An Aveley Primary Blog

Once we had planned and created posters explaining the various components of our balanced picnic, it was time to get creative. We made sandwiches, using bread (carbohydrate), cheese (dairy) and/or ham (protein). Then we added a number of other foods to create our very own ‘eat well plates’. This included a delicious cookie as our little bit of sugar/fat.

After all of this fantastic investigation, planning and creating it was time to put our feet up and eat up!

IMG_4816.JPG IMG_4814.JPG IMG_4815.JPG IMG_4811.JPG IMG_4812.JPG IMG_4813.JPG IMG_4810.JPG

What would Little Red Riding Hood have put in her picnic basket?

Having looked at many different areas of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ in detail in our literacy work, we thought we knew everything about the story!

That was until Miss Stephenson caught us by surprise by asking us what we thought she would have packed in her picnic basket.. A simple question, some might think, and so did we initially: CAKES OF COURSE!!

But then when we began to discuss this we questioned what she would have needed to create a healthy picnic. This made us realise that we needed to discover what exactly makes a healthy meal, to decide what different foods she would have packed so that she could make sure both her and her Grandma were maintaining a healthy diet..

Did you know our bodies are like cars?

We don’t need petrol or have engines exactly but we do need FUEL. That is, we need to eat food to give us ENERGY to grow, move and heal.
Exploring the different foods that give us energy, we looked at the ‘eat well plate’. This is a plate that is divided into different sections showing us the different food groups and roughly how much of them we should have in our diet.

Do you know what we mean by different food ‘groups’?
Take a look at the eat well plate and see for yourself:

What foods can you see? Can you name the different food groups?


The different sections groups foods together that give us energy for certain things:

Carbohydrates: Give us energy to run around

Protein: Helps to make us strong

Fruit and Vegetables: Stop us getting unwell (help with healing)

Dairy: Helps us to grow

We sorted different foods into their food groups:

IMG_4822.JPG IMG_4823.JPG IMG_4820.JPG IMG_4819.JPG IMG_4818.JPG IMG_4821.JPG IMG_4817.JPG

Now that we know all about the different food groups, it was time to put our understanding of this to the test, and create our very own healthy picnics.. Miss Stephenson challenged us to make sure we plan a healthy picnic – meaning we needed to include something from each food group (only then were we allowed to have a sweet treat – our fat/sugar part of our meal).

Now that we have planned it (and all of us showed a GREAT understanding of a balanced meal), time to pack our picnic baskets..

We had a special visit from a real life scientist today! The hall was transformed into a laboratory as we were treated to an amazing science show. From giant bubbles to colourful flames, we were taken on a fascinating adventure.
We couldn’t believe lots of the things we saw!  A floating ping pong ball? A material that feels hard like wood but you can pour like water? Must be magic right?!..
..Not quite! As well as showing us these amazing tricks we were told all about WHY these things happen. In fact everything we were shown had a special scientific reason behind it..

We weren’t watching magic! This was SPECTACULAR SCIENCE!

Take a look at some of the things we saw. What do you think is happening? What could be the scientific explanation for these things?

1. Cabbage juice transformation

We watched in amazement as some red cabbage juice (eww – smelly!) was poured onto different things that you find in the kitchen, such as vinegar and baking powder.

We couldn’t believe our eyes when these substances quickly changed colour! Why do you think this happened?

2. Burning bright

Look what happens when you put magnesium in a flame:

3. Blowing Giant Bubbles:

Did you know that water has a ‘skin’, which is what the soap holds on to to make bubbles?!

March 17th, 2016 at 1:31 pm and tagged , ,  | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

 What is a chair made out of? Chair material?..
..Or how about a bench? Bench material?..
..And what on earth is a brick and an old piece of drainpipe doing in our classroom?!

This half term we put our scientist hats on and took on a new learning challenge, addressing the question of:

‘What material should the Three Little Pigs have used to build their house?’


To get us started on this topic, we spent some time exploring some everyday objects. This is where we can now help you answer some of the questions above…

Looking closely at different objects, we discussed the different materials that they are made from. Investigating a variety of different objects has helped us to realise that materials come in many different forms: different shapes, sizes and even colours!

We used lots of everyday objects (including a bit of a drain!) to discuss their appearance and how they feel. We then used this to help us sort the objects based on the material from which they are made:



Having realised that materials can come in many forms we decided we needed to find a way of recognising them, even when they are ‘disguised’ as different objects.

So, in order to recognise what materials different objects are made of, we have experimented with materials to discover their unique properties and characteristics.

As well as helping us to recognise these materials, deciding whether they are hard or soft, strong or weak, flexible or brittle, has helped us to think about why we might use materials for different purposes.

We have been set a whole lot of different challenges (by some of our favourite story characters!), which have required us to investigate the properties of different materials..

CHALLENGE 1: The Three Bears

Following Goldilocks’ visit, the Three Bears are keen to sort their house out! They called upon the help of the science team in 1S to help them to find out what material would be best to make new curtains.

We explored lots of different materials, investigating whether they are opaque or transparent. Once we had decided that, we thought about other properties that curtains might need (such as whether the materials were strong and light). After all, even though wood is opaque, it would be a silly material to use for a curtain!

Why do you think we decided that?

1S decided that fabric would be the best material for the bears, as it has the following properties:

  1. It is opaque so wouldn’t let any light in.
  2. It is light so could hang over our windows easily.
  3. It is soft an flexible so we could open and close the curtains easily.

The three bears were very happy with this decision and now have some lovely new fabric curtains! Well done 1S, great investigation skills!

