Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from Dr Ruth Weeks, Headmistress

The sky's the limit

30 November 2018

The annual visit of Mobile Planetarium is always highly anticipated in our school by staff and children alike. In the past two years we have developed the programme to include our Reception girls, Year 5 Scientists, GCSE Dancers and even staff.

Our Reception girls enjoyed an overview of the night's sky, visited the International Space Station and learned about shapes and distances in space. I'm told one of the participants came home thoroughly enthused and full of wonder. The girls spoke excitedly of 'the favourite room of the astronauts' and 'sleeping in floating sleeping bags', although one girl was disappointed to hear astronauts can't stay at the ISS forever, they do have to come home after 6 months!
 
Our Year 5 girls were excited to enter the dome, exclaimed in wonder as the 'roof' of the planetarium opened, gasped at the size of the ISS and giggled when we discussed toileting in space. Mario even managed to explain star death and black holes in enough detail to satisfy our inquisitive girls without overburdening them with technical language. They loved going through the black hole at the end too. On exiting the dome, they were excited to hold a meteorite which is estimated at 4.6 million years old.
 
GCSE Dance is probably not a group you would associate with enjoying a curriculum linked session in a planetarium but our girls are studying Fractals as part of their GCSE Dance coursework. They were able to enjoy 30 minutes of 360 degree fractals accompanied by a descriptive overview, explaining fractals. The girls found the session very inspiring and relevant to their course.
 
As for the staff... we had to drag them out of the dome at the end of their session! This is our second year of putting on a 'relaxation' session during the staff lunch hour. With the body and spirit rejuvenated we were ready to tackle the afternoon's lessons with a bounce in our step. 
 
Claire Eveleigh
Prep Science Co-ordinator
 

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