Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Water for Industry: Leaky pipes

This post is by Jane Winter, one of our advisory teachers who works in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.

I have always been a massive fan of teaching outdoors; children are more engaged and motivated and, in my experience, behaviour is much better.  The noise is less intense when not trapped by four walls and, much to the caretaker’s joy, any mess is in the playground instead of on the carpet.  In the current pandemic there is the added benefit of less risk of transmission of Covid-19.  The first half of the autumn term is a particularly good time to use your outdoor space as the weather tends to be at its best; no need for sunscreen or too many outer layers either.

Top tip: Make sure that families know that you will be regularly teaching outdoors and ask them to provide suitable warm clothing.  It may be worth having a supply of spare jumpers and coats (ask for donations of outgrown ones) so that one or two cold children don’t scupper the lesson for everyone.

Although today’s activity can be carried out indoors, it also works very well outside as the equipment is sturdy enough not to be blown away if it is windy.  Moreover, instead of mopping up any spills you can just leave them to evaporate.  This activity is cheap to resource and uses empty food cans which you could ask children to bring from home, although you will need to double check that there are no sharp edges and that the cans have been thoroughly cleaned.  If they have not been adequately sanitised they will also need quarantining for 72 hours.

Full details of the activity, including list of equipment and safety advice can be found in our free resource Water for Industry

The children are asked to test different potential sealants to see which is the best for connecting pipes and preventing leaks.  This is an engaging way for children to work on the Y5 objective ‘give reasons, based on evidence, for the particular use of everyday materials’.  Equally it could be adapted for use with Y2 children who need to ‘identify the suitability of a variety of everyday materials for particular uses’. The activity also gives children the opportunity to practice accurate measuring and making graphs.  Asking them to report their findings to a pipe-line company provides extra motivation and would be a novel way for children to record their findings.

Our Leaky Pipes IndusTRY AT HOME activity is ideal for you to share with families. Why don’t you put a link on your school website?