Today we feature a blog from St Francis of Assisi Primary School in Norwich.  In this, the year 5 students recount their recent visit to How Hill which is an environmental study centre in the Norfolk Broads.

Here are a few of the children’s many comments about what they did and how much they enjoyed it:

1. AJ

One of the activities we did was going on a nature walk with Lizzy, a How Hill staff member.  We walked across marshes and pretended to be a series of animals. We learnt about birds that rarely flew across How Hill marshes.  For example, a Marsh Harrier. In the spring, Lizzy told us, swallowtail butterflies even hover over their marshes!

We also did dyke dipping, which was really fun!  … When we got to the dyke, Sophie explained how to do things properly, like holding the net. After she explained, she let us move on to the real thing. We all dropped our nets into the water and started to try and capture some water creatures.  By the end of dyke dipping, the group I was in had caught: two or three water beetles, a pond skater and lots of other wriggly water animals!  I was amazed by all the creatures we had found!  Others had caught some really cool minibeasts!  I hoped we could do this again because it was fun looking at what was under the murky water.

2. Henry

 The activities that we did were dyke dipping, owl pellets, boat trip, nature walk, thatching, environmental art and orienteering.  … I have learnt how to weave, how to thatch and how to use a compass.  Finally, my favourite activity was dissecting owl pellets because we got to look at animal bones.  We used tweezers and a cocktail stick to get through the fur and to the bones.  Owl pellet dissecting was also hard because you had to clean the bones that you found.  After that we found out what animal we had collected the bones for.

3. S and A

First, we went through marshes and talked about what animals we could find.  We walked through the woodlands and talked about what trees we saw.  When we got to the wetlands, Lizzy told us to jump and see what happened.  When we jumped, the ground started to move and everything around it.  We walked all the way while talking about things we could spot.  When we got to the bird house, we looked at river to see what we could find.

4. VS & KG

On our first day, our first activity was the nature walk. On the nature walk, we went in the marshes and pretended to be different animals that lived in the Broads.  We walked in the wet forest and found silver birch trees and many more.  Eleanor, our How Hill teacher, told us all the different flowers and animals that lived there.  After that, we went to Crome’s Broad to look at the different birds.  We saw a heron and a swan.  …  My favourite activity was the thatching because you got to have the chance to experience what is was like to thatch a roof and because it was really surprising when we were checking if it was waterproof and no one got wet.

5. PZ

I enjoyed the boat trip to Barton Broad!   The trip was calm and also beautiful.   The wildlife surrounded us as we went down the River Ant.   At How Hill I also enjoyed orienteering and weaving.   When we did orienteering we used a compass.  Whilst we were doing orienteering the rain was pouring.   It was like a flood outside! Weaving is like knitting but it isn’t you use something like a rectangular thing.

 6. JC and MG

First, our teacher Sophie told us about dyke dipping and how we can keep the creatures safe.  After that, we ran down the hill as quick as a flash to get our equipment, which was a net, a tray, a spoon, a little tub and a sheet about the creatures that we could find. Then, she brought us to a dyke so we could dip.  On our friend’s Sophia’s first try,  she got a great water boatman, a bloodworm and a snail.  Whilst she was dipping, Michelle and I were getting ready to find out which creatures she would catch. After figuring out what she got, we took a great look of the creatures in a pot. After that, we had to pack up and go to How Hill’s House.

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There’s lots more to read here about an eventful few days of environmental education – with pictures as well.