Science News

Over the past couple of months Science at Balgowan has resulted in a lot of excitement and success!

The Blue Forest Tree House Competition

In February KS1 and KS2 children took part in a Science competition organised by The Blue Forest Tree House company (www.blueforest.com ) who specialise in luxury, bespoke tree houses across the world. The company were looking for two new ideas designed solely by Primary school aged children. The tree houses had to be designed to a specific criteria and Balgowan children rose to the challenge. Being a UK wide competition made entering even more challenging, so we are thrilled to announce that a Balgowan pupil is the KS1 winner for the Tree House Competition! Eden Cracknell in Y1 had his design chosen by the judges and will receive a complimentary stay for his whole family in one of the new Woodland Lodges, nestled deep within Alton Towers’ latest resort The Enchanted Village (opening April 2015). Congratulations also to Oscar Bugden in Y5 whose design was highly commended. Well done to all the children who took part in the competition, there were so many fantastic and diverse designs – look out for more Science competitions to be held in the future.

Annual Science Quiz Competition

On 17th March, Mrs. Oliver and Ms. Noding took six Y6 pupils to St. Peter & St. Paul RC Primary School in Leeson’s Hill to take part in their annual Science Quiz Competition as part of British Science Week. The quiz comprised of a written round, a quick fire spoken question round and finally a hands up first round to compete for first, second or third place. Balgowan came joint first in the first round, scoring 18 out of 18 possible points. The second round consisted of quick fire questions given by the judges in only five minutes; Balgowan were so quick at answering that the judges were speedily running out of questions to ask them! The final round was definitely the toughest for Balgowan and the tension in the hall (which looked like something out of University Challenge) was rising by the minute. By the end of the three rounds it was impossible to know which school had come where in terms of first, second and third place.
The presentation ceremony started with a fitting performance of ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by the St.Peter & St.Paul choir before the judges and Mayor of Bromley took to the stage to deliver the results. Starting in third place, there was an almighty cheer as ‘Balgowan’ was read out by the judges. The team had secured enough points and eagerly went up to the stage to collect their well-deserved certificates and medals from the Mayor of Bromley. We learnt after the ceremony that the other schools had been revising for the quiz since last September. With only four weeks to revise what seemed like an impossible selection of topics (Maths, Engineering, Chemistry, Physics and Biology), and some dedicated homework by the Balgowan team, this was a fantastic achievement for the team and for Balgowan. Mrs. Oliver was so proud of the children’s skills, quick thinking and admirable team work – Well done to the six team membersl: Ella Monks, Nienke Van Velzen, George Farrell, James Kendrick, Zac Bates-Fisher and Danny Loveridge.

The Solar Eclipse

On Friday 20th March, the UK along with other parts of Europe experienced the first Solar Eclipse since 1999. With much of the north of the UK seeing a 98% eclipse, the better weather was unfortunately kept higher up the country. At Balgowan the clouds refused to lift preventing all of us from physically seeing the moon eclipsing the sun. Regardless of the weather, there was a mass gathering on the playgrounds as children armed with solar glasses, pin hole viewers, colanders and many other contraptions were determined to experience as much as they could of their first ever solar eclipse. Although viewing was impossible, we could all feel the effects; the temperature dropped quickly and the sky became so much darker. Street lights were also spotted coming on as the sky changed. Those children who were out slightly earlier on the playground noted how much quieter it had become as birds ceased to sing. There was plenty of excitement and science related chatter that led to further discussions and activities inside classrooms throughout the school. Many laptops were streaming the live BBC Solar Eclipse web cam where we were lucky enough to see the Faroe Islands in their 100% eclipse darkness. Many of the children are now looking forward to the next one in 2026. Let’s hope the weather will be better then!