Balderstone Primary School

British Science Week 2021 case study


Q&A with Sian Riddell, a teacher at Balderstone Primary School

Tell us about your school

Balderstone Primary is a small rural school with 120 pupils.  Although rural, many of our children come from outside of the immediate catchment area and live in Blackburn. We have a low amount of Pupil Premium children and a high percentage of children from ethnic minorities.

What event did you run with the British Science Week Grant? How did you use the funding?

Our event was called “Balderstone Goes Green”, and our aim was to increase the biodiversity within our playground area and grounds. The children had some input into the activities they would like to be involved in and the grant money spent accordingly.

Early years children took part in planting beans, herbs, lettuce and flowers. Pupils in years one and two created rainbow planters using tyres and planted beans to watch them grow. They also discussed and planted a range of seeds for vegetables.

Pupils in years three and four learned about habitats by making bug hotels from log piles. They planted wildflowers, seeds for vegetables and strawberry plants. Year five children designed and built polytunnels to plant fruit and vegetables. Year six pupils planted herbs, including lavender for wellbeing, learned about plant reproduction, constructed a bird table, and designed and made their own bird feeding stations.

What was the lasting impact of your British Science Week events?

The children will continue to look after their planting and habitat areas. Habitat areas on the playground will hopefully result in more bug hunting at playtimes etc. In watching the plants and seeds grow, the children will become more aware of the world around them.

Most importantly, it has given everyone in school, teachers, headteacher and the children, the confidence to be outside no matter what the weather. As a welcome back to school after lockdown, this gave a great sense of wellbeing, a freedom for the children to explore outside, making it a safer environment and a wonderful chance to make the children feel secure back at school. Smiles all round!

What tips or advice would you give to schools thinking of applying for a Kick Start Grant for British Science Week in 2022?

Involve the children and staff. My colleagues have been amazing in getting onboard. They know their classes best and what works for them. By asking the children their ideas, this generated a buzz that made the week. Give ideas, resources links and be there to support but leave some space for everyone to make their mark on the week.

When spending the grant money, buy in bulk for resources, for example compost.

Speak to local people, they will help! A local gardener delivered lots of fantastic logs for habitats and a nursery owner delivered the compost I couldn’t have fitted in my car! They want to help.


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