CHALLENGE 2: Winnie the Pooh

In all of the horrible rainy weather last week, we had a phone call from Winnie the Pooh, who was very sad! He needed a new material to fix a great big hole that Piglet had made in is umbrella! Once again 1S’s scientists were ready to help find the right material to fix it.

We created an experiment to work out what materials are waterproof or absorbant.

When creating our experiment we thought about the variables we would need to change and what we needed to keep the same to make sure our experiment was a FAIR TEST.

We decided water needed to be kept the same. After all it wouldn’t be fair to pour a bucket on one material and a tiny teardrop on another would it!?

We spent time carefully desgining our experiments, thinking carefully about the methos we would use to test the materials:


Then, we made PREDICTIONS (good guesses of which materials we thought might be waterproof based on what we already know about their physical properties). There can be no right or wrong answer with a prediction, because it is just your guess – how cool is that?!

We recorded these on a table, which we then used to record our actual results during our experiment:


Once we had thought carefully about our experiment, we got investigating. Not only did this require us to carefully observe and ask questions about what had happened to different materials, but we had to use our teamwork skills to work together to make sure everyone got a turn and we were following our steps carefully.

This wasn’t a problem for us in 1S – we are fantastic teamplayers! Take a look at us investigating:

Once we had dried of our hands, we took a look at our results and decided, based on these, which materials are waterproof and which would be suitable for poor Pooh’s umbrella:

Our results led us to conclude that plastic would be the best material for the umbrella, because it is not only waterproof, but also flexible and light (we want Pooh to be able to carry his umbrella easily!).

Just when we thought our experiment was over and we could move on from helping out Pooh, Miss Stephenson told us bout the importance of evaluating our experiment. This meant thinking about which areas of our experiment went well and were fair, and what we could improve next time. We each gave ourselves 2 stars (things that went well) and a wish (something we will do next time) in order to do this.

Another character’s problem solved. 1S are getting very good at science investigations!

So What Materials should the Pigs Use?

Having explored the properties of different materials, we returned to our learning challenge question and decided on what materials we thought the pigs should have used to build their house:


Not only have we been doing all sorts of scientific work for this learning challenge, but we have been busy with our paintbrushes to! We thought about how we could use our hands and paint to create textures to represent different materials.

Some of these are up on our materials display in the KS2 corridor! 

This half term in 1S, we have taken on a new learning challenge. This has meant doing all sorts of different Geography and Science work in order to answer the question: ‘Where do the Leaves Go in Winter?

  1. Our Class Calendar

We began this by looking at different types of weather, and created our own class weather chart (with our own weather symbols) to track the weather outside.


As you can see our there are more things than just the weather that we have to update every day on our calendar. Yes – the date is very important! So, we have learnt that the year is broken down into months, which are then broken down into days.


 2. The Seasons

When we thought back to the summer holidays, we realised that the weather outside had changed. It was much warmer outside then and we didn’t have to worry about wearing our warm woolly hats and coats outside..

We discovered the seasons!

These are 4 times which mark the change in weather through the year. Not only does the weather help us to tell what season we’re in, but so do TREES OUTSIDE!!


I’m sure you’re all excited to hear about the learning underpinning our interesting display table involving a globe alongside some colourful calendars of Africa… Don’t worry, we won’t make you wait any longer! Here is an insight into our learning challenge that has been driving our topic work…

Our learning challenge question is: ‘Why Can’t Meerkats Live in the North Pole?’

This might seem a rather odd – maybe even slightly random – thing for us to be asking, here at Aveley (where we don’t have any meerkats around us and are based many many miles away from the North Pole!!).

But don’t you worry, despite what it might initially seem, this question is extremely relevant to our learning!

This is because, our new fiction focus is Emily Gravett’s ‘Meerkat Mail’. This gripping story follows the journey of ‘Sunny’ the meerkat, who leaves his home in the Kalahari Desert to discover whether the grass is greener on the other side, by packing his suitcase and exploring a number of other places.

But (spoiler alert!) Sunny realises that there’s no place like home: His home in the Kalahari Desert is the place that suits him best..

This challenge question was therefore something that we are all extremely curious to explore, so that we can discover more about the hot environment that Sunny comes from – and why it is “perfect” for him – but also the contrasting environment of the North Pole and why Sunny might not be able to live there..

In our literacy work, as well as producing some fantastic writing based on the story (which we will share with you later!), we used actions to create a whole-class recall of the story (we didn’t have to look at the book to remind us what happens once!).. While Joanne made a very confident, adventurous Sunny, we all narrated the story together and took turns being different characters that Sunny comes across.

Here we are recalling the story:


We also did some hot-seating to help us explore character thoughts and feelings.. Here are some of us being Sunny:

 While our literacy has been closely following this fictional story, out topic has enabled us to explore some of the FACTS.

We know that Sunny lives in the “Kalahari Desert”, so we began by finding out where this is. Have a guess – where do you think the Kalahari Desert is located? Do you think it is a hot or cold environment?

We discovered that the Kalahari is in South Africa. We even now know that this is a CONTINENT (land which is made up of many different COUNTRIES).

Discovering that this is a HOT environment (even hotter than our summer holidays here!), we have explored this climate as geographers, scientists and artists, by looking at:

1. What clothes we wear in hot environments.


2. What animals can be found in hot environments (helped by several sing-alongs to “The Lion King”‘s ‘Circle of Life’!)

3. What colours create a “hot mood”.

We thought about textures and shapes while we made our own ‘hot Africas’ by colouring, painting and collaging:



4. The difference between an African hut and our own homes in England.

5. Where in the world hot places are located.
This has led us to think about what happens as we move away from the EQUATOR and the temperature starts to drop..

Now we know lots about where meerkats do live.. Time to start exploring the North Pole and why they can’t live there…