Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics

                       (STEM)                        

After attending Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) training earlier this year, Miss Potts entered an action plan to Rolls-Royce Schools Prize for Science and Technology and became one of 6 finalists. She has been given a budget by Rolls-Royce to put her plan into action. Miss Potts intends to integrate STEM concepts within the Jewish Studies Curriculum through hands-on learning to create more opportunities for Cross Curricular teaching. With the help of her STEM team; Mrs Burton, Mr Pritchard, Miss Ballin, Mrs Frankel and the School Governor Janine Kasmir,  they will engage and motivate our pupils through their education, where Secular and Jewish Studies are sculptured together, thus creating innovative entrepreneurs into STEM. This will also be done through a Year 6 and Reception STEM club. 

Tu B'shvat 

For the festival of Tu B’shvat, the celebration of the trees, STEM concepts have been underpinned throughout to help the students understand the importance of trees, our environment and the earth that we live on. Throughout this festival the children learn about “Honi the Circle Maker,” who saw an old man planting a tree, knowing that the old man would not receive any of the fruit in his lifetime, Honi wondered why he would do this. The old man spoke of how his ancestors had planted trees for him so he must also continue this for the next generations. In light of this story, the children have been learning how important trees are and how they can also give back to the environment to help not only themselves but also help future generations.

As it is a customary to plant new trees, each year group planted a new tree. After a nature walk, the students in EYFS and Year 1 compared and discussed how the trees in our environment look different now, compared to how they will look in the Summer months to come.  We took pictures of the sapling and plan to go out each month and take more pictures, documenting and comparing the changes.

We planted a fruit tree and learnt about growth; about the lifecycle of a tree.  The children were taught about how water travels around the sapling (water transportation). We learnt the different needs of plants; what conditions plants need to grow; water, light, temperature, soil, nutrients and space. We took pictures of the tree and we are going to monitor its progress every few weeks. We also cut open unusual fruits such as a dragon fruit and star fruit, so the children got to explore their 5 senses. We discussed that fruits accumulate water and nutrients from the tree, and they use these nutrients to create their flesh and seeds.  We closely investigated the health of the fruit, changes in colours and looked at the most common ways by which we judge whether a fruit is ripe or not, including external features, such as softness to the touch, and internal features, such as sweetness, the children really enjoyed the fruit tasting!  

In Reception we also made a comparison of which fruit grows on the tree and which does not to interlink with the prayers we say for fruit grown on a tree and the prayer for vegetables grown in the ground. We also discussed why it is important that fruits have skin. We decided to conduct an experiment with apples to explore decay and how decay can change if exposed to different environments when the skin was not protecting the apple. The apple was chopped up and put in four cups, one with the air, one with oil, one with water and one with lemon juice and the children made predictions about what they thought might happen. This was observed over four days. We then discussed why the apple decayed and this led onto the discussion about the importance of not wasting our fruit and eating them before they decay.

                        

Year 3 wanted to find out whether fruits could be used for any other purpose than eating, so the children conducted an experiment to find out which fruits contained enough acidity to run a digital clock. They discovered that fruits such as lemons, limes and grapefruits made excellent batteries while bananas, apples and pears only worked for a short time.

                                   

 

For this festival Year 5 have studied David Attenborough and his contribution to environmental awareness and their Jewish connections.  They also found out about Greta Thunberg and Jane Goodall.   Each of them then wrote a report on these environmentalists and the changes they themselves could make in school and at home. They have already started to put their plans into action such as picking up and reducing their plastic usage, trying not to waste water or electricity, walking or cycling rather than using a car. Some have been to their local parks to collect litter and they are trying to educate their family and friends on the importance of recycling.

In Year 6, the children were working with different fruits grown on a tree to explore fractions and mean averages using the segments. It was a good opportunity for the children to really understand fractions through hands on learning and by the end of lesson the children had a wider understanding of fractions and averages.

In Science club it great to see the children’s planning, organisational and preparing skills develop and flourish. The Reception children are very excited for Science club each week they are very eager to participate and learn from the Year 6’s.

After being taught about the environment  and how detrimental plastic and waste is. The Year 6's have come up with the solution to use non-recyclable plastics and materials in a sufficient, self sustainable way, to make eco-bricks from plastic bottles filled with non-recyclable materials to make a planter, so that we can plant vegetables. The Year 6's have now made their swan planter from non-recyclable plastic bottles so that they do not end up on a landfill. They are planning to plant different vegetables that can be eaten by the children in school or donated to food banks.

 

Chanukah

Chanukah is the Jewish eight-day “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting and foods fried in oil. During the festival of Chanukah every night the Menorah is used. We light a candle on the Menorah for 8 nights of Chanuka, this is for us to remember the story about the Menorah that was lit in the Temple. We learnt about the miracle that occured and that although there was only enough oil to burn for one night it burnt for 8! 

