Staines Prep Pupils get the Science Bug

21 Sep 2012

Working in association with the prestigious Royal Holloway, University of London and The Royal Society – the UK’s national academy of science – pupils at Staines Prep have been taking part in a special investigative research project as part of their science curriculum.

The project is being lead by the school’s science teacher, Mr Derek Heath, and the eminent Dr Deborah Harvey from Royal Holloway, through a scheme set up by The Royal Society. The assignment has been designed to enhance the children’s knowledge and curiosity of our natural world by asking them to observe the various processes and effects of a decomposing tree.

Preparations for the project began with a team of budding Year 4 scientists watching a tree being felled, then gathering the wood for Year 6 pupils to construct three separate log piles around the school’s environmental studies area. Dr Harvey – an expert on Stag Beetles and other insects which feed on dead wood – has been paying regular visits to the school to discuss the developments and monitor the findings.

Mr Heath said: “It is marvellous that The Royal Society has set up this scheme to support joint ventures between schools and research establishments to encourage children to find out about real life science.

It is important for young minds to explore and learn through hands-on practical studies with experts working in the field. It helps them to understand the balance of the ecology and make sense of our planet.”

In addition, with the help of a grant from The Royal Society, pupils will also get the opportunity to access a range of interesting new science equipment. The equipment will help with the log pile investigations as well as being used in other areas of their nature studies.

Photo(L-R: Charlie Cornish(age 8), Mr Michael Whitty(the wood cutter), Sandeep Johal(age 8)and Emily Traylen(age 8)gathering wood for Year 6 pupils to build log piles in the school’s environmental studies area as part of an ongoing science project.