Our hugely enjoyable Activity Week in Pre-Prep has been centred around the fascinating subjects of Birds, Beasts and Bugs.

The week got off to a flying start with Monday’s Assembly which was led by an ‘alien’ in a white suit. The children were puzzled and excited as they tried to work out who or what this ‘strange being’ was. After several guesses, it transpired that it was in fact a lady called Mrs Cadman and that she was dressed in her clothing as an apiarist (beekeeper). To read more about this Assembly, visit https://www.langleyschool.co.uk/prep/creating-buzz-beekeeper-visits-pre-prep/.
Back in their classes, the children took part in a range of bee and bug-related activities, from making bee models to designing their own multicoloured honeycombs.

On Tuesday, the whole of the Pre-prep went to Banham Zoo. The children had a fun-packed day seeing all of the unusual creatures, including the sloths which made an appearance for Year 2 in the ‘Eureka! Animal Oasis’ area. The Zoo staff gave the children talks in groups about animal babies, diets, camouflage and bugs.

To learn all about carnivores, herbivores and omnivores, the children had a ‘fang-tastic’ time studying animal skulls to see if their teeth would reveal what the animal might eat.  They were excited to handle some of the smaller animals and met herbivores, Shelley and Gary the African land-snails; carnivore, Monty the python; and omnivore, Florence the white rat. Angus S said: “I really enjoyed stroking the rat. It was so soft.” Leah C said: “I enjoyed learning that carnivores have sharp teeth they use to tear meat.”

The children also had the opportunity to hold a penguin’s egg and lift a large container of water which was the same weight as a penguin. Isla D said: “A penguin is heavy, too heavy for me and I would fall down.” Lucy M said: “I liked holding the snail, it felt slimy.” Sara G said: “The snake felt soft when I stroked it.”

On Wednesday, Mr Crossley led an assembly about birds and talked about ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’.  It was decided that a tiger was a very expensive pet to feed and that if it got too hungry, it might just turn around and eat its owner! In Reception the children made a bird mobile which will be hung in their classes. In other year groups, the children made bird feeders using a variety of foods that birds might like such as grapes, chopped apple and cheese. A very cheery Blue Tit was seen to be happily pecking away at them shortly after they were put outside.

The week was topped off by a morning outside in the fresh air at Forest School. The children had great fun exploring underneath the logs in the log circle, discovering a whole host of creatures, from the tiniest worm – “It’s a baby Mrs Fry, look!” said Fergus G-G – to some big violet ground beetles who hunt slugs for their dinners. The children were encouraged to remember to put the logs back in place afterwards so that the bugs could stay snug. In another part of the woods a group of children made their own den using cut pieces of Holm Oak to thatch the roof area and to make windproof walls.

Some of the children tried using a fire steel to make sparks and light small fires with great success. “Look at me, I can do it, it’s just awesome,” said James C. Promises of further chances at fire lighting have had to be made to avoid disappointment.

The children have learned a lot about their environment. Hopefully, they will pass this on to you all – so you too will know the difference between a honey bee and a bumble bee and what defines an insect and a mollusc!