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Year 7 Chemistry practicals

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All was quiet concentration in Year 7 Chemistry this week when the pupils had a science practical on distillation.

Building on the Chemistry taught in Year 6 which covered Elements, Compounds and Mixtures, the Year 7 Chemistry syllabus looks at various ways of separating substances. So far we have covered sieving, filtering and chromatography.

Distillation is a method of separating a solvent from a solution and recovering the solvent, or separating two or more solvents with different boiling points and recovering all the solvents.

In this week’s experiment, Year 7 produced distilled water from peach juice and orange juice, then separated alcohol from water. This is identical to the process in a distillery (hence the name) except on a smaller scale.

In the weeks to come, the pupils will investigate the solubility of salts at different temperatures and will learn how to plot and interpret information on solubility tables. This is where maths starts creeping into the Science syllabus.


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Year 6 is inspired by a day of murderous maths

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Year 6 didn’t know quite what to expect when they set out for the maths day at Ampleforth.

Some knew it was being led by Old Terringtonian Kjartan Poskitt, author of the Murderous Maths books. Others remembered Kjartan’s speech day address of two years’ ago when he mesmerised his young (and old) audience with his magic tricks.

Nothing quite prepared them, however, for the boundless ball of energy that fizzed off all cylinders as he shared his knowledge, enthusiasm and great love of all things to do with maths and numbers.

Holding his audience of 107 children in the palm of his hand, Kjartan quickly ranged over Pythagoras’ theorem upon which today’s skyscrapers and rockets to the moon depend, not forgetting of course to point out that Pythagoras himself was a murderer. Along the way, he explored the claim that Pythagoras invented music and gave a lightning speed tour of the mathematical basis upon which the frets on a guitar are calculated.

Next, we were introduced to the paradox which drove Pythagoras to murder – the paradox of the hare and the tortoise whereby the hare (who can run twice as fast as the tortoise) can never catch the tortoise. Our very own Theo Hoggard took a starring role as the tortoise in Kjartan’s demonstration.

All this in the first five minutes and our brains were fizzing.

Next, it was onto the strange properties of the number 1089. Anyone can learn the 1089 times table in 15 seconds flat. Ask any member of Year 6 and they’ll show you how.

Then there was how to cut a cube of cheese into 93 piece with 8 straight cuts.

Or how to cut up an old birthday card into one connected piece which would fit round 8 people.

After an hour of such mind-bending information and demonstration, it was off to cafeteria for lunch and to admire the fresh covering of snow outside.

Lunch finished, an advanced group were led off for a session under Kjartan. The main group, under the direction of Ampleforth College’s Dr Hannah Pomroy (who will lead the evening lecture on Growth Mindset this coming Monday), worked in teams to solve a murder a la Cluedo.

Joe C and David worked hard and successfully unravelled some coded runes; Hannah and Sophia decoded a semaphore message; Hattie and Lucy solved a Caesar shift cipher; and Freddie solved an Esio Trot style puzzle.

With all children back together, the day concluded with a poison chocolate folding game in which Kjartan showed the children how they could make sure they always won; an awe-inspiring introduction to the sheer scale of the stars in our solar system; and a mesmerising demonstration of flexomania (see www.kjartan.co.uk).

The day proved a wonderful way of demonstrating to the children the sheer thrill of playing with numbers; of giving them the opportunity to discover inherent patterns within them and to see how to manipulate them. Best of all, to see a master at work creating sheer magic from the world of mathematics.

Our thanks to Kjartan Poskitt and to Ampleforth for hosting such an awe-inspiring day!

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A Nativity to lift everyone's hearts

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Pre-prep lifted everyone’s hearts with their Nativity ‘The Bossy King’, a delightful re-working of the traditional Christmas story.


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National Primary Maths Challenge success

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Thirty pupils have been awarded gold, silver and bronze certificates in the national Primary Maths Challenge (PMC) which children from Years 3-6 entered in November.

Special congratulations to Year 6 pupil Lauren Edgar who was awarded the ‘Best in School’ certificate, and to the school’s Gold certificate winners Year 6 pupils Theo Hoggard and Archie Reid and Year 5 pupils Roma Bensalem and Matilda Rivis.

Designed to encourage enthusiasm and boost confidence in maths, the questions set by the PMC develop logical reasoning skills and the ability to think through problems.

Head of Lower Prep Miss Knights said: ‘This is the first year that Terrington has taken part in the Primary Maths Challenge. It has been a great experience building on the skills developed in mental maths and encouraging the children to think outside of the box. Not only has the experience extended the children’s problem-solving abilities but it was also great fun.’

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Christmas cheer from Years 3-5

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All 63 pupils of Lower Prep (Years 3-5) performed in their end-of-term Christmas assembly, more than half as soloists.

Many had practised their performance skills in the music recitals held in the Study earlier in the term, so it was with confidence that they stepped on to the stage to deliver their pieces. We were entertained on the drums, violin, cello, cornet, euphonium, clarinet, flute and piano, and by some beautiful singing from our talented vocalists.

In between the soloists, we were entertained by a performance from each of the year groups.

Year 4 gave us an exuberant personalised version of T’was Two Weeks Before Christmas, Year 3 an alternative version of The Twelve Days of Christmas (who will forget the ‘five paleontologists’?) and Year 5 pulled together their term’s discovery topic with a performance of Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘The Christmas Truce, which was both poignant and heart-warming.

To round off proceedings, the massed rank of the Junior Choir stepped onto the stage and sang several festive numbers with a final rousing performance of ‘We Wish you a Merry Christmas’.





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