Assembly: Tim Peake is coming home to earth

This coming Saturday, the 18th of June, British astronaut Tim Peake is coming home to earth after his half-year mission aboard the International Space Station.

This is the presentation I’ll give at Assembly today. There is an absolute TON of resources around Tim Peake’s mission on the Principia website. I trawl it constantly for good ideas, so please don’t hesitate to set me to work to find something that connects nicely with a curriculum topic you are currently teaching.
Here is a short clip on Tim Peake’s “dizziness experiment”, which is quite interesting. And this is the clip from the most recent Soyuz landing, when Tim Peake’s colleague Scott Kelly landed after ONE YEAR in space.
If you fancy a bit of a Geography challenge, his Flickr feed is here:
On Monday I’ll circulate the clip of him landing on earth, which will be broadcast here on ESA, if you’d like to share that with your class.

Assembly: First British Astronaut on the ISS

This week I’m giving a guest presentation at the daily school Assembly, to share with the pupils some exciting news – the first British Astronaut on the International Space Station! (The first Briton in space was Astronaut Helen Sharman, who flew on the Soyuz to the Mir Space Station in 1991)

On Wednesday the 15th of December, 2015, Astronaut Tim Peake will be taking a Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station along with two others. The name of his Mission is Principia, and he will be carrying out 30 science experiments during his 6 months on board the Station.

This is the presentation I will be giving at Assembly:

The version with notes to the slides can be found here:

If you have some classroom time to learn a bit more about Tim Peak, the Principia Mission, and the International Space Station. Here are some more resources below.

Where is the ISS?

Take a look at where the ISS is at this very moment!

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Why is it important that we work together?

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How do you become an Astronaut?

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What is Life on the ISS like?

Here are a range of videos about life on board the International Space Station:


How do you train to become an astronaut?

Here are some videos about the training that Tim Peake went through to prepare him for being an Astronaut on the ISS:

Here is more information about Tim’s Mission:


Other Resources

ISS Primary Education Activity Kit:

Some other videos about Astronaut Tim Peak from the BBC:

National STEM Centre Resources for the Principia Mission:

Lesson 45: Charles Darwin

Snack & Chat

The Year 2 class has been learning about Charles Darwin, and played a fun game together on the whiteboard during class time. Now it’s your chance to play the full game on your own!

Computer Time



Want to try your hand sailing a Tall Ship, just like the H.M.S. Beagle around the world, to collect some flags? Give this game a try, and use your arrows to steer and navigate around the world:

tall ships


Want to learn more about the Scientific Discovery that Charles Darwin made? Here’s a little game you can play about Natural Selection. There’s a Survival game for you to play there too, to try your own hand at Natural Selection!!

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Lesson 44: Halloween Fun

For our last club before the mid-term break, I thought it would be fun to play some Halloween games.


We’ve been talking about Cultures around the World this week in school, if you’d like to do some more exploring during the school holidays – here is a wonderful game for you to play.

In this game, you are helping the Curator of the Museum to collect some wonderful objects from around the world to display in the Museum. You only have a few days to collect as much as you can though, so plan your trip well!

culture quest

Lesson 43: Fun at the Zoo

Snack & Chat

The Form 2 class have been studying the topic Around the World, and yesterday they went to the Zoo to see animals from all around the world!

What animals did you see? Did you have a favourite?

Computer Time

Let’s see what the life of a Tiger might be like, with this Tiger Territory game – there are 12 different achievements for you to unlock.

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If you love elephants, find out more about how they evolved from the wooly mammoth, and what they skills they use.

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Do you have the sharp eyes of an explorer? See how many of these camouflaged animals you can spot!

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If you’re feeling creative, you can make a postcard about your trip and send it from the Zoo!

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Do you know your animals? Let’s see how many of them you can recognise from their patterns.

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Keep it cool, with some Polar Bear Games

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Year 2 Topic: Around the World – WildCam Gorongosa


I’m visiting the Year 2 classroom today, as they learn about the world around them, and about animals – to do a Science Project together on the computer!

We’re going to visit the country of Mozambique in Africa, to help a group of scientists tracking wildlife at the Gorongosa National Park.

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  • What Continent is this?
  • Where is Mozambique
  • What Ocean is off the coast of Mozambique.
  • This is where we are going today – to Gorongosa National Park, to work together with some scientists using our computers!

We’re going to be helping a group of scientists see how the wild animals who live in this park are doing, after years of war when soldiers were in this park and hunting the animals for food. Now the war is over and it is protected again – but how are the animals doing?

How do you think that scientists can study these animals, when the park is so very very large, and much of it is hard to reach?

Let’s find out more about the kinds of animals that are living here.

So how can you and I help these scientists from our computers?

We’re going to take a look at these photos, one at a time, and tell the scientists what animal we see there!

I will need your teacher’s help in grouping each of you in partners in the Computer Room.

One of you will have a list of animals on your computer screen, with their names, and some information about them if you click on the picture.

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The other partner will have the WildCam Gorongosa Science Project open, and together you will be looking at a photo, and helping to identify what animal it is.


We have the afternoon together, so let’s see how many animals we can identify and work together with Scientists. YOU are doing real science!!

If we’ve got some time later in the day for a 10 minute video, we can see some more of the park and take a look at more of the animals who live there.


Lesson 42: Maps & Where we live

Snack & Chat

Lets talk about some of the amazing things that Computers enable us to do. The Year 2 class are learning about the world in their “All around the World” topic this term, and we’ve got a great way to explore the world right on our computers.

We have maps on our computers! And not just the kind that you unfold on paper, but we have maps with pictures of where we live. Today we are going to have a look at Google Maps during our Computer time, and I’d like to tell you how these maps were built.


This is a car with a very good camera on top of it, that takes photos on four sides at once. These photos are matched against information about where that car is driving, and are woven together on a “Google Street View” map. Take a look at one of the places that a car like that has driven!! Do you recognise it?

school on street view map

But there is also a way of looking at the map called “Google Earth”, which is photos from much higher up. Here is what a Google Engineer said about how these maps are made:  “Most people are surprised to learn that we have more than one source for our imagery. We collect it via airplane and satellite, but also just about any way you can imagine getting a camera above the Earth’s surface: hot air balloons, model airplanes – even kites.”

It’s pretty complicated to weave all of those pictures together in a way that looks smooth, and doesn’t make you dizzy when you’re looking at it. The people that do this work are computer scientists.

Here’s an example of a map image taken from the air. Do you recognise it?


Computer Time

Now it’s your turn to explore these maps. Click on any of the two map images above, and take a look around your world! Do you find anything funny or surprising? Can you find your way home?