For Key Stage 1 and EYFS we decided we wanted them to understand the Science behind how oil is made, so we had an Oil Press Workshop.

Each year group has learned about Chanukah and explored STEM concepts, surrounding the festival of light. In Reception we investigated what happens to oil when we combine it with water and food colouring. The children made predictions and began to come up with their own scientific knowledge to describe what they thought might happen.

“We are Scientists! I think the oil will mix with the water. Oh no, the water went down and the oil went up.”

“It will rise.”

“I predict, they will both change colour.”

“I think they’ll separate."

                                            

 

In consideration of the children understading the importance and purpose of the Menorah that we light every night during the festival of Chanukah, we created a STEM Menorah Competition, to enable the children to practise their STEM skills at home as well as in school with the involvement of their parents.  We encouraged families to work together to design, test materials and build their Menorahs. We asked for designs to show measurements, with photographs to reflect material tests and reviews of their completed Menorahs. The Menorah Competition has triggered a positive atmosphere and excitement throughout the school with both parents and children discussing what they have been working on.

We had over 40 family entries into our STEM competition. The children were given first, second and third prizes judged upon Menorah’s Design, Finished Product and the Evaluation process. This meant we had 9 winners, however because it was very difficult to decide, we ended up giving a further 7 Creative STEM Ambassadors of the Future certificates.

Here are our 7 Creative STEM Ambassadors of the Future.

Asher, Avi, Eliyah, Meir, Shifra, Shaya and BenTzion

Winnes for Planning and Design Process.

First place goes to Yoni, Zehava, Tzvia and Dina                             Second Place was Ayalla

        

 

Third place was Yisroel

 

Winners for Finished Product:

First place was Tamara and Leora                                   Second Place was Benjamin and Rachel

   

Third place was Ariella, Gadi and Yoni

Winners for final product and evaluation process.

First place was Amalya and Gavi                                 Second Place was Rafi and Jacob

 

Third place was Rafael

Here is some of the comments we have received from parents, after the competition had taken place:

“We really enjoyed completing the project as a family and hopefully that is evident from the happy photos! I think the boys gained lots of skills from completing a scientific report. “

“Bringing STEM into the competition really created a sense of achievement for both of them. With every stage it allowed for great thinking and discussion in what we were actually building on at that time and because we were now aware of STEM which we hadn't heard of before. We kept noticing how our design was consistently using science, tech, engineering and maths.”

 

 

Whole School STEM Day 28.11.19

Each year group participated and you can see from the pictures what a fun day the children had, as well as a great learning experience—for Staff as well!

 Reception made our clay menorahs, we had to work really hard to mould and engineer the menorahs to make the right shape and then we had to carefully count out the right number of holes for our candles.

On Chanuka we play a traditional game of dreidel (spinning tops). The common reason given for playing the game of dreidel on Chanukah  is that the simple little spinning top was used by the Jewish children who were hiding in caves. When they would see a Greek patrol approaching, they would quickly hide their Torah scrolls and take out the spinning top dreidel, pretending to have simply been playing a game.

Year 1 used their STEM time to try to find out the best material to make a dreidel from.  They had to choose between Lego, Kinex, tin foil and card…….

 

Year 2'shistory topic is the Great fire of London. We had a super time making Tudor style houses and then burning them outside to create our own 'Great fire of London.' A sizzling time was had by all with fire extinguishers at the ready! The children had plenty to talk about when they went home that day and have been writing a fantastic newspaper report all about it.

 

 

​In Year 3, the children learned about how we see light, how shadows are formed and what they are. We then experimented with different materials and distances of light to see how it affected the strength and size of the shadow. The children learned about the Chanukah story and made shadow puppets to perform the play.

 

Year 4 have conducted their very own electric circuits in order to create a Chanukah Menorah. They worked really hard all day, using their knowledge in Electricity and the designs of a Menorah and have produced beautiful works of art (and science).

 

As all Jewish children know, the miracle of Channukah was that the holy oil that burned in the Temple Menorah lasted for 8 days before it was consumed (instead of just 1) but how does oil behave in the natural world, when Hashem is not performing a miracle?  Year 5 have been finding out about this amazing, everyday substance to support their Materials and their Properties Science work and have learned how to mix and separate it.  We also used our understanding of oil’s density to create some marvellous marbling as a background for our Channukah artwork.

 Year 5 As all Jewish children know, the miracle of Chanukah was that the holy oil that burned in the Temple Menorah lasted for 8 days before it was consumed (instead of just 1) but how does oil behave in the natural world, when Hashem is not performing a miracle?  Year 5 have been finding out about this amazing, everyday substance to support their Materials and their Properties Science work and have learned how to mix and separate it.  We also used our understanding of oil’s density to create some marvellous marbling as a background for our Chanukah artwork.

