Hethersett Old Hall School (HOHS) blog – an independent day school near Norwich, Norfolk.

Girls 3-18 and boys 3-11, boarding for girls from 9

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Year 5’s magic beanstalks!

Before the holidays, we reported that Year 5 had been planting broad bean seeds in the greenhouse – you can see how small they were as they started to shoot.  While they may not really be “magic beanstalks”,  the second picture shows just how much they have grown in just a few short weeks.  Today our gardener, Mr Young,  helped the children plant them out in a raised and prepared bed in our orchard. He showed them how to prepare a hole for each plant and how to remove them carefully from their pots without disturbing the roots. The children have carefully labelled their plants so that we can see whose grows the highest and produces the most beans!

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Year 5 in the greenhouse

In their science lessons recently, Year 5 pupils have been learning about the life cycle of plants. To give them some practical follow-up, Miss Hopwood took the class to Mr Young’s greenhouse where the children helped to pot on some flower seedlings to provide extra colour in our gardens before the end of the summer term.

The pupils also planted some broad beans – that’s what is in the pots they are holding in the picture below. They will be keeping a close eye to see whose grows the biggest!

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How do chameleons change colour? Alia, Sophie and Issy find out…

In our final look at  the science topics chosen by our Year 9 girls for their Bronze CREST awards we see Alia, Sophie and Issy exploring animal adaptations. What changes go on in the cells of a chameleon when it camouflages itself by changing colour? How does a ‘mimic octopus’ know what creature to impersonate to get out of danger, and how does it do it? These and many other questions were explored by the girls, who told me, “We found out so much! It is great to be able to choose your own topic for CREST… we chose this because we all like animals and thought this would be fascinating and have lots of different aspects.” The girls also said they enjoyed working as a team and developing their presentation and research skills.

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Year 2 outdoor science

Year 2 pupils had a great time sorting images of living things in local habitats in science on Tuesday (when the weather was considerably better than today!) We even went outside to explore our own local woodland habitat! The children made some excellent observations.

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Could there really be a zombie apocalypse? Rosamaria, Faith-Marie and Sophie investigate…

Regular readers of our blog will know that we have been looking at Year 9’s exploration of science topics they chose for themselves for their Bronze CREST awards. Rosamaria, Faith-Marie and Sophie decided to look at whether a zombie apocalypse could really happen and what to do to survive one. Now, we know that scientifically, there is no possible way that the dead could spring forth from their graves, but the girls’ research did lead them to some fascinating cannibalism-related facts; for example:

We have all heard of mad cow disease – a neurological brain disorder brought on by feeding cow bone meal back to cows, essentially making them cannibals. “But we found out there is a human disease called Kuru which is basically the same thing but happens to people,” said the girls. Kuru is also known as laughing sickness due to the pathologic bursts of laughter people would display when afflicted with the disease. It is now widely accepted that Kuru was transmitted among members of the Fore tribe of Papua New Guinea via cannibalism – making it the closest thing to the zombie scenario featured in so many popular films.

“Working on the CREST award was interesting because we developed our independent skills and were able to go into things in more depth,” the girls explained.

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Why is chocolate bad for dogs? Caitlin and Rebekah take a look…

Regular readers of our blog will know that we have been looking at Year 9’s exploration of their chosen science topics for the Bronze CREST awards. Caitlin and Rebekah decided to look at chocolate – how it is made and how it affects our brain.

“One of the many things we discovered about chocolate is is that there’s quite a lot of the chemical theobromine in it,” they said, “and that can kill dogs if they have too much of it. Another interesting fact is that chocolate – or, at least, the cocoa bean it is made from –  used to be worshipped as a god by Mayan Indians of Mexico 1500 years ago!”

CREST is a UK award scheme recognising success, building skills and demonstrating personal achievement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) project work.



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Could mermaids be real? Lucy, Mia and Izzy find out…

Year 9’s exploration of science topics of their own choice for their Bronze CREST awards has been fascinating! Lucy, Mia and Izzy set out to see if it might be possible to genetically modify a human to be a mermaid. Their research led them to explore the link between dolphins and mermaids and in particular looked at dolphins’ ability to communicate using echo location.

“The CREST work is great because you get to research your own topic and develop your team skills,” said Lucy, “and if we had unlimited time and resources I would love to test the genetic modification theory!”

CREST is a UK award scheme recognising success, building skills and demonstrating personal achievement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) project work.