This week started with a trip to Sussex university to visit the robotics department. This involved a tour of the facilities in which the children got to see some of the research into different materials and design that students undertake, including the design and build for the Formula Student racing car team that particularly galvanised our class. From there, we went on to a small presentation and Q&A with Dr Yanan Li, who discussed what robots were and, more widely, the role of robotics. With some excellent video support he mapped out the future of robots and our relationship with them. He also took questions from our class who where able to engage intelligently, thinking about the impact of robots on our lives in the future.

Next, we went to see some demonstrations of various robots and robotic installations in mass production before meeting the star of the show NAO (pronounced NOW) a 2 ft tall programmable robot who was as cute as he was clever. Our class, I believe, got a lot from the trip including seeing inside a major university for the first time with students only 10 years older than themselves. Many remarked on the size of the university and the fact it was like a small village. The canteen in particular got a special commendation, as it seemed full of “cool young people”.

In Maths we have been working on times tables and multiplication of numbers using the grid method and the more conventional way. In communication we wrote about our trip to Sussex University.

Just a reminder that the first week after the half term it will be the students’ turn to prepare both Book Club and Maths Club. If parents and guardians wish to do some extra work with this over the half term in support can we suggest:

Finally, I’ll leave you with a quote from Luis Ponce, one of the lecturers from Sussex University, “It was really nice to have such clever kids that were very engaged in the tour, talk and demos, and that came well prepared with interesting questions”.