Tag Archives: amazing

Snap Science- free primary teaching resources

The Snap Science programme has been designed to cover the new primary science curriculum with enquiry, exploration, investigation and true progression at it’s core. Every lesson is already differentiated and the lessons aim to make challenging concepts meaningful for students.  At £100 a Year Group it’s affordable enough but to check out the kind of resources and ideas that are presented Collins Connect have made the Year 3 – Plants module available here Collins Connect – free primary teaching resources. Being a plant biologist, I like the way they are approaching the topic in a questions based way. What is this for? Are all roots the same? Why are petals different colours? This is in stark contrast to the labelling parts of a plant on a worksheet which I have seen way too often in the primary clas

sroom. There is also a lot of scope to develop child-led investigations out of the lessons and easy to put in different types of enquiry in experiments such as pattern seeking and classification.  See what you think!


MOOCs for Sixth Formers

futurelearn-logoFutureLearn is the UK’s platform for online courses, with more than 50 partner universities and institutions such as the British Museum. Three free online programmes, aimed at helping sixth-formers bridge the gap between school and university, are launching this summer.The university-led “massive open online courses” (MOOCs) will be available on the FutureLearn website.

Sheffield University is providing two courses on applying for jobs and courses and succeeding at interviews.The first includes writing covering letters and personal statements.The second is on interviews, covering how to research organisations, what to wear and how to deal with commonly asked questions.

The third, from the University of East Anglia, includes advice from lecturers and undergraduates on the skills new students will need.This focuses on critical thinking, data analysis and how to sustain a supported argument as well as coping with the university environment.

Courses are free, open-access and can be completed at your own as they are super flexible and lend themselves towards a more relaxed style of learning!

Where do pineapples come from?

A flowering pineapple
A flowering pineapple

I’ve recently been in Kerala, India and one of the most surprising outcomes of my trip was that I learned I didn’t know where pineapples came from, how they grew, what a baby pineapple looked like. This might be surprising to some people but I grew up in Ireland and we don’t exactly have the right climate for pineapple cultivation. Since then, I have asked others (albeit Irish and English people) where they thought pineapples came from and the answer was always the same – “Erm….a pineapple tree?” . So it’s not just me! When I came across this flowering pineapple I was stunned and actually stopped to consider all the questions that I now had about pineapple botany. And there were a lot….

The scientific name for the pineapple plant is Ananas comosusananas coming form the Tupi word for  “excellent fruit” and comosus, “tufted”. The Pineapple – An Excellent Tufted Fruit.

So, no there is no such thing as a pineapple tree but rather they grow on medium-sized shrubs on the ground, surrounded by clumps of sword-shaped leaves. The leaves are evergreen and a grey-green colour with rather sharp saw toothed edges. These leaves grow in rosettes from the base of the plants and can reach 30-100cm. When creating its fruit, it usually produces up to 200 purple or red flowers. Once it flowers, the individual fruits of the flowers join together to create what the pineapple which we know and love.

I have found a great tutorial on how to grow your own pineapple plant at home which I am definitely going to give a go! Just remove the crown and put into water until you roots develop then repot. Seems almost too easy but I’ll report back shortly!