Buzzing with the bees

On Wednesday it was the Biggies turn to work with Meik and the beehive.

First we got suited up: Trousers inside wellies, Fully zip head mask, no gaps, gloves.

A tip: Don’t push face mesh onto face cause a bee could sting you!

If a bee gets in the mask you stay calm and squish it with your gloves. 

At the hive we learnt about bees. We pulled the frames out to check on the bees and make make sure the queen was there. 

What we learnt

Meik told us a lot about bees, this is some of what we remembered:

  • The different colour of the cell things on the frames you could tell the flower the pollen was from 
  • If there was a new queen the queen would get some of the hive and swarm 
  • You need to destroy the queen cells 
  • If you take the queen away for 2 or 3 minutes and bring her back they will kill her and raise a new queen 
  • They try to clean the queen after she’s in the cage on the hive 
  • Only smoke calms the bees 
  • There is a strap around the hive so it doesn’t blow over. 
  • We pulled out all of the frames to see the buzzy bees 
  • To make honey bees take nectar the digest it vomit it up then an other bee takes in and vomits it up till it makes honey!
  • He destroys the other queen been eggs so that they don’t develop to bees and take away the other bees to start a new nest 
  • The nectar that is in the middle are different colours because it is from different flowers
  • Only one drone mates with the queen.
  • The queen mates once in her life.
  • Different colour of cell – different flower.
  • The paint on the queen depends on how old she is.
  • Drones don’t do anything but eat the food.
  • Bees eat the nectar and vomits it up, another bee eats it. It keeps going until honey is made.
  • The hive is really clean, you could eat your food out of it.
  • If a new queen is born the queens swarm.
  • Bees dance to communicate. 
Olivia Rose
  • Different coloured pollen depending on the plants
  • The queen will be killed if left for only 2-3 mins
  • The queen bee cells grow on the side of the honeycomb
  • The drone bee cells grow on the centre of the honeycomb
  • I learned that the queen does not control the hive
  • I learned that the different colours of pollen cells can tell you what flower was used.
  • I learned that bees vomit into each others mouths to make honey
  • I learned that they have to destroy the queen cells to make sure no more queens are born.
  • I learned that bees dance to communicate.

Outdoor Learning day June 2024


The first thing we did was Photoblitzer. At it’s core, photoblitzer is a website that Mr. Johnston gave all of us. The web page had a small list of photo ideas, then we had twenty minutes to take pictures going along with the list.


Capture the flag

playing capture the flag

Next we had a game of capture the flag in the playground. This is a new game for the Biggies and went down really well. Lots of running, laughing and thinking.

After our photo blitz challenge we did a game of capture the flag, I had never played it before but it was really fun. Mr. Johnston split us into two teams team red, & team yellow. My group started off as team yellow, my team had me, Olivia, Lexi, Alexia, Rory & Tony. In the first round most of them came sprinting and I tug Juliet, Harry, & then Xander. Team yellow won the first round


Dow’s Wood

After the interval we headed down to Dow’s Wood. We started by searching the wood for new creatures to add to our collection at the Banton Beasties. This is a new site that well will make public soon. We found quite a few interesting ones and a few more got away.

One Beastie was not very welcome. We were attacked by swarms of midges. This made our other activity in the woods more difficult than usual, we stopped to spend some time writing and drawing. It is a credit to the Biggies that they got some done!

In the woods, a thick tree canopy shades mossy rocks. 
In the woods, big blue flys lurk uncatchable. 
In the woods, midges bite continuously and with no mercy. 
In the woods, ferns are everywhere.
In the woods, there is no escape from midges.

King of the Forrest
For he is king of the forest 
He has a centurion of bugs
For he is king of the forest 
There’s a smile on everyone’s mug

For he is king of the forest 
He cares for the children 
For he is king of the forest
He has a crown of ferns 
Placed on by a hern 

The Nature Poem

Deep down in the woods,
Through the lush leafy forest
At the heart of the woodland,
This is how it starts.


Pendulum Painting

We constructed some painting pendulums in the playground in the afternoon. This was messy but fun and gave some interesting results. The next day we took our art, edited it in Snapseed to boost the colours. We then but it on a virtual gallery wall and added ourselves as a visitor.

Natural Sculpture

We have been searching the playground for different creatures, and today had a go at making some of our own.

Inspired by work done in the Biggies in 2018:

And by  A garden alive with art: all-natural insect sculptures 

We searched the playground for natural materials and created these amazing insects.

Earth Day in the Woods

We celebrated Earth Day a little early on Friday last week. We went to Dow’s Wood. We went firstly to see what sort of living creatures we could find. We also spent some time just sitting quietly by ourselves drawing or writing. The idea was to spend some time appreciating the world around us.


