We've nailed it!

22nd June 2007 at 01:00
John Gordon-Reid explains how the yuk factor is helping pupils crack the curriculum

The object of our Yuk! day was to ensure the children had a totally memorable experience, engaging all the senses, and were able to, er, digest a lot of information that would be difficult to teach "cold" in a classroom.

We took the whole of Years 3 to 6 out of school to a nearby conference centre for the day, which was structured so that everyone took part in the keynote session, with afternoon workshops organised on a rota.

The keynote session followed the full route of the digestive system and included healthy eating, dental care and diseases.

Large mixing bowls represented staging posts within the digestive tract and a variety of liquids representing saliva, enzymes and acids were added at the appropriate moments and mixed together (enthusiastically, by the children) with bread, sweetcorn and other matter to demonstrate the way food passes through the gut, is digested and how the nutrients are absorbed.

The resultant brown gunge and liquid was finally poured into a plastic carrier bag, the corner was cut and the children witnessed the final exiting of the waste product from the body.

The workshops included one on first aid and emergency care, run by a volunteer team from an army corps, and another on making slime, which allowed pupils to examine chemical reactions and how substances change states.

There was also a workshop on senses, which explored sensory perception, trust, and the difficulties blind or partially sighted people face.

Finally, pupils took part in a session on 3D puzzles from the BBC children's gameshow Raven to help them with their logical thinking and teamwork

John Gordon-Reid is a parent at Chiddingstone Primary School in Kent, who organised Yuk! day.For more help visit: www.sciencemuseum.org.ukeducatorswe_visit_you.aspx

CURRICULUM OBJECTIVES COVERED BY yUK! DAY INCLUDED:

* SC2 "Life process living things common to humans other animals, including nutrition" was the main objective covered by the conference.

* The SC3 section "Materials and their properties" was incorporated into the slime workshop.

* The KS1 SC2 section on study of the senses was recapped in the senses workshop.

* The Raven puzzles and Emergency First Aid workshops were both relevant to PSHE and citizenship.

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