Kennet Valley C of E School pupils set off on Friday October 1 to explore where “no man had gone before.” As part of National Space Week every pupil in the school was given the opportunity to visit the Explorer Space Dome, which had been erected in Kennet Valley Hall, and to learn more from the accompanying scientists about space.
After crawling through a tiny dark tunnel, the children sat in the dome to look at the sun, stars, nebulae and constellations. They even heard ‘the big bang’ when learning about the start of the universe. The event was very popular with the children. Younger pupils commented, “We liked seeing all the stars because they were so shiny,” whilst older pupils enthused about the experience: “We loved it all, there were just so many good things. We loved star gazing while things were explained so well to us.”
This enrichment opportunity for the school was organized by Jacqy McQue, Science lead teacher, who said, “It was so exciting to see the wonder on the children’s faces when they were crawling through the dark tunnel, waiting to see what they would discover inside.”
Other staff agreed with her statement. Mrs Byford, Year 6 teacher, said,”It was truly amazing to find out so many facts from such knowledgeable people – my class loved it!”
The school have used this important enrichment to build on work that they are doing in their topic blocks. The children have been researching and puzzling the answers to questions linked to space, such as ‘Who was more Courageous – Armstrong or Columbus?’ They have also been finding out about Tim Peake, Chris Hadfield and Katherine Johnson, who was an American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics were critical to the success of the first U.S. crewed spaceflights. After watching films of Tim Peak, the Reception and Year 1 children even tried some ‘Space Scrambled Eggs’ which, although all agreed smelled ‘interesting’, tasted very good. Much of the work that the classes completed was also linked to the school value of Courage, while Year 6 also linked their work to Black History Month.
The school would like to extend a big thank you to Explorer Dome for coming to visit the school and providing such a wonderful experience for all of the Kennet Valley children.