Spotted: recycle-bin rubbish munchers!

11 June 2018

At the end of last half term, the Highgate & Muswell Hill Primary Partnership ran two Key Stage 1 science fairs, one at Eden Primary School and the other at St James’ Primary. Partnership Co-ordinator, Henry Hammond – Director of Science and Maths Specialism at Alexandra Park School – tells us more.

The theme for the science fairs was animals and habitats: Year 1 & Year 2 pupils had to design an animal that was suited to a particular habitat – the habitat could be real or imaginary. The animal had to have adaptations to suit that habitat and pupils either drew or made a model of their animal. Although it wasn't a competition, the students knew that there would be adults both from their school and outside, including STEM ambassadors, governors and myself and colleagues from APS, asking questions and completing praise cards for their creations which all went in a big box. 

I had a lovely morning at the St James’ event where students from Tetherdown, Coldfall and St James' primary schools displayed their creations. We started the morning with Lisa Brady, science lead at St James’, modelling the kind of questions the pupils could expect from the adults. She then produced an animal she had made and ask which habitats within the hall it might be suited to – this led to some brilliant answers talking about adaptations for living under floorboards, on the roof and in dark corners.  

The students were fabulous in explaining how their animals were adapted and there were enough adults that no student had long to wait before they could talk about their animals and adaptations. There were paper thin animals adapted to live in-between books and recycle-bin rubbish munchers; a highly advanced Year 2 brushbot creature came with a full circuit diagram and its creator was able to explain potentiometers and why one was needed for his creature’s circuitry! 

There were book-corner jumpers with springs on their legs to bounce from place to place and a lizard-monkey cross that was adapted to live in the deep ocean zones! The creativity and imagination was brilliant, and the session gave the KS1 pupils the chance to explain their adaptations as well as their knowledge of habitat. 

In the afternoon, my colleague George Oaks attended the fair at Eden Primary School – he took six members of our Year 7 STEAM club to hear about the animals from the Eden pupils and those from three other of our partnership schools. The years 7s loved hearing from the KS1 pupils and proved to be a big hit themselves. 

“Thanks so much for coming over to the KS1 science fair with your students today, it made it super-special for the little ones. My year 2s were so full of it when they got back to class they couldn't manage to learn any Hebrew as they were too busy telling the Hebrew teacher all about it – and the year 7s were the highlight. I'm so pleased the Year 7s had fun too. I thought they were all delightful – and also, brilliant with the younger children which isn't always a given.”
Helen Graff, science lead Eden Primary School  

 Overall it was a great day with KS1 students from seven of the partnership schools working together, sharing their creativity and communicating science to adults! A great way to round off the half term.

Henry Hammond
Alexandra Park School

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