Video: Mr Hartley helps Kingfishers’ lesson go with a bang!

Willow Lodge was delighted to welcome Mr Hartley to class recently, where he helped to ignite pupils’ interest in their current project.

Kingfishers Class have been exploring themes around the topic of monsters, magic and mystery and decided to investigate the ‘mysterious’ science of volcanoes. Working alongside class teacher Mrs Moffatt, the children built their very own volcano and attempted to recreate an eruption in an experiment involving baking powder, vinegar and a dash of red paint!

Inspired by his recent lessons, pupil James Evans created his own fact cards and built a separate volcano at home to bring into school, meaning Kingfishers Class, and Mr Hartley, had double the fun. 

Mr Hartley, who read geography at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and completed an MSc in Environmental Science at Imperial College, London, took a keen interest in the lesson and was invited by the children to add the ‘magic ingredient’ to make the experiment go with a bang.

He said: “As a geologist myself, I was delighted to see how curious and engaged the children were in the experiment and how much they had already learned about the basic science of volcanoes. This kind of active, hands-on learning is crucial in igniting a love of science at a young age and is at the heart of so many of our infant lessons.”

The children also had the opportunity to hold volcanic rock from Mount Vesuvius, thanks to classmate Yusuf Razaq. Yusuf and his family climbed the volcano in Campania, Italy, whilst on holiday and were able to bring home the fascinating rocks. 

The project has covered volcanoes’ ventilation systems; the difference between magna and lava; their different lifetimes and the layers between the crust and core of the Earth.