A 3x3 montage of creatures found in Banton. A flatwork, a snail, a slug, a millipede, an earthworm, a millipede and a earwig, creatures in a plastic box, a pilot ground beetle, a spider.
We found a variety of invertebrates, in the undergrowth and under logs and rocks.

We are building up a collection of creatures we can see in Banton. We will classify these and find out about their lifecycles.

Drawing & writing

Deep in the heart of the forest, lied an oak tree. This tree however, was
different from all the others. Not tall or with fine bark or posture.
Instead covered with disease.
One of the oldest trees you’d think would be colossal compared to the others, not short and plump, even surrounding trees, far younger, would be taller.
It was widened with deformed bark that form a distance, looked soft and fluffy, however when touched was solid.
At the bottom was kale-green coloured moss, this feature however was ordinary among oaks, unlike deformed bark.


Tae Mother Nature, I like the wee beasties you hide
Tae Mother Nature, I like the wind you blow fae other countries
Tae Mother Nature, I like the moss it’s like a cushion
Tae Mother Nature, make the tree go high and the breeze go low


Architecture Challenge

For our last day of term we had another cardboard creativity challenge.

We had looked at some of the work of architect Frank Gehry, and some new cardboard engineering methods. The Challenge was to make a model building, les than 40cm x 40cm x 40cm. Some were inspired by Mr Gehry some seemed to come from the pupils own imagination.

A video from the start of the process.

And after some progress was made:

The Final Products

Along with some of the planning sheets.

The children showed an amazing amount of creativity. They are also now great at solving problems and not giving up.

Buildings Built

We have finally finished our rather epic Makerspace project.

We started at the start of term, researching famous buildings. The class them picked a building ( a lot of Big Bens) and got into pairs, trios or decided to work by them selves. They them produced a design and planed how they were going to make their models.

A plan for Big Ben

We then had quite a few sessions of building, making, breaking & problem solving. We made some amazing models and learn a lot.

Earlier this week we invited the rest of the school to view our work and to be inspired to make their own models. We had a fun afternoon.

Share our Stem

Today we used the models again on our open classroom morning the parents who attended seemed very impressed.

We also used out ICT & design skills to create posters about the building we were working on. I think the class did a great job of laying out their information & images, we concentrated on alignment, attribution & readability:

Display board with posters created by pupils.

Children’s View

I asked the pupils three questions, here are their answers

  1. The most important thing I learned was to fix the mistakes and always try again and work in a team.
  2. I enjoyed the most painting the building and design the top for Big Ben. I also enjoyed making the clock.
  3. I would make the top I tiny bit different like the design.

I learned that it was the tallest building in the world and it had the fastest speed of elevator. I enjoyed how it was supposed to made out of lots of tubes. I would make the elevator move.

  1. I learned how to fix mistakes when something was not the right size
  2. I really enjoyed painting the building
  3. Ii would change the top a little different in colour

The most important thing I learned was that if you run into a problem you can always find a way to fix it. What I enjoyed the most was working with Faith and Alex because it was really fun and we didn’t blame each other for mistakes. What I would do differently next time is instead of the toppers and bells do a bit of the Palace of Westminster.


1.Durning the making of our Big Ben we learned quite a lot but the most important thing I think I learned wasn’t any of the skills, I think it was that it doesn’t matter who you work with and it doesn’t matter if it goes your way, it’s about the fun and great times you had together that count.

  1. Whilst making Big Ben my favourite part was listening to my partners ideas and using them in different ways or giving them more ideas that improved their first one.
  2. Next time I would maybe think about the design and give other techniques and suggestions a try, I would maybe make a different building and scale it better.
Olivia Rose

I think the most important thing I’ve learned while making our buildings in the makerspace is getting better at scaling and measuring. I really enjoyed making the centre part of the building because there was a lot of measuring and cutting involved. If I could do something differently I would not make a frame for the bottom part.


I learned a lot about making and fixing different thing and solving problems. I did enjoy seeing it being finished and looking good. If I could do anything different I would of made the knex more secure.


The most important thing I have learned was measuring
I enjoyed working with different people that I wouldn’t normally work with
I wouldn’t do anything different


I learned that not every thing you should quit so you keep going and that was a good thing to learn so I learned that I enjoyed making the base because I really enjoyed measuring and checking to see if the length and the width is the correct amount I would make more details and try to make my own clock that moves


I most enjoyed when I had to work out all of the measurements of everything and I enjoyed working out the problems that I had and I learned how to do all of these things and I also learned how to scale thing like these buildings down.


I learned problem solving and I enjoyed making the building and cutting stuff out the thing that I would do different is working with others.

  1. The most important thing that I learned is that if you’ve done something wrong you don’t have to have a temper tantrum you try it again.
  2. I Enjoyed working with my friends and making the net.
  3. Instead of making a 3D bell we made a paper bell.
  1. Working with as a team is fun and useful.
  2. I enjoyed painting
  3. Don’t use frames (unless it’s heavy enough).
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