are supporting their ‘Little Red Hen’  Project. Children across the whole school will all be contributing in various ways from investigating the soil, observing wheat growth under different conditions, measuring and monitoring the weather with our new weather station and exploring and making their own bread.

The aim of this project, written by the school Eco and Science Coordinator, Mrs Clawson, is to help children learn more about measuring and monitoring the weather, growing plants and baking bread!  We are really looking forward to meeting many visiting farmers and Scientists to help us learn more.

MAY – The Royal Society ‘Little Red Hen’ Project Update

Time has flown and the weather has brought a great mixture of sun, rain and wind to help our seeds and bulbs develop and grow…


September Update

What a difference the summer makes.  The wheat is now in the last stages of it’s annual life cycle (seed dispersal) and the KS1 children’s n are enjoying using their new data loggers and making the most of its last days by measuring the soil temperature surrounding the roots and leaves and making and testing animal homes for any small mammals it possibly attracted!


Our new data loggers are very useful for measuring the light and temperature conditions around the wheat.


British Science Week and Rocket Science!

Home Science and STEM Parents – Inspiring visits, experiments and sharing information

Thank you to all those sharing exciting science experiments and practicals with us over British science week.  We loved the great idea from a young scientist in Reception class who experimented with finger prints on bread and compared the mould growth (all in sealed bags of course!) this teaches us to wash our hands with soap and water before eating our dinner.  There was a huge difference in the germs on the bread with the dirty hands!  We also loved the idea of using Pine cones as a way of measuring the weather conditions!  We will try hanging some cones in our own weather station in the outdoors science lab!


We also loved hearing from many of you about your work, especially the work in Toxicoly and Chemical safety and look forward to a class visit next term to find out more, electronic engineering, product design the chemistry qualifications involved with hairdressing and beauty therapy and Food Technology.  It really is inspiring to us all when visitors email or come in to share their work with us.

It’s also been great hearing about your feedback from visits to the national Big Bang Science and Engineering Showcase event at the NEC in Birmingham.  Please comment on the link below if you would like to share your experiences of that.

A key message is if you enjoy applying Science, designing, problem solving, fault finding, communications or computers then engineering is a great career for you!

Tim Peake’s Rocket seeds will soon be with us!

At 04:26am on Tuesday 2nd March, Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos landed safely back on Earth in Kazakhstan. The seeds then travelled with Scott Kelly to NASA in Houston on a charter flight from Moscow, Russia and returned to the UK on Thursday. Project staff are now getting ready to pack them up so they can be sent to us along with our Rocket Science experiment pack in April!

This news  is perfect timing to help inspire Science enquiries and research throughout the school in our British Science week (the official date is the 11th-20th March).

Do seeds which have been subjected to zero gravity behave differently to those on Earth?

What do you think?  Year 2 have enjoyed investigating the conditions required for seed germination and healthy growth.  The results are shown above and below and really surprised us all.  We discovered that the mustard seeds grown without cotton wool under 24 hours light in the light bank did not germinate but the cress seeds under the same conditions on the window sill did germinate and grow quite well despite no growing medium!

Does this mean too much light prevents germination or was it due to the type of seed making a difference?  How long can the plants grow without any growing medium?  We will repeat this again using the same type of seed to find out more!

We also discovered that the seedlings grown in the dark grew twice the height of those in daylight and were yellow.  We think this teaches us that there is a lot of energy stored in the seed to get plants off to a good start and they are willing to invest it all in growth in their search for light.  We are wondering how long they can grow without light and what will happen if they don’t get any.

The magnified seeds that were grown in the dark.  Tall thin stems searching for the light.  Scientists call this etiolation, a process in flowering plants grown in partial or complete absence of light.


The plants grown under the light bank were far more developed than those on the window sill.

The plants grown under our light bank were far more advanced than those grown on the window sill.  We couldn’t believe the difference in the height of the beans, some were 10 times taller.. This does prove to us that the amount of light really does matter and that growth and plant development can be accelerated by it.  Following on from our experiments we have been learning more in books and have been finding out that plants use Photosynthesis which is the process where plants use the energy from the sunlight (or light bank) to produce glucose which they will use as their source of energy to grow.  For this they need carbon dioxide which they take in through their leaves and water which they absorb through their roots.  Some bacteria can also use this amazing process of photosynthesis too.


Willow Class Seed Investigation – What do seeds need to germinate and grow into healthy plants?  They researched the effect of light, heat and growing medium (cotton wool).

We cant wait to receive our Rocket seeds to check our predictions.  Year 5 children will be taking responsibility for growing these very special seeds for us and be taking part in Tim Peake’s RHS Space seed research.

This week in school, all children are being encouraged to get involved in doing science at home with their families by researching a scientific question of their choice.  This is not intended to be an expensive or time consuming activity, just a little time to get involved in finding out something more about science and engineering.  Further details are included in the science week letter that is being sent home.  Children can share their findings with their class in a show and tell session. Parents and carers are being  invited to share their STEM professions to help broaden the children’s knowledge of the purpose and application of science, engineering, technology and maths to help inspire the children towards future STEM careers.  Please return the science week questionnaire if you are keen to take part.

Other activities throughout the week include children sharing their Science activities across the world!  New class emails have been set up to make links across the Atlantic Ocean and beyond to share our research on British scientists, surveys on British food, native plants and favourite school experiments.

Finally, information about the spectacular and unmissable FREE Big Bang fair is also included in the letter.  This showcase of science and engineering has something for everyone.  From  careers advice, shows, stands and demonstrations to inspirational speakers, its a huge celebration and exhibition of the best in STEM.  It takes part on 16th – 19th March at  Birmingham NEC book NOW for your free tickets and enjoy a very inspiring and mind blowing day out!

For more details see

What would you like to invent, create or engineer?  From amazing big wheels to lift boats to another canal, beautiful metal sculptures of mythical horses to steam trains and technology for the future let’s find out all we can this week to celebrate the amazing work of STEM in Britain.