The Perse School

Learning to survive on a desert island prepares pupils for secondary school

7 Jun 2013

Children aged 9 to 11 had an exciting preview of ‘big school’ this week when they were welcomed by the Perse Upper. Pupils from Years 5 and 6 of the Perse Prep and local primary schools took part in a variety of stimulating and fun activities, from making samba music to examining their own DNA.

Head Ed Elliott explained : “Every year we invite local primary schools to take part in a week of activities at the Upper. It’s a great opportunity for us to share our specialist facilities and teaching with local maintained sector schools. We enjoy having the children here as they always throw themselves into the activities with such enthusiasm and leave brimming with ideas, new skills and knowledge.

There are of course many opportunities for Perse Prep children to experience the Upper before they move up, and the Geography and Science activities they’ve enjoyed this week are just two of them”.

More than 125 pupils from King’s Hedges, Mayfield, and The Grove primary schools have  spent a day at the Upper this week, with schools picking from a range of activities:

  • learning about samba music and creating rhythms with percussion instruments
  • collecting their own cheek cells and examining them under the microscope
  • getting an insight into theatrical techniques, and doing role play and improvisation
  • developing inference skills and historical enquiry using a range of artefacts and source material about Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Kathryn Howard
  • learning to play touch rugby through games and competitions
  • making a kaleidoscope and decorating it using decoupage techniques.

Year 6 Prep pupils visited the Upper  for a day of  Science activities, where they enjoyed a  circus of activities in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. In Biology students extracted their own DNA and produced bracelets based on the DNA sequences of different organisms, with the flesh eating microbe and Malayan spitting cobra particular favourites.

In Chemistry students tested their ability to survive on a desert island by analysing different solutions to identify the one that contained all the necessary food groups for survival. In Physics the students investigated static electricity.

Year 5 Prep pupils improved their map reading, compass and clinometer skills (which will come in particularly useful for those who are or will be in the Perse Exploration Society) and scaled the climbing wall.

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