From Science Faculty Week in Week 6 to Science of the Spirit in Week 7

Love it? Hate it?
Research has long suggested that mood and behaviour is directly affected by weather. Weather can be sunny, stormy, dreary or unpredictable – as can our moods. The way you feel may actually be intricately linked to the weather forecast in ways science is only beginning to understand.

Our children are intricately linked to the weather too. Ask any teacher
• High pressure sending them, well let’s just say – ‘ into high jinks’.
• Low pressure sending them to sleep.
• The bouncy steps of a fresh Spring day.
• The calm focus of a cool summers afternoon.
• The dreaded wind sending them into a spin.
• The baking sun sending them all into an irritable argument. (Hence why we invented ‘Short Sleeve Order’ – ask your child what this is)!

Meanwhile, the SNOW is a different matter…They are at their best in the snow.
We hope you have all had a magical time out there experiencing the unusual weather event in the deepest corners of Devon.

Did you notice your child behave in a way you had never seen them behave before over the snowy deluge? Did their mood indicate any new revelations?
Listening to staff chatting away as we return to the daily routine, it sounds as if they were very sorry not to see the St Peter’s pupils in the snow. We think it could have possibly been ‘the best teacher-pupil snowball fight that EVER existed’.

The best thing about working at St Peter’s?
They are the best fun. Just magic.
The pupils at school always join in. Nearly always choose to take part. Frequently choose to take all opportunities on offer – and always with that gusto and sense of St Peter’s community fun. (I believe everyone who has ever been a part of the school community knows exactly what I mean by this).

BASICALLY – When our kids go for it, they go for it!
Well SNOW Thursday & Friday was no different….
An impromptu HOUSE challenge set by Miss Hoare and Mrs Ball during the bad weather days was as follows:

The St Peter’s House SNOW challenge

1. Capture the funniest picture of you in the SNOW. (Double House points if this is also in your World Book Day Costume! Triple points if you email it to Mrs Ball.

2. Magic up a SNOW poem. Go crazy and get arty with how you present it.

3. Create a SNOW adventure story or comic strip to entertain someone else at home.

4. Research how many songs have been written about SNOW. Be a decision-maker – which is your favourite? Give reasons as to why it is your favourite.

5. Experiment, test and study as much SNOW as you can. Complete your own science with it. Mix it, melt it, freeze it, PLAY in it. What do you notice? Have you reached any scientific conclusions about it?

6. Measure different SNOW depths around your garden/street/car and work out the average SNOWfall.

7. Draw your own SNOWY weather map…Of Devon? Of Britain? Of Europe? Of the World? Where else is the SNOW falling?

8. Pretend to be a news reporter. Report on your direct SNOW experiences. (Double House points if you capture a short clip of you doing it! Triple points if you email it to Mrs Ball.

9. Community: Do something for someone else – check other people are OK. Why not prepare some food for your family. Help to hang up your wet SNOW clothes. Be courteous, use your common sense and be considerate to those around you.

10. Tidy your bedroom – prepare for the return to school – you have some work to catch up on!

House points awarded for ALL entries.
Print this out and tick off each one you manage to do.
Hand to your tutor when back at school. Mrs Ball will decide House Points awarded.
House point totals will be revealed in Friday’s assembly.
Top winners will be announced after the thaw.

Wren, Falkner, Hodgson, Lake …. are you READY? STEADY? GO!!!!!!!!!!
Have fun. Stay safe. Miss Hoare and Mrs Ball.


Well, needless to say … the pupils were their normal selves. JOINING IN WITH IT ALL.
Here are just some of the AMAZING entries. As one of Miss Hoare’s and Mrs Ball’s favorite saying goes:-
“You have to be in it to win it”!!!!

HOWEVER – the day was not all about memories being made – a whole family wrote this wonderful poem together about their time totally cut off from existence.

They say no man is an island
But our family is for sure
We’re marooned in the snow
With nowhere to go
Like never ever before

The sheep look like pillows of snow
And the snow looks like pillows of sheep
But what really amazes
Is the jay as it blazes
Gliding over the snow so deep

It’s dreadful out but inside
In blankets and duvets we hide
The heating is bust
So a fire is a must
With tea and hot crumpets beside


We also had some pupils make media films!

