We have been working with Newcastle University to help them in their development of an app called
Park:Learn. It’s a very exciting collaboration, which has meant that we have been one of the first schools in
the country to use the app on the tablets. It’s been designed to allow anyone to create, share and
complete fun educational activities in their local park. Eventually, everyone will be able to use
the app on their smartphones when they are out and about in our local parks. How amazing is
So, we got ourselves down to Saltwell Park to try it out. We had a great time recording what
the park has to offer by taking photographs, making audio and video recordings of our opinion
of the park’s facilities, and matching photographs with plants to find out their names.
We were able to use the Park:Learn app on our ‘Tree Day’ to find out the names of the
different trees in our school grounds. We used photographs to match leaves from trees in
order to find out what type of trees they were, as well as recording our thoughts on why trees
are so special.
Our topic on the local area has given us the opportunity to be involved with the ‘Friends of
Felling Park’ in their venture to revive life in to the park along Sunderland Road. Most of us
had no idea it was there! We have been invited to help out at the park and are eagerly
awaiting the delivery of plants so that we can get busy planting up the flower beds for
everyone to enjoy. At the moment, the park is under development and the plans for it are very
exciting. It is to get a new play area and we have been offering our ideas as to what we think
would make the park even better, using the Park:Learn app of course.
We have been looking at what else there is for us to do in Gateshead and visited Shipley Art
Gallery as part of our research. We had a great time learning about the Blaydon Races,
finding out how people in our local area had fun in the past. We studied the ‘Blaydon Races’
painting by and thought about how the artwork told us about the event and the people who
went to it. We dressed up in period clothing and pretended we were at the races, imagining
how different types of people would have acted and thinking about what they would be doing
there. Back at school, we learnt the ‘Blaydon Races’ song.
Learning about explorers, we have imagined ourselves to travel all over the world just like
Captain James Cook did. We had a very exciting adventure when we ‘visited’ the seven
continents of the world, set out around the school grounds, to find out about the plants and
animals that are typically found on each. We discovered exotic fruits and wild animals
including a 5 foot giraffe! We even had an encounter with a ‘native’ covered in tattoos in the
forest area! (Everyone knew that was Miss Jones just pretending though.) Like James cook,
we wrote diary entries and used our descriptive writing ability to describe some of the fruits we
sampled on our journey.
We have been learning about plants and what they need in order for them to grow healthily.
We have set up a few tests in class to find out how well plants can survive when they have
either no water, light or soil. We have predicted what we think will happen in each case. We
were surprised to find out that seeds don’t need soil to grow but we did discover that they
didn’t grow quite as well as seeds given soil. We now know how to make our tests fair. We
think that the results of our tests will help us to become better gardeners as we prepare to take
care of the plants along at Felling Park.