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School in Residence at Nene Park Nursery - Day 3

By Nick File, Executive Deputy Headteacher, OWN Trust

Glorious and sunny, on Wednesday 6th March, ten children from each school in the OWN Trust returned to Ferry Meadows. It was the last learning day with the Schools in Residence project in association with Nene Park Trust.  There is still a celebration event on Wednesday 10th July to look forward to. One of the aims of the project is to encourage members of the wider community to access the Park.

After a swift collection from each school, the children quickly chatted. Part of the day was to plant out into each school’s raised bed in the nursery.  Sunflowers, fennel and some other mystery plants were relocated from the greenhouse.

Kokedamas were the next challenge.  (No, I had not heard of them before either).  Before making their own, the children learned about soil and nutrients. Sticky? Can it be rolled into a ball? Does it break easily? – the children used a decision tree to identify; sandy, silty, loamy or clay soils. Great work and muddy hands all round.

If you are interested in making your own….

And the great thing about kokedamas is they are easy to water (just dip them in water) and you can hang them anywhere.

After lunch, in the shade as it was so sunny, the children did some pond dipping. 

A huge selection of pond life was discovered and identified using identification charts. The children also got to test the acidity of the water from 1 acidic to 14 alkaline. Luckily for the pond life, it came out as a 7, so not clean, but neutral and therefore great for bugs, if not children or adults!

At the end of the day, the sun had shone, the children had learnt some new language, used some tools and had to think scientifically. Just like school, but better! Thanks again to Vicky and Alex for delivering the content effectively and in a very fun way.  Sadly, we look forward to our last visit.