Our Living and Not So Living World.

Half way through the spring term and there is a real sense of exploring the living world this week. The infants have been out investigating the school grounds, whilst Class 4 have been investigating the similarities and differences between related animals.

In science, the infants have been learning about how to decide whether something is 'alive,' 'has been alive' or 'has never been alive'. We decided to take our learning outside and sort the objects we saw into these categories.

The children asked some amazing questions like: 'was soil once alive?' or 'is water living?' and 'are clouds or the wind alive?'. We had lots of discussion and referred to criteria such as, 'does it move, grow, eat or produce waste' in order to decide which category the object belonged.

It was a fantastic session and showed that St Giles children have enquiring and curious minds!

Meanwhile at the other end of the school, the children in Class 4 have been thinking about evolution and how animals adapt to their environments. What better way to do this than to study real life specimens?

Mrs Rogers provided the children with pinkies (baby mice) and rat pups (baby rats), both members of the rodent family, to look at in great detail. The children noticed that the ears of the pinkies were much large proportionally to the head than a rat pup's ears. This led us to think why the mice had made this adaptation. Was it because mice had more predators than rats, and needed to be able to hear when they were about to strike?

The children also noticed that the rat pups had a much rounder back than the mice; that the tail of the rat was twice the length of the body and the tail of the pinkie, three times the length of the body. This led the children to speculate about the habitat of both species and why this might by.

Darwin was a great letter writer and journal keeper. This investigation led the children to writing a journal entry in the style of Darwin. Here is one great example of writing in this way.

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