Year 3 went to Mop End on Tuesday 5th June. After some hot and humid days, it was a cool, cloudy morning which was perfect for our activities. The children worked in two groups – one studied ‘rocks’ in the morning whilst the other studied ‘soils’ and we swapped in the afternoon so that everyone did all the activities. The children learned about the types of rocks and how they are formed. They used a key to identify different rocks, they tested the rocks for hardness and permeability and finally they suggested how the rocks might be used. They then visited an outside timeline where each footstep represented a million years and it gave a very good visual picture of how long ago many rocks were formed. The soils group completed an investigation as one of the staff at Mop End had stolen a teacher’s lunch. The ‘thief’ had left muddy footprints so the children compared this mud with that from three distinct locations around Mop End. They went out to the meadow, deciduous woodland and a pine forest and dug out the three soils. They rolled each of them into a ‘sausage’ shape and studied the textures and colours. Back in the classroom, the children analysed the three soils by adding them to water; finding the mass after equal amounts of the soil had been dried in an oven; and then putting the soils through a soil sieve to separate out the different sized particles. They could then compare each soil against the muddy footprints and identified Dan, who had been working in the meadow, as the culprit! The day was very informative and great fun (except for Dan!).