Year 5 Taster Day

In preparation for their applications to secondary school next year, four hundred Year 5 primary school students visited us last week to get a taste of our great life here at Hertswood Academy. They enjoyed a huge range of activities in different subjects, rounded off with a spectacular science show in the main hall.

We've spotlighted some of the activities below.

In Design and Technology, the students took part in block printing.

Students chose an image associated with London, like the classic red telephone box or the Millennium Wheel, then used graphite to cover the back of the image. Using a biro, they traced over the main shapes of the image while it was sitting on a polystyrene tile.

This left faint outlines on the tiles, which the students went over to indent them into the polystyrene so they had clear, defined lines. Each student was assigned a colour and space where they printed their London icon 4 times. This was very tricky and required a lot of concentration (especially from me) to ensure that we ended up with the right pattern of red, white and blue throughout the whole piece of work.

At the end of each session we had an incredible piece of art work, which when dry will be delivered to the schools so that it can be displayed in their classroom as a reminder of their day at Hertswood Academy.

Andy Pearce, Head of Design and Technology

It is not very often in a Maths teacher’s career that the opportunity to build and launch water rockets with primary school students comes along, but when it does we go ballistic! On the 22nd of June, the Maths department had year 5 mathematicians from all over the surrounding community working in teams with specialised roles to build the most ferocious missile in the land.

Each team, made up from students from different schools, had a designer, technician and builder, and were only given a fleeting ten minutes to produce a rocket - complete with cones, fins, decoration, and their team name.

Once these glorious machines were ready, it was time to decide how much water to add to them for lift off. This is a highly mathematical choice to make, as too little will result in not enough thrust, and too much will mean not enough pressure provided by the air pumped into the rocket. Luckily, later groups had the advantage of being able to look at the graphed data (amount of water against distance of rocket flight) from previous groups to make a more scientific decision.

Water rockets built and “fuelled”, the Maths teachers took their young rocket scientists out to the launch pads (cricket nets) to begin launch procedures. With a beautifully sunny day and only a slight headwind, conditions were favourable for a promising flight. Each group, with the help of the teachers, used foot pumps to pressurise their rockets. All of a sudden, there were rockets of all shapes and sizes ripping through the air, water jets trailing behind, getting the Maths teachers wet in the process!

Once the launch was over, heart rates reduced, and wet shirts wrung out, the data was again recorded and compared. We had a record of 25 meters, which is an incredible distance. It was amazing to see these young technicians think mathematically and in a team in order to achieve a shared goal – well done year 5s!

David Godfrey, Teacher of Maths

In the middle of the day, several hundred Year 5 students gathered in our lower hall to watch our Science show -- a compendium of experiments and demonstrations to engage the mind and stimulate the senses.

Our first demonstration involved solid carbon dioxide, otherwise known as ‘dry ice’ to turn an ordinary washing-up bowl into a frothing cauldron, much to the delight of the attentive students. I was extremely impressed that the students were able to talk me through the process of freezing, melting and even sublimation.

We then moved on to our giant home-made air cannon. A number of volunteers made for great target practice as we sent large doughnuts of air shooting across the room, ruffling hair and jumpers. The target practice paid off as we were able to knock down a tower of cups to rapturous cheers.

After using the Iodine Clock reaction to create a sudden colour change in chemicals, and freezing some apples, bananas and tulips with liquid nitrogen at around -210°C, we ended the show with a demonstration involving butane gas and bubble bath (a hopefully unusual combination). After bubbling the gas though a solution of bubble bath the gas became trapped in the bubbles. I was then able to pick them up and move them before setting light to them and an intense yellow flame replaced the mound of bubbles. There were satisfying gasps from the audience.

The Science faculty would like to thank all of the students for demonstrating wonderful enthusiasm and curiosity throughout the show.

Ashley White, Lead Practitioner of Science

Original text

Below are pictures from many of the other subjects students took part in during the day. Thank you to all of Year 5 students who attended, we look forward to meeting you all again on Monday 21st September 2015 for Open Evening!

Art Business Computer Science
English Food Technology Humanities
Modern Languages Music PE