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Autumn 2019

Which field should Mr Hawthorne harvest first?

Today, Otters had to investigate the yield of sugar beet on 8 different fields in Euston. We had to go to a field, dig up 10 sugar beet and weigh them all to find the total weight. The field that had the largest weight of sugar beet is the field that needs to be harvested first! 


The children used column addition to find the total weight on each field; they rounded the total weight to the nearest kg; they placed the weights of sugar beet in descending order and then created a bar graph to represent the results!

Year 6 Farm Visit

L.O: To investigate the production of sugar beet


Hypothesis: How can I produce the most sugar beet in the field?

Otter Class will be comparing two patches of field (stoned and de-stoned); we will be investigating where the best quality sugar beet will grow with the largest quantity. 

Year 5 - The Potatoes Journey 


From Field to robot?!


Following a visit to the School Farm and Country Fair in May 2019, Year 4 won a competition with their very creative entry showing all that they had learned during the Carrot Show.


Fast forward to September 2019 and the now Year 5 Class received their prize - an inside experience following the journey of a potato from field to being loaded on a lorry heading off to restaurants and supermarkets!


It began in a potato field, under the Autumn sunshine. Giles from Abrey Farms told us all about the growth of potatoes. We asked lots of questions, as we have previously learnt all about soil structure and plant growth.



Growing our knowledge with Giles

Year 5 vs George and the Potato Harvester!


The challenge was set! We had 3 minutes to harvest as many potatoes as we can! Deal! With some Squirrel Class teamwork, dividing into groups of: diggers, un-earthers and collectors we were bound to collect bucket-fulls! 

Go, go, go!!

Next it was the turn of George, driving the tractor and the potato harvesters - although they only have one minute! I'm sure they'll never fill a bucket in that time...

Wow!!! Now we can see why the potato harvesters cost so much money! They do an amazing job, swiftly harvesting thousands of potatoes in 1 minute. No wonder Giles told us it was important to repair any breakdowns quickly.


What happens to the potatoes next?


After a quick pit stop for lunch, we followed the potatoes back to their packaging plant at Snetterton.  To make sure that we are all safe in the packaging plant, we had to wear a high visibility vest and a hair net to ensure that our potatoes remain field fresh.


After our safety briefing and hand-washing we went into a large building and saw our potatoes tipped into the end of a HUGE machine called a grader. The grader josstles the potatoes along a giant sieve, which sorts the potatoes according to their size. We watched forklift trucks come along and lift the full wooden boxes of different sized potatoes, and transport them to the next bay, ready for the journey to continue...

The final part of our potatoes journey. First they go through a washer and come out looking sparkly and clean! Here there are more rejects as you can see any blemishes or bumps much clearer. After being cleaned they are very cleverly tipped into 10 different cups, then a combination of the cups tip out the desired weight - 10kg in the case of the packing line we were observing.  

There is a special machine that makes up the boxes and pushes them out ready for the potatoes to be tipped into. (Mrs Arnold was a little dismayed at this, a very long time ago she had a student job making up carrot boxes for 1p per box!)

After being tipped into the box and taped up and labelled with the field name the boxes have a little journey along a conveyor belt until... A ROBOT PICKS THEM UP!


After the robot has expertly stacked the pallet with the boxes, the pallet is rotated and wrapped at the same time to prevent our potatoes from falling at the final hurdle.

Then they are loaded into a lorry ready to begin their journey, perhaps to a London restaurant or a supermarket near you!


The information that surprised us the most was that the rejected potatoes were used to generate electricity! We may have carry out our own investigations back in school!





We all had a fantastic time on Thursday with Mr Hawthorne on the farm!

We started our investigation by exploring what we eat that has sugar in it.

We found it very strange that a ginormous sugar beet that grows in the ground helps to make our favourite sweets!


After sharing our ideas on how the sugar beet was transformed into haribo, Mr Hawthorne answered lots of our questions and we made our way to the tractor at the back of the field! We couldn’t wait to jump on board!

The new trailer was fantastic, we had comfy seats and a great view!


After passing piglets, cows and chickens on our tractor ride in, we tiptoed just like field mice into the sugar beet field to start exploring…


Once we got there, Miss Potter showed us how to pull a sugar beet out of the ground and Mr Hawthorne explained how the machines did the same thing, whilst pulling off all of the leaves! We then had a try!


We are using the sugar beet that we collected, in our learning next week.

We can’t wait to visit the farm again! Thank you Mr Hawthorne.





Into the Forest...


Badgers have been reading the book ‘Into the Forest’ By Anthony Browne. This is the story of a little boy’s journey into the forest to find his dad. The little boy has been sent to his Grandma’s house to take a cake because she is poorly. For the first time ever the boy chooses to go the short way and go into the forest. The boy sees lots of unusual objects throughout the forest and speaks to strange characters. 

We were lucky enough to get to go on our own trip into the Forest. Mr Hawthorne taught us all about the canopy, forest floor, age of the trees, uses of the woodland and how the woodland makes the farm a profit. We even took time to listen to the sounds and spot things we wouldn’t normally see. 

When we came back to school we wrote a recount about our trip. We used this knowledge to help us step into the boy’s shoes and write a recount of his journey.