Investigating Our Soil

Year 5 have recently been on a geography trip to investigate the different layers of our soil in Epping Forest.  Here’s what the children had to say about the experience:


Florence (5B) – Today, my year and me went to Epping Forest to experiment and test soil.  We wore old clothes in case we got dirty (we did).  It was a really nice experience.


Isabelle (5B) – We made our way by minibus and when we got to Queen Elizabeth hunting lodge (the place where we once went on a trip) Olivia (the instructor from the hunting lodge) was.. can you guess? (you probably can) our instructor.  We had gone on a geography trip to talk about the soil and what’s inside it, but it wasn’t long till we (very cautiously and carefully) crossed the road, into the forest with our “science” back-packs that we had been given by our instructor.


Jessica (5N) – We had been split into four or five groups – each group with their own pack-back.  We set off, across the road and into the forest.  Olivia told us what malleable and permeable meant.  Then we opened our back-packs and laid out the mat on the floor, took out a pot containing humus (which is the soil on the top of the earth, a pot of sand, a pot of clay, the filter, the cup, the water, the spoon, the measuring cup and a laminated sheet for us to record our results.  We did an activity using the soil called,  humus – we were testing to see if it was malleable by moulding it into different shapes in our hands.  Then we tested to see if the soil was permeable by placing the filter over the cup, then putting a cup of humus into the paper and shaping it – we poured 30ml of water into the cut and waited for thirty seconds.  We looked to see if the water went through.  We did this again, two more times but we used other materials, sand and clay.


Naya (5B) – The last activity was to build a dam choosing what material we felt was most suitable.  Before that we ran around and enjoyed the forest.  There was a tree that was over 500 years old, and was hollow around the roots, but the tree was still alive.  You could jump into the tree and come out of it.  It was really cool.


Ruby J (5N) – Our second activity was to make a dam out of one of the things that we had been using – soil, sand or clay.  My group chose the clay as it was strong enough to hold the water.  We then all started to mould the clay into the piece of piping that we had been given.  We had to do a presentation of how we made the dam and to see if the water could get through which it didn’t and after that we headed back to the Queen Elizabeth Lodge.


Florence (5B) – In our group we used clay, twigs and grass to build up our dam and luckily the dam held up and so did all the other teams – so to congratulate all of us we gave ourselves a big round of applause.  From these activities I learnt lots of fun soil facts that I never knew and that team work is everything! You could be the best scientist but to test soil it is good to work as a team and also do your tests a few times to make sure that your results are fair.  In my opinion it was really fun and I would definitely recommend it to others.  It was definitely worth getting covered in mud!