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Year 4 Visit Minstead Study Centre

On Monday 8th May, Year 4 visited Minstead Study Centre for the day, to take part in a variety of activities to support their learning in science. This term’s topic is All Living Things and we are focussing on the variety of organisms that can be found within different habitats. The children all enjoyed a range of hands-on activities, including a woodland minibeast hunt, stream dipping and looking at different habitats for larger animals, including humans. They discussed some of the changes that can affect environments and the good and bad effects these can have on different habitats. This has also linked to work in geography this term on water pollution.

See the children's accounts of the visit below...

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Children's Accounts

We went out in groups and took a tray with boxes in. Then we went into the forest and looked under logs and dug holes in the ground with a spoon. We found some minibeasts and put them in a magnifying pot to look at them close up. Then we had to classify them and see what group they were in. When we had all finished we went back together and picked an animal and told everyone about it and where we found it. The most common animal there was the violet ground beetle. Nearly everyone found one. They are called violet ground beetles because they are a bluey-purple colour and they are mostly hidden under logs. We learned that all different creatures can live somewhere where they have what they need and it makes them feel safe, away from danger.

Lily E


We discussed causes that make changes to the environment. We found out that cutting down trees, setting fires to trees and shooting deer can be good things but that polluting the air isn’t. We learned that tiny causes can make huge changes. We used chalk to draw some of the good and bad things on the ground.



In stream dipping, we found lots of minibeasts and we had trays in which we put water, water plants and rocks and we had nets to catch the creatures. We also had a classification key which is used to identify the water creatures. We had lots of fun and some parts of the stream were very deep so the water went up to the top of our wellies! We learned that some creatures can blend in with their surroundings and this is called camouflaging. I learned about a new creature called a mayfly nymph. If we put rubbish in the water we can harm creatures in the water, like when people put plastic bags in the water and some creatures think the plastic bags are food and eat them. When a dead whale was cut open inside it there were about 150 plastic bags. These plastic bags can kill the water creatures and also pollution from factories can harm them or even kill them so we must make sure we don’t throw rubbish in the water.



We went to see the bigger habitats at Minstead. First, we looked at the chickens; they were not in their natural habitat. They had to be locked in a chicken pen at night. Next, we went to see the human habitat. They were in their natural habitat because they were in houses with dormitories that they slept in. Then we went to see the sheep’s habitat. They were also in their natural habitat because they were in the grassland where they could run around and sleep. We fed the sheep ivy leaves because they love ivy leaves. My favourite sheep was called Barbara. Lastly, we saw the bee habitat. They were not in their natural habitat because the beehives were man-made. I learned that there are lots of different habitats with different things living there.



My favourite habitat at Minstead was looking at the habitats because it was very interesting.  I liked looking at the sheep habitat and touching the sheep, and the chicken habitat and seeing the eggs.  And I loved going inside the human habitat and looking at the bee habitat.  It was great fun.
Joe S
I enjoyed stream dipping and searching for the creatures that live in the habitat.  There were a lot of creatures that I’d never heard of like the mayfly nymph. I also enjoyed looking for minibeasts and we found a lot of insects.  One group found a toad!  There were a lot of woodlice.  
Anu B
My favourite activity was the stream dipping.  We got our nets and started to move rocks and catch creatures.  Most of us went in the deep end.  There were lots of different organisms.  We found most of them in the deep end.  We used classification charts to find out what the animal was.
Lily F
Published on 08/05/2017