Shimna College P6 Taster Day
Our class recently entered the Video Stars Newsdesk competition. We had to create a five minute video on a topic of our choice. We chose to cover different aspects of our Polar Explorer topic. We were delighted to be selected as one of the five winning schools in Northern Ireland. There is currently an on-going vote where children and staff members can vote for their video preference. We really would appreciate all your votes. We would love our school to be voted number one.
Money, Money, Money!!
We have just started our new class topic- Moneywise and Financial Capability. We hope to learn lots about budgeting, saving, best value for money deals and lots more. Watch this space to see what we get up to!
SCANDINAVIA, HERE WE COME!!
We have just started our new topic on the Vikings. Did you know that Vikings did not have helmets with horns? That was a myth!!
Have a look at our 3D clay relief models to see what a Viking helmet really looked like.
We have done a lot of science related to our work on the Vikings. We investigated Viking helmets and their need for padding for protection. We used a raw egg inside a container and we dropped it from a height. The egg was free to move and obviously cracked. Then we wrapped another raw egg in bubble wrap and enclosed it in the same container and dropped it from the same height. As we predicted this egg remained undamaged. From this we learned how the padding inside a helmet protects our brain.
We investigated how Vikings preserve their food. We carried out a fair test on bananas using different solutions- brine, malt vinegar, white vinegar, water and air. Not surprisingly the banana exposed to air perished quickly whereas the banana in vinegar and brine remained quite healthy. We also covered cucumber in salt and we realised how salt can preserve foodstuff.
We made a solution of brine by dissolving some salt in water. We then investigated how we could make the water evaporate and leave salt crystals. This worked really well as we placed the container on the floor of our classroom which has underfloor heating and the water evaporated overnight.
To conclude our scientific investigations we discussed how Vikings would have told the time and how they would navigate their longships. We made a shadow clock out in the school playground and discovered that the shortest shadow of the day occurs at noon when the sun is highest in the sky. Shadows before and after this time are longer. We also learned that in summer shadows are short because the sun is high in the sky but in winter the sun is lower in the sky and shadows are longer.
Our Viking e-books
We created e-books to showcase our work on the Vikings. To start we completed a storyboard or plan including graphics, text, voice recordings and different apps that we would use. To complete this task we carried out some peer assessment to evaluate our work. Have a look and see what you think.
Viking Popplets and Comic Life
STEM AMBASSADOR ENGINEER VISIT
Today, Graham Knowles, a ship engineer from Lloyd's Register, Liverpool, visited our school to work with our P.6 children to share his experiences of working in ship safety and regulations. He taught the children a lot about the science involved in floating and sinking and about his role and involvement with the Sir David Attenborough Polar Research vessel. This was the perfect way to end our topic on the polar lands. Next, it's Scandinavia and the Vikings. Beware!!!
SENTINUS STEM P6/7 ROBOTICS WORKSHOP 12 March 2018
Today James Conor from SENTINUS delivered a robotics workshop for P6 and P7. The children had to programme a code into the computer, test and re-test the procedure to make a vehicle travel along a windy track. This required team-work, good communication skills and effective coding. A lot of fun was had by all and it was a great way to start British Science Week 2018.
Rights Respecting School
P.6 have been working on Article 12 of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). It states that all children have the right to a voice and that they have the right to be listened to by an adult.
They produced a mannequin to promote the message in this article. Take a few minutes to read some of their thoughts. They have been able to justify their opinions about a variety of issues which are important to them.
We are continuing our polar journey this term. We researched a variety of polar animals and wrote reports about them. We also looked at food chains and discussed producers, herbivores and carnivores.We discussed climate change, the greenhouse effect and how the ozone layer around Antarctica is being destroyed. We also looked at the consequences and how it is of huge global concern.We have just started working on our class assembly which will celebrate our polar experience so far. We are looking forward to using the green screen as a background while we are taking on a variety of STEM careers. We have field guides, boating officers, chefs, carpenters, electricians, general assistants, data managers, engineers, technicians, marine biologists, zoological field assistants, scientists and research station support assistants all talking about their vital roles both in the research stations and on the vessel itself. Our Assembly is Friday 9th February at 9.15am.
Our Visit to P.2
Today we went to visit Miss Guiney's P.2 class to show them what we learned about the polar lands. They really enjoyed looking at our e-books and listening to our stories. P.2 are also studying the cold lands as their topic this term.
We are currently working on digital e-books to showcase all we have learned about Polar Explorers. We have included samples of our written work and displays, photographs, voice recordings and some videos of our practical science investigations. We are really enjoying using other apps such as, Morfo Booth, Pic Collage and Comic Life and importing them into our digital e- books. We will post samples of our books on the website very soon. So watch this space!
