The end of Friday finally arrived and Year 5 set off, backpacks at the ready, to the Herstmonceux Science Centre. The skies cleared and as we arrived we could see the roof of the telescope’s house opening (my sigh of relief could be heard for miles). The children played outside and inside, exploring all the hands-on activities whilst we waited for dark. Mrs Gearey was impressed by their knowledge. There are several large telescopes and we went inside one of the huge domes to learn more about telescopes. The floor moved up and down so that the telescope, which was enormous, could be reached. Mrs Everist said she felt as though she was in an episode of Doctor Who episode!
When we visited another dome, it was amazing. We saw Saturn with its ring and moons, then the telescope was moved and we saw Mars. You could actually see the gas bubbling around it and the area known as the Green Valley where NASA’s Phoenix landed. Sandra from the Science Centre then used her laser to point out some constellations. It was truly fascinating and we were very lucky to get such a clear night. Meanwhile, Mrs Everist, May A and Lorcan G had an extra viewing (they were the last in the queue!) of a blue star and then a double star. WOW!
We left about 8.30pm, put our backpacks back on and marched through the woods in the total darkness with our torches. Great fun! We arrived at camp where Mrs Walker and Mr Arnold had a great fire going and hot chocolate brewing. The children settled into their Teepees. We ate sausage rolls, cookies and marshmallows and did a little more star gazing before eventually going to bed.
The children were very well behaved and the campsite owner said the site had never been left in such a tidy state. High praise indeed. We left the camp to the magical sound of Year 5 singing their special star song by Lin Marsh – thank you for teaching them Mrs Sheppard. It brought tears (of joy) to our eyes.
Thank you to: Year 5, Mrs Everist, Mrs Walker, Mrs Gearey and Mr Arnold for all your help on a really great trip!