The young lady pictured above in her deck chair put together a whole host of House SNOW competition entries. She tested LOADS of snow, in LOADS of ways. Here is her experiment plan and results:

Get a cup of snow
Put it in different places in your house
By the fire=40 min
On the boiler=50 mins
In the fridge=1 hour 34 mins
In the freezer=never melted
On the window sill= 1 hour
By the computer=55 mins

AND THEN …………… St Peter’s staff got very concerned that they might not get to join in with the SNOW day challenge, they were simply jealous of the children and so … this happened …

Mrs Perry completing some movement ‘experiments’ with the white stuff … her email message with the video was: “Too old to Toboggan?” – I like how she turned this into a Scientific question!

Mr Pritchard walked 8 miles in the snow to deliver a birthday present to his niece. Now that is love.

Mrs Lowles was helping her street collect required items from the shop … on her skis!!!

Dr Evans (of course) set up her own Science Experiment:- Does hot water really freeze faster than cold water – please note same sized mugs, same amount of water and same location to ensure a fair test!! Members of staff have placed cash bets on the results!!! Dr Evans is just re-doing the experiment as I type! It didn’t work the first time round – hang on we have heard that before?????

Dr Evans cannot help herself as she adds: “If you are interested it is a real phenomena called the Mpemba effect – here’s a link if you want to look it up” Here is the link:

Mrs Evans has also been getting in the spirit – I have this photo of her dressed as Aslan from The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe – there is also a video clip of her tobogganing, but maybe I will save this little gem for some fun in an assembly …. ????!!!!

Miss Smith’s table top snowman.) I don’t think this is her in her World Book Day costume – so half marks for Miss Smith)!!!

Mrs Richardson mathematically miscalculated the amount of milk required – OOOPS – off she went – helping her neighbours as she went.

Mrs Colwill is speechless (not often this happens as we all know)!!!
“Strangest thing I’ve ever seen. This tree is completely encased in ice. Each individual branch is within ice. Hopefully you can zoom in and see the phenomenon. I shall be seeing Dr Evans to find out WHY?” Super curiosity shown Mrs Colwill.

It must be mentioned that not everyone was able to take part in the SNOW HOUSE Challenge. I received a wonderful email from one pupil. Her courteous email asked if we would mind her not completing the challenge as things out at the farm had become quite serious and she was concerned for the welfare of the animals. It was all hands on deck with frozen water pipes and lambs being delivered left, right and centre … Would she be in trouble if she didn’t do it?? … of course NOT. We completely understand … her new challenge was to count up the number of hours she has helped her flock and calculate how many animals she thinks she has saved the lives of – these will be added together and converted to House Points upon her return:

A big well done to everyone who could contribute to this optional piece of prep in this phenomenal moment in weather history. Some fantastic endeavours.
Year 7 pupils have also earned huge numbers of House Points for their epic journey back from France – well done to the whole team. (The staff earn some points too for their heroic efforts in getting the children home safe and sound – Madam Evans, Mademoiselle Thomas and Mr Lord – you are amazing. Thank you).

I am ending this piece linking back to the weather and then not another word about the SNOW, I promise. BUT…
If weather does have such a big effect on children’s behaviour and mood then surely we ought to be finding ways to allow for that within our curriculum?

Should we be adapting our planning? Altering our lesson delivery? Changing the type of tasks offered? All just because the children are affected by weather conditions? Of course we should. Research is even pointing us in the best ways in which to do this.

This is another example of how we teach alongside our pupils here. Not teach to them. If the children are not benefiting then we change our approach.

We definitely work seasonally as teachers. We do indeed structure our curriculum topics and themes to match the changing seasons. Aiding the pupils to notice their own changes in their moods and behaviours (and have the language to talk this through); an important, but hidden part of our Baccalaureate curriculum that we should all continue to look after…

L. Ball

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