Category Archives: Global Citizenship

The A’maize’ing Mayan Garden Gods

Inspired by our topic in history, some members of class 5KC, are creating outdoor fact files to add interest to the plots of crops that are planned for our school garden.  Popular choices for the garden were Chac, the Maya god of rain, lightning, and storms (important for providing the rain for our crops) and The Maize God who was important because

the diet of the Maya was 80% maize and they relied on the harvest being successful.



Researching our fact files for our outdoor posters.

Sorghum Success

It’s been an amazing surprise to discover that the Sorghum seeds that germinated at Brambleside school have successfully grown into healthy mature Sorghum plants bearing large seed heads! This crop is usually a source of grain in hot and dry parts of the world where other cereal crops cannot survive. It’s come as a real surprise to see them do so well in a sheltered sandy soil in another Northamptonshire primary school.

We feel real inspired to investigate this further next year by growing them in containers outside containing different types of soil.

white Sorghum bearing many seed heads which we will attempt to grow next year.

Fairytale Science – A carriage fit for a pumpkin

Not quite good enough for a Princess but strong and sturdy enough to carry a pumpkin from one end of our table to the other! That was the engineering challenge set for Year 5 today when learning about materials and their properties.  Name the material and describe the properties of that material that makes it fit for purpose.



Learning about synergy carts and how they work was fascinating and explained with great knowledge and enthusiasm.


Science Through Traditional Tales – The 3 Camping Pigs and The Magic Porage Pot! 

Learning chemistry and researching the properties of different materials is really helping the 3 Little Pigs who are going on holiday and need a strong waterproof tent.  Year 1 have been busy exploring and testing many materials to discover the most suitable one for camping with.

Learning to test and record their results in scientific table helped keep us organised and remind us of the best materials to use.  It was fun getting wet as we investigated the most suitable one!
We discovered much more on further research of materials and their properties.

This Meccano model demonstrates that metal is a very strong material.

Our new team science books are helping us to work scientifically outdoors

Materials Treasure Hunt. How many different materials can you discover outdoors?

Reassured that our metal fence is strong and fit for its purpose.

1MT discovering that metal was the only magnetic material in their tests.

Several materials could float. Many were surprised that wood was so buoyant.

Testing hardness, magnetism, buoyancy, stretch and waterproofness.

Classification- learning to record our results into a simple Venn Diagram makes it so much easier to record our results as we test and sort out the materials.

Working hard and recording our results as we go along soon helps us build up a picture of how there are far more non-stretchy materials compared to stretchy materials in our classroom.

We are looking forward to learning more about the traditional story of The Magic Porage pot and designing a suitable pot made with the right materials.  We are planning to crop a plot of oats this year and learning more about the life cycle of oats and the tasty nutritious food that can be made from this crop.

Linking With Others Overseas…

We are very excited at the opportunity to learn traditional tales from other countries through inking with children and their teachers to share our traditional tales and experiments with farming crops linked to these stories is something we are very excited to do.  Children from Ukraine are some of the first to get onboard with this scientific traditional tales quest…


Please reply to our blog below if promoting learning traditional tales and experiencing gardening and farming through stories outside the classroom is something you are keen to work on with us.

How Much Does Soil Type Matter To Crops? 

This is the question Year 3 and 4 are investigating at the moment.  Using time lapse photography and our loyal light bank to observe the development of a range of crops we hope to find the answer soon!

We have been amazed at how quickly the seeds have germinated (3 days) and how healthy the young plants are looking so far.

We have chosen the ancient ‘Kamut’ wheat, modern wheat, field beans, oil seed rape and Sorghum, which is grown in very hot countries!  The soils we have chosen are, home made compost! , pure sand, garden loam and a clay soil from a river bank.

The Results Are In 

Thank you to all the children working hard to carefully measure our plants after 6 weeks of setting up the crops growing in sand.  The results make very interesting reading and do answer our question. Yes, soil type does make a massive difference highlighting that different crops prefer different soils.  The wheat grew very badly in the sand with half the leaves dying, on the other hand Sorghum, the tropical crop, preferred it above all other soils!  The beans also did well in sand.  What conclusions can you draw from our results?

In a final analysis class 4AR concluded that from this experiment they found that the soil type really does matter with different crops preferring different soils. They calculated that Sorghum was more than 3 times taller in the sandy soil compared with the compost, no doubt due to it being adapted to the very hot and dry conditions it’s used to in the plains of Africa, Asia and parts of America where it is normally grown. It was also really interesting to note that Sorghum was the only crop that didn’t wilt over the half term holidays when all the others suffered due to a lack of water. The field beans were by far the tallest plant, growing more than 50cm.

We look forward to improving on this experiment and repeating it in the near future…

Feast Fun

At last our 11th annual Gardening Club feast day has arrived.  Our gardening year has just flown by and all our hard work of sowing seeds, watering plants, weeding and harvesting has finally ended with a lovely relaxing event.  Many thanks for all your contributions of delicious homemade cakes, fruit salads, biscuits and drinks.  We’ve had a very good year of discovering new skills, learning to grow new plants, particularly companion planting and learning traditional methods from ancient civilisations.  The African gkeyhole garden and growing the 3 American Sisiters has been particularly rewarding!  We look forward to exploring many more of these old tried and tested gardening methods next year.

Traditional Tales Themed Food and Farming

Learning more about food and farming by sharing ideas with other teachers in other places.  Linking with countries from all over Europe will be so exciting. It is the aim that children can share their ideas and compare their results with each other through use of modern technology or more traditionally by writing letters, which ever method of communication and collaboration that suits your school.

We are really keen to find out how many seeds that every child that takes part grows their chosen plant from ONLY 1 seed.  Encouraging care and the realisation that every single seed is important and they must learn to nurture and care for it in order for it to survive and thrive!

Farming seeds in different places and in different ways through a gardening/farming themed traditional fairy tale should be very interesting.

if you are keen to take part and join in with our outdoors global learning project in the new academic year 2017/18 ple\se contact .

Brambleside EC


Sharing ideas with teachers from Ukraine