Children at Kennet Valley School in Lockeridge have started their new term with finding out more about living things - such as plants, habitats and humans.

In Reception and Year One, the youngest children have been taking a weekly walk around the local area to find out about the plants and animals that live there. They have visited The Dene in Lockeridge and West Woods, making drawings and writing about them as they walked. Mrs Alexander, class teaching assistant, said: “It was lovely to walk with the children in these beautiful locations. They were all so interested in finding out more about the place that we live and work in”.

Year 2 and 3 children in Kingfishers class planted seeds and observed their growth over the weeks. These plants, when bigger and stronger, will go home with the children. They have also made detailed drawings of the parts of a flowering plant. Mrs Hues, class teacher, said, “It was really lovely to see the children working together so well when they were dissecting the tulips. They then took great care to draw a cross section of a flower”.

Mrs Russell, headteacher at Kennet Valley School, said, “It is great to see the children working on similar but different parts of the curriculum. The staff work well together to ensure that the skills and knowledge that our children are learning increases as they get older, so that even if several year groups are all looking at plants they are all doing different task and activities throughout the subject block”.

The Year 4 and 5 children were very excited to welcome two members of ARK (Action for River Kennet) to the school for a workshop on Friday 30th April. Anna and Sue from ARK brought in a wide variety of vertebrates and invertebrates from the River Kennet for the children to look at, identify and research. This was part of ARK’s “outside classroom” experience and the children had a whale of a time finding cased caddisflies, shrimps, stickleback fish and bullhead fish to name a few of the ‘mini beats’ that they found. Some of the class said, “It was great because we saw creatures that we hadn’t seen before”; “It was fun because we discovered creatures and talked about their habitats and life cycles” and “It was great fun. We even got to see an eel”! This year group also planted sunflower seeds, pea seeds and took cutting of geraniums which they are watching grow and develop, and found out how different plants reproduce. A year 4 child said, “It has been great to find out more about how plants and animals grow and change throughout their lifetimes”, with another remarking, “I loved dissecting the daffodils and tulips in class to find the different parts of the plant”.

Mrs Byford, class teacher, said, “It was a really fantastic morning. The children thoroughly enjoyed this experience and we are all so grateful to Anna and Sue from ARK for coming in to work with us. ARK are a wonderful organisation. We have worked with them before and we look forward to working with them again in the future as they always inspire children to look after their local surroundings, especially the River Kennet”.

The oldest children in the school, in Kites class, have been investigating Living Things and Humans – looking at how the human body works and what affects this amazing thing. They have started by finding out about the circulation system and how the pulse changes in different conditions. As the topic continues, they will be finding out about how to live a healthy lifestyle too. This topic also links into the PSHCE topic that the Year 6 children are learning about – relationships with themselves and with others.

Mrs McQue, who is Wrens class teacher and the Science subject leader in the school, said, “Living things is always a great topic to do with the children in school. They love growing plants and learning to take care of the plants, animals and themselves”.