Year 6, investigated at the connection between Chanukah and electricity.  They plan to look at the lives and achievements of famous scientists to help us develop a passion in STEM subjects and consider pursuing a job in a STEM field.​

  

 

Animate Me-Year 6, 26.11.19 

Year 6 put their Mishna learning into practice by creating Animate Me motion pictures of several cases in the Mishna. The children are learning about the Torah law relating to damages and these really helped the children to understand  what they were learning in a practical way.

 

  

Noach's Teivah 30.11.19

EYFS and KS1  incorporated STEM concepts into our learning of the Sedra of Noach and his Teivah. We introduced new scientific language to the children, surrounding floating and sinking. We then made predictions and investigated what different materials might sink and float. We also spent time designing and engineering our own little Arks based on our findings and discussed what materials would be appropriate. We made our Arks from paper, card, foil and wood and then tested what happened to each material when tested in the water and discussed which was best. They really enjoyed watching their Arks float in the paddling pool and were truly engaged in this activity particularly, when they tested what would happen when they added marbles. They then investigated and counted how many marbles it would take to sink their boats! We also engineered our own giant Ark made from cardboard, cardboard boxes and wooden blocks. The Ark was made to have 3 floors, just like the Ark in the Sedra for the rubbish, the animals and the people. 

 

 

  

Science Club

Over the last couple of weeks, the Year 6 children have been planning and recording their own video applications for our Science club. The volunteers planned a short script over the weekend about what they would be able to bring to the STEM group and why they want to apply. Using the school Ipads, they recorded their applications during the afternoon sessions. The children have planned the upcoming STEM sessions and are well equipped to teach, model and scaffold STEM concepts to the Reception children.

  

  

Sukkot 10.10.19

Sukkos commemorates the years that the Jews spent in the desert, and celebrates the way in which Hashem protected them under difficult desert conditions.Over the past month the children in Nursery have been busy learning all about Succos. We have talked about our traditions and how we celebrate them in school and at home. To celebrate the holiday of Sukkos Jewish people build a temporary place to live for the 8 day festival. We explored different ways of engineering and decorating our Sukkahs. We used different tools, equipment, textures as well as food and building blocks to build our structures. The children took time to plan their ideas and they worked well in groups and also have the opportunity to cut and add greenery to their Sukkah.

After learning all about this festival and why we live in our Sukkah on Sukkos, Year 1 were given the opportunity to engineer their own Sukkah. They discussed the type of materials they think they might need and what they will use to construct and to build an effective one. They used their mathematical skills to help measure out the materials and suggested that all the bamboo sticks must be the same size. The children then worked together to build their own Sukkah, they were given: bamboo sticks, cello tape, string, fabric, bull dog clips, staplers and cable ties. It was really great to see the children work together to engineer their Sukkah.

Year 4 have been using the Chromebooks to engineer and build their own Sukkah using computer software called ‘Tinkercad’. The children could explain and show how to engineer a Sukkah using this software.

  

 

Rosh Hashana 26.9.19

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New year. It is a time of family gatherings, special meals and sweet foods. Jewish people celebrate Rosh Hashana by eating bread and apples dipped in honey. We listen to the sound of a Shofar (rams horn) being blown. The shofar is like an alarm that calls on us to wake us up and examine our ways so we can be ready for the new year. This month the Jewish Studies objective was to understand the purpose and importance of the Shofar. To incorporate STEM into EYFS and KS1, we booked in a Shofar Workshop to engage and inspire the pupils with hands on experiential learning. In the workshop, the children crafted their own Shofar and learnt how to separate the horn from the core. They helped the craftsman saw off the end, creating their own musical instrument.  It was quite amazing to watch the children so engaged in their learning, and this workshop was a brilliant way to incorporate STEM into their religious studies education. It allowed them to learn how the instrument that is used for a religious purpose, is actually crafted for its purpose.   

   

    

                                                  

 

On Rosh Hashana we dip apples and bread into honey, it is symbolic of the ultra-sweet year we hope we will be  granted.  The children  carried out an experiment, they were given two unknown substances (honey and oil). They then discussed what they might be, through exploring the texture of the honey and oil through touch, smell and consistency. The children then took turns to be blindfolded to identify and investigate the two substances.

                                                       

For Rosh Hashana, Reception learnt about bees, how honey is made and we explored shape and engineered a hexagonal hive together. We also brought in technology by using our bee bots. Before we could use the bee bots, we had to teach the children how to code, they learnt this through playing a coding game in which the children had to follow the arrows/codes in order to move. This helped them when we then used our bee bots.