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


Biggies in the Rain!

The Biggies took part in the school outdoor learning day yesterday. The weather was unrelentingly wet! We got on our waterproofs and took part in a full program.

We started by preparing a fire and making some sticks to toast marshmallows. Next we worked on our maths making circle paterns in the playground.
after the interval we got the fire goign and helped our wee pals from Primary !-2 to make s’mores.

After lunch we cleaned up the Bee Cafes and cut and planted some willow whips.

I really liked yesterday it was really fun . I liked the fire pit with the p1,2s and planting the wild flowers I did not like how wet it was because we had to draw circles with a piece of string.


I thought it was really fun but soaking wet. I loved the fire pit and the marshmallow. I liked playing the games with the little ones I had so much fun. It was fun watching matheo eat his s’mores like he does with his sandwich. I didn’t necessarily liked making the circles it was challenging but instead I made a monkey with Lexi.


Yesterday was a fun and exciting day, our class got split up and we taught the wee ones how to make s’mores safely, we partnered up and used home made compasses to draw circles and we done some gardening, I enjoyed planting the wildflowers and I also enjoyed the fire pit, I enjoyed leading games with my peers and I enjoyed explaining the games to the wee ones. Yesterday I think I used the skills, Leadership, Communication, Planning and Organising and much more. I liked being outside for the day and it was really fun to do those different activities all day, outside.


I enjoyed everything. Apart from the tired legs and soaking things of course. Another thing I didn’t enjoy about is the fact I couldn’t finish the gigantic circle. But I feel brilliant about the good comments of the dry s’mores we roasted over the fire.
The planting was very enjoyable, especially the bug saving. I found an adorable centipede. I hope the willows grow nicely.


I Liked doing games with the wee ones & making s’mores with them. I Also liked spending time with them, planting the willow trees was a little hard because of the shovel but I liked it. I Really liked making the wild flower beds with Alex & Lexi I thought it was really fun. I liked being partners with Faith for the circle art and the rest of the day!


Outdoor Learning Day

The day started with a touch of frost. Despite this we tackled the Bee hotel wild flower beds. These have become full of grass with no flowers. We have dug out the grass, and will cover them up over the winter. in spring we will seed some more will flowers. We added some sand to make the soli a bit less rich and covered them which will hopefully kill any remains grass to make room for the flowers.

Camera Stand challenge

We feed the birds in the playground and have a NatureWatch camera to take photos of our visitors. The class were challenged to make a better camera stand, that could be adjustable and move around on a tricky slope.

Naturewatch camera on tripod
Naturewatch camera on tripod

Estimating Weight

Next we worked on some estimating weight for maths. Everybody got a small contained and filled it with sand. They then weighed their own box but did not tell anyone else. The children then estimated all of each other boxes. We will calculate the best estimator when we are doing some inside maths. There are some accurate estimates.

Photos & Poems

In the afternoon we took our iPads out to catch some photos of the winter light, it was a lovely bright, but cold day. We also wrote some haiku inspired by the season.

child in playground taking photo
child in playground taking photo


We ended the day reading our haiku round the fire pit and finishing off with some marshmallows s’mores.

Children round a fire toasting marshmallows.

Autumn Haiku

After reading Write Out: Gathering Sensory Details for Haiku on Kevin’s blog I though we could join in. We are a little late for Write Out which inspired this, on holiday last week.

We watched the video embedded on Kevin’s blog and looked at his classes examples. Then we went out into the playground. A cold breeze and some drizzle did stop the Biggies gathering words. Back inside we polished these a little.

A walk around High Banton

On Tuesday, as part of out outdoor learning day, the Biggies had a walk around High Banton. We are studying the way people lived in Banton in the past so went to look at the houses and landscape.

First we had to get our selves kitted out with wellies and water proofing because it would be very muddy and wet at the bit that we would be going to. It was all the way up at drum Nessie farm in High Banton. We started by turning right at the end of the school. Road and then you fallow the road up to the cattery that is at the top of the road and then we saw what looked like a 19th century house and it had been done up it looked amazing.

Going through the cow field

Through the mud. A group of children walking through a muddy field

First we were tasked with a problem we had to go through a field full of cows. And that was the only way through so we had to we started by climbing over the gate but then we realised that the cows were all the way over at the other side of the field so we were fine.


Next we saw a garage that could have been a old house because it was built of rocks. …

We came out at the swan and got a picture of that because it first opened in 1853. Across the road from the swan there was a house that was built in 1811. We know that because it was engraved on the stone above the door.

Rebuilt 1854
Banton Mill
Banton Mill

We then went down one of the roads out of Banton to the mill and took some pictures of it. The mill is really old and was opened in 1836 which is about 200 years ago. When we were coming back we saw the old police house that is just a normal house now but use to be the old police station for Banton. Then we were on the road the school is on and we got a picture of the newest house in Banton that was only finished this year.

In conclusion I really enjoyed the walk and it was nice to see the old houses and buildings in person and not on a screen. I was also nice to walk about and and see the old houses that people would have lived in a long time ago and still do. I didn’t really like all the muddy puddles but other than that I loved it.

A satellite map of our walk.

In school 

When we had went back to school and we looked at all the pictures and we thought of where the were and cut the pictures that Mr J had taken and a map that he printed. We stuck the map on to a sheet of a paper and the the picture’s around the map. We had drawn lines to where the places were and if we knew the name of the place we wrote that and like The Swan and when it was made 1815.

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