STEM SENTINUS WORKSHOP
Last night Gerard Hughes from SENTINUS delivered a scientific enquiry evening for P.6 children and their parents. It was a fun and learning experience for all. The children made Cartesian divers, explored the differences between the Arctic and Antarctica landscapes, discovered how to make a paper clip float and how to make it sink without touching it and also the real science behind why a ping pong ball floats near the edge of a glass of water and how to move it to the centre. Surface tension is an amazing thing!
Mrs Mahon was very proud of all of the P.6 children and grateful for their parents attendance at such an exciting event.
Today, Gill Humes, Polar Ambassador for the STEM Learning Polar Explorer Programme visited our school to work with our class on designing remote operated vehicles for deep ocean exploration. We had great fun building the robotic arm prototype.
Gill was so impressed with our beautiful classroom and all our artistic work linked to this theme. She was also so complimentary about our Polar Land Diorama display on the front corridor.
She has already booked in another two dates to visit us in the new term and we look forward to that.
As part of our Polar Explorer Programme we are working towards achieving a CREST award. We have to complete at least 8 different scientific investigations in order to achieve this prestigious award.
CREST Activity 1: Design a boat to carry the maximum number of passengers
We learned that the hull needs to be flat and thin, with deep sides allowing more air into the boat. Have a look at our creations!
RSPB Red Kite Project
Our P.6 children attended the Red Kite Project Launch Event in the Tollymore Centre today. They performed a short presentation on the facts they have learned about red kites and finished with choral speaking poetry. A number of people from RSPB, Mourne Heritage Trust and Newry and Mourne District Council commended the children on their performance and their exemplary behaviour. The UTV cameras were at this prestigious event and we look forward to watching Calum and Mya showcasing what they know about red kites. Mrs Mahon and Mr McGuigan were very proud of all the P.6 children. Some of our work was also on display during the event.
Polar Explorers STEM Programme
P.6 have just started this programme as part of their new class topic on Polar Exploration. Our school was selected as one of only ten schools in Northern Ireland to participate in this initiative. It will involve a lot of fun science and technology which the children are really looking forward to.
The children have already completed polar dioramas at home with the help and support from their parents. Mrs Mahon and Mr McGuigan were blown away with the standard of landscapes produced. Visitors to school have all commented on the beautiful display and it is a credit to all the children involved.
Our Class Display on Polar Lands
PSNI Chaos at School Gates
Today Karen and Sonny came into school to talk to the children about road safety and how to be safe in the school grounds. The P.6 and P.7 children went out with the PSNI officers to see if they could find any examples of poor parking. Some of the children were given the chance to use the speed camera on the Castlewellan Road. It was a very informative afternoon and one which the children thoroughly enjoyed.
Celebrating Maths Week
This week the children were tasked with solving a mystery about stolen trophies in school. They had a series of clues and by the process of elimination they were able to work out the culprit. Guess Who???? Mr McGuigan
They had great fun working with their peers to solve this problem. Many thanks to Mrs Mc Laughlin for preparing such a fun and exciting task for the children.
P.6 are Scratch Mad
Over the last couple of weeks we have been working in pairs to complete a series of ICT tasks using Scratch- a coding programme. Have a look at our photographs to see some of our good work.
RSPB Red Kite Officer Visits P.6
Today Alan Ferguson from RSPB came to visit our school to update the P.6 children on the plight of the Red Kite. He explained that the Red Kite is a scavenger and a carnivore and there are only 80 of them living in Northern Ireland. The children were fascinated with all the facts about these marvellous birds and they asked Alan about adopting a Red Kite. This hopefully will become a reality over the next few weeks. Our class hope to attend the Red Kite Launch event in Tollymore Forest Park in November, so watch this space! Mrs Mahon was very happy with our explanation writing linked to this important issue.
P6 are on the Road to Good Health!
Our topic for this term is all about health and healthy lifestyles. Already we have been learning the names of the bones in the human skeleton. We are going to be researching the different body systems and the main internal organ associated with each system.
We are learning about different writing genres and our focus for this term is explanation writing. Our entire class contributed to our shared writing on why children should brush their teeth regularly. Mrs Mahon was very happy with the finished piece.
We hope to use QR codes to display our writing about the different body systems. Watch this space!!
We had great fun investigating how fizzy drinks are acidic attacks on the enamel of our teeth.We experimented with egg shells to see which liquid was most detrimental to our teeth.
As part of our health topic we are currently doing six weeks of mindfulness. Don't forget to bring in your cuddly toys for next week's workshop.