All posts by Ellen Seago

The Story of Mr Story’s Bridge Challenge!


On Monday , a man called Mr Story came to our school to give us an engineering challenge. Mr Story works for a company which makes bridges as well as railways and houses. They had a real life bridge problem after Christmas. A bridge in Cumbria was washed away by a flood and they had to quickly make a replacement bridge.  They had to build a ‘push out’ bridge, like a Bailey bridge because the water flowed too fast to make a pier and there was no room for a crane.

They had to use their brains and find a solution. Mr Story wanted to see what ideas we would come up with if we had a similar challenge! We had to try to build the strongest and cheapest bridge we could.

We worked in groups of about 5 and to make our bridges we used lolly sticks, blue tac, tape and string. These were our basic materials. We had the opportunity to buy more things but we only had a £100 budget. We had to spend it wisely! Our bridges had to cross a gap of 30cm and they had to push out over the space, we weren’t allowed to just place them down.

The bridges were tested on strength by putting eggs on and counting how many they could hold. We counted how much money we had left at the end to see which bridge was they cheapest.

What we learned about bridge building and engineering:

  • engineering is used in many building circumstances.
  • bridges can be weak in the middle so you have to put lots of weight at the back of the bridge.
  • the strongest bridges can use less materials as long as they are used well.
  • the strongest shape for a bridge is a triangle.
  • when you are working in a group you have to communicate because if you don’t then no one will know what they are meant to be doing and no one will be able to check if it is right, because no one will know!
  • If you leave everyone else to do the work and don’t take part then you won’t be as successful and your bridge won’t work.
  • You need to work together to make sure everyone has a job and doesn’t get left out.
  • this challenge taught us what the terms balance, tension, suspension and stabilised mean.

Stenton Primary experience engineering at the fantastic Queensferry Crossing and Falkirk Wheel

Last Wednesday the whole school went on a trip to learn more about bridges and Scottish landmarks. We visited Queensferry Crossing and the Falkirk Wheel.

While we were at the education centre for the bridges we got to design and build our own towers, see and learn about all three bridges and dress up in the safety equipment that the engineers use. We had to be good at communicating in our groups, sharing and trying our design ideas and carry out different jobs.




The Falkirk Wheel was amazing because we got to go round and up 25m in a boat and travel along part of the canal. We could see the Kelpies from the boat!


This week’s wonderful writing!

Over the last three weeks we have been developing our skills in writing  a setting for a story. This has been quite tricky because we weren’t allowed to write a whole story and we couldn’t include  any characters!

Isla: We had different cards in a dice and when we rolled them it told us what to write about. One had places and the other told us our atmosphere or feeling we had to make.


*  – We used some great ‘WOW’ words in our settings this week. Casey

*  – We set good atmospheres by using similes and long and short sentences. Olivia

*  – We used finger spaces, very good punctuation and handwriting. Brooke, Annika, Keira

wish – We need to work on making sure we remember where or what we are writing about. We could write a little more next time and think about the spelling rules and tricky words we have practiced to improve our spelling in our writing


This week we did our best effort so far! Click on a name to have a read of our amazing, fantastic settings.













Our First Forest Schools Trip

I really liked making the skeleton out of sticks, leaves and rocks. I learnt where to look for different things. (Elis)

We learned how to be safe around a campfire so that next week we can have a real fire. I think Forest Schools is brilliant because I enjoyed collecting sticks, berries and leaves to make potions! (Isla)

I was feeling a little bit nervous before we left but when I got there it was actually very good fun. I liked drinking the hot chocolate the most! (Sofia)

It was great to go around and explore. We collected sticks for the bonfire next week and we learned you have to have different sized sticks for a fire and they must be dry. (Connie)

When we collected the sticks for our mini-bonfire we found that some of the sticks were in different letter shapes. We thought we could use these to help us practice our spelling! (Olivia)

I liked when we got to make the potions and imagine something they could turn us into. It helped us be imaginative and we could maybe write a story using our ideas. (Keira)

I feel like I want to do it again because I really loved being outside and getting hot chocolate. (Max)

We’re Wild About the Wild About Scotland Bus!

Yesterday  the Wild About Scotland bus came to visit our school. The people who came are from Edinburgh Zoo and other animal centres in Scotland. They go round to schools and teach children about Scottish animals.


First we went on a ‘Minibeast’ hunt and we found lots of ‘Minibeasts’. We used nets and sheets to gather Minibeasts from trees, grass and flowers.  We also searched in our ‘Minibeast Hotel’!

Isla and Annika

We took the Minibeasts inside the bus and looked at them really closely with magnifying pots and magnifying lenses. We found out what they were and learned what they do for us in the garden. We learned that worms help to make the soil more nutritious and this helps the plants to grow.

Connie, Sofia, Max and Keira

At the end of the workshop we went up onto the top-deck and we looked at different animals that live in Scotland, one of which was a seal. We only saw the model of it’s skull but we learned that they have eyes about the same size as your fist!