Pet Apps

Please watch the video below and answer the following questions:

  • How does it work?
  • What would the Petzi box in your home look like? What does it need inside it?
  • What could possibly go wrong with Petzi?
  • Does this inspire you to invent anything similar?

When you’ve answered the questions above, have a look at the app below. What do you think of this? Would you want to have have the cleverest dog in the world?

“The Cloud”


Think about Petzi app (we all love this!) and think about how it works. I think it has a treat dispenser machine, a webcam and a speaker in your home, all connected to the internet via your home router. Then, when you are at work or school, you can use the Petzi app on your iPhone to connect to the internet via your work’s or your school’s router. What do you think?

When we looked at this before, we thought that your home router and your school router must speak to each other via “The Cloud”, but we didn’t discuss what “The Cloud” is! You may have heard of The Cloud in connection with iCloud or Dropbox or Google Drive.

I did a quick picture of how I think Petzi connects via The Cloud:


So, some questions for you to answer:

  • What do you think The Cloud means?
  • What actually is The Cloud?
  • Where is The Cloud?
  • What are the good and bad things about The Cloud?
  • What data do you think Petzi collects?
  • Do you think you could “draw” Petzi, label the sensors etc?
  • What else could you design using the ideas from Petzi?


What is Technology?

MCMLightbulb (1)Last year I did a little project with reception class called “What is Technology?”. The children are only 4 and they know so much already!

I had to think quite hard about what I understood by the word Technology. What do you think it means? Are there different categories of technology?

I went to an exhibition at The Serpentine Gallery (in Hyde Park), of paintings by the artist Michael Craig-Martin. This exhibition includes his paintings from 1981 to 2015, looking at technology; laptops, games consoles, black-and-white televisions and light bulbs – the differences in the pictures demonstrates how technology has changed over this period. You can see more here.

Two of his larger paintings are shown below

  • What items of technology can you see?
  • Can you describe their function?

mcm_biding_time_magenta_2004 (1)



Chirpy, chirpy, cheep, cheep!

Mr Hovell has kindly been in and set up a webcam so we can see the eggs/ chicks from home. Click on the picture below to see the chicks live! Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


(When you click it may download something to your computer at the bottom left on the screen. It will be called 3152067live.asx . You may need to click on it & choose Media Player to open it like we showed you to in class)

Unfortunately, this link won’t work on Apple devices  – we will look for an alternative next time!

Food Art


This week at the Tate Britain we saw lots of art created from food or inspired by food. Above you can see the “Bed.” it is a bed made from bread coated in paraffin. It was interesting that some children thought it represented safety because, although it was mouldy, it looked comfortable. We also spotted art created from lots of oranges arranged in a particular way. We spent some time looking at “The Snack Bar” by Edward Burra and were curious about the cafe they were in and what they were thinking whilst eating or cutting ham. 

I thought it would be great to see how we could use food to create art. We could link this with our work about how immigration to London and the UK has changed our food culture. 

What are your ideas for art inspired by food? How could you use food to create something that others will want to find out more about? What food would you use? 

Share your ideas. We will choose some of them to create in class. 

Maths Homework – 20.5.16

Here are some links to maths games that I would like you to play. They will help you with our learning about fractions, decimals and percentages.

When you have had a go at the activities leave a comment to share what you think you  did well and what you found tricky. 


Melanie & Tunde!

We were very lucky  to welcome two special visitors to school yesterday. We first met Melanie when we took part in I’m An Engineer Get Me Outta Here as part of our school STEM week. Melanie & Tunde are engineers who work for HSSMI (High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute!). They work with augmented reality technology and robotics to develop improvements for industries eg car building. We had such fun learning about their jobs and asking them about how the computing technologies we learn about are used in the real world. They also helped us to develop our bin designs – many improvements!

They told us about their careers – they are both engineers, studying PhD’s. Tunde is a “mechatronic engineer”, which he explained is a combination of mechanical and electronic engineering. They research ways to improve processes and solve problems. As well as how things work, they have to consider things about how their inventions may affect people’s lives – such as safeguarding their data and privacy. Engineers work in many areas – chemical engineers may design cosmetics, engineers design life-saving & life-improving medical equipment such as baby incubators and artificial limbs, civil engineers design bridges & software engineers write programs. If you’re interested in a career in engineering, click here or here. There is an event here that might also interest you. There are some lovely Wallace & Gromit engineering challenges here – I think you’ll enjoy them.(It took me a while to work out what to do but I think you’ll get there a bit quicker than me!)

We were really motivated by this visit and school is really buzzing today.


Augmented reality blurs the line between what’s real and what’s computer-generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and smell. Augmented reality is closer to the real world than virtual reality – it adds graphics, sounds, haptic feedback and smell to the natural world as it exists.

Melanie & Tunde showed us two Augmented Reality examples – Chromville & Leap Motion:



Chromville is a free app that makes your drawings come to life and lets you interact with them. You need to visit the Chromville website to find the colouring sheets and to download the app (there is a version for ios and for Android/ Google).

Leap motion

Leap motion is a small, USB pad that senses your hands and replicates them on the computer screen. You can then try to build using your virtual hands, controlled by your real hands! Melanie & Tunde brought one in for us to play with:


Can you think of some useful applications for this in the real world?

Learn more by watching the video below:

(Thanks to lots of people on Twitter for recommending links for this post – @cambselearning @TheIET @gamesbritannia )