• Rupert House is academically inspiring

  • Rupert House is co-educational

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  • Rupert House is for life

STEAM Week at Rupert House

This week was STEAM week at Rupert House. Each day, the children, from Nursery through to Year 6, spent time exploring different aspects of science, technology, engineering, art and maths. The theme of this year's STEAM week is 'Growth'.

We kicked off STEAM week on Monday, with a science lesson held by Year 6. They taught the Year 1 pupils about bacteria. The children had lots of fun using milk, food dye and soap to show how important soap is in killing off germs and bacteria.

Year 5 also enjoyed a special science lesson with Miss Gibbon, during which they tested soil samples from their gardens to find out about pH levels and how this can affect the plants that we grow. They also enjoyed delving into a bit of neuroscience to discover how ‘stretching’ our brain by facing challenges helps our brains to grow! 

On Tuesday, the children in Year 4 started the day with a talk from local beekeeper, James Barr, on the art of keeping bees. He also talked about the bees themselves and the importance of bees in the environment. He showed them one of his (empty) hives and the children had great fun trying on one of his bee suits.

Meanwhile, in the science lab, Year 4 learned about how plants transport water. They set up some simple experiments to investigate the way ‘capillary action’ makes this work, helping plants to grow well. 

In the afternoon, we were joined by Mrs Eyre, a local interior and exterior designer, who worked with Years 5 and 6 to start designing and planning the transformation of our courtyard area into a legacy garden. The children measured the area, drew up some provisional plans and planted some seeds which we hope to transfer to planters later in the year.

Wednesday began with a visit from Maisie Webb, author and illustrator of the book 'A-Z of the environment and being more eco-friendly'. She talked about her book with Years 2, 3 and 4, and answered many questions from the pupils about the book itself, and about important environmental issues. Her book is available to purchase at the Bell Bookshop in Henley.

The pre-prep children in Reception were treated to a wind chime making workshop with Mr Whitfield in the DT room. They designed their own chimes and made some using recycled materials including wood, spoons, pipe and keys.

On Thursday morning, Year 5 went to Shiplake College where they created some wonderful clay tiles with design based on our STEAM week theme of 'Growth'. Once fired, the tiles will be displayed on the wall in Courtneys.

Year 4 spent some time with Mrs Fletcher, making plans for our pond area and planting wild flowers.

After collecting lots of junk from home, Reception have been using it to make some models. With their engineering hats on, they have produced some wonderfully imaginative, colourful creations including super boats, super cars, factories, chimneys and much more!

Year 1 had a lovely afternoon planting seeds and bulbs in the flower beds near the staff room.

Friday, the final day of our fun-filled week of Growth themed STEAM activities, began with a fascinating presentation from Garth Miller, a local pilot and intrepid explorer! He talked to children in Years 3 to 6 about his upcoming mission to travel from Henley to the summit of Everest and back to Henley again in just 14 days. He showed them his survival kit and talked about the process of climbing from Base Camp up to the peak. 

Throughout the week, the Nursery children focussed on looking at movement, from making sledges to investigating the speed the cars can travel down a tube. They also spent the week talking about nature, especially birds. They made some fantastic bird feeders and hung them in the tree outside pre-prep to feed all those birds that struggle during the cold winter months.

We had so much to fit into our STEAM week this year that the pre-prep classes will continue some more 'growth' themed activities into the following week. Also, whilst we started planning our legacy garden and pond area, we will continue to 'grow' these plans throughout the year until we have finished developing these two important areas of the school.

A summary of STEAM week