Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Look at these beasts....

Close up of a freshwater louse
Miss Barnes year 5 class at Ashton Gate primary have also sent contributions to the blog so I'm going to let them tell you all about their pond dipping experience yesterday.

Damselfly nymph
'We have been lucky enough to do this project trout and about with Julie who is from The Avon Wildlife Trust. We are not the only school doing this, many others are too. Over the past few weeks, we have been keeping trout eggs in the other classroom which we visit regularly. Just recently a few of the eggs hatched into aleviens which is the first stage of a fish’s life. Some of our eggs haven’t survived. Once the eggs die they turn from bright orange to white and opaque. We must remove once this happens as not to infect healthy eggs. The eggs are not supposed to all survive so we are not too disappointed or upset.
Midge larva also known as a bloodworm
Yesterday we went pond-dipping in our school pond to find out more about the wildlife in our environment. We found many interesting things like newts and leeches. We were in small groups and we had a microscope each to study these fine creatures. When we looked at them close up we could see fine detail that defies the eye. We took several indoors so we could all take a very close look. We saw a freshwater louse, a rather sickening blood worm and a damselfly in a shield of leaves and mud to protect it from hungry carnivores. We all found them very fascinating (though some of us with weaker stomach felt a bit sick!) and wanted to still study them the next day.
On the last week of our project we will take a bus down to Chew Valley Lake to release our fully-grown trout. We will wish them much luck with the rest of their life.'

Wow! Great news....

Ashton Gate primary school have sent further updates on their Trout and About project. Things are starting to happen in the cool waters of the classroom fishtank........

Monday 23rd February 2013

Sadly more trout eggs died. Julie came and worked with us and we went pond dipping! We found an egg right at the bottom of the fish tank, and we were all surprised. When we went pond dipping we found Back Swimmers, Fresh water shrimps and even more! It was cool and we had fun!

Tuesday 26th February 2013

We have really, really good news! Today, when we looked in the tank, we found two alevins! But sadly even more eggs died. The eggs are so famous now they’ve been in the paper! 5B came to visit the trout eggs and were very excited when they realised that two had hatched. Our alevins have been hiding with the eggs in the hope that we haven’t noticed them but, of course, we have definitely noticed them. James Pond is still alive and all we can do is hope that the rest will make it. 

See if you can spot the alevins below!

This morning I noticed that we had some alevins too at the Avon Wildlife Trust office. I think I was as excited as the students at Ashton Gate primary school! Yesterday when we explored the school pond at Ashton Gate we found a male smooth newt looking rather splendid with his full crest along his back and tail. Students logged key biological indicators to assess if the pond was healthy or not. Some found it to be quite healthy and some found it to be very healthy which was a very good sign considering it's still February.

Tomorrow I'm off to Parson Street primary school to investigate a local stream with Year 5 students. Here's hoping it's a nice sunny day!
I've also posted some amazing drawings on our Flickr account that pupils from parson Street did last week. Take a look and see if you can recognise the key adaptations that help trout to live in a freshwater habitat.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Today's guest bloggers are....

Oakley, Eve and Amy  (Year 5). They've been updating me on all that's happening at  Ashton Gate Primary school in Bristol.

Wednesday 20th February 2013
The trout, eggs eyes are a little bigger than yesterday and we have had a few visitors that came and had a look. One of the eggs look a bit white but the rest are fine. But we are not sure if we should take it out so we’ve left it in the fish tank.
By Oakley

Thursday 21st February 2013 - morning
The trout eggs have had another visitor this morning. Each day they are getting a little bit bigger. Every day after break and lunch every one gathers around the tank to look at the eggs. As you can guess we are all very excited about the fish.
By Eve

Thursday 21st February 2013 - afternoon

Sadly 3 of are eggs died today. They were found this morning. But it did not stop the attraction. 5B came up this afternoon to look at the trout eggs and at chess club everyone was really interested in the eggs and some people were so interested they did not want to play chess so they could look at the trout eggs especially the fallen one which we named Janes Pond!!! 
By Amy

This week I've also been to Parson Street primary school and South Street primary school in Bedminster. I've given assemblies, explaining the project to all the pupils in each school and encouraging students to think about freshwater and saltwater habitats. In each assembly I have shown this wonderful short film from the One World One Ocean which celebrates the wonders of our ocean with stunning facts about the connectivity of water on our planet.

I've also met some great students, all of whom are very enthusiastic about looking after their trout eggs. I took in my new friend, the yet-to- be-named, big trout caught in 1932 at Blagdon lake,

and discovered some fabulous artists!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Guest blog from Anna Year 5

Today's guest blog is from Anna in year 5 at Ashton Gate Primary School, day 2 of their Trout and About project!

trout and about

On Monday Year 5 found out that their new project is on fish. Just to make it more exciting we can watch the life of living fish right in our classroom.
Monday 19th February 2013
Everybody is really excited because we are getting rainbow trout Juiley (a member of the Avon wildlife trust) is helping us to learn about fish e.g. their habitat. We have a big fish tank in 5P’s classroom with a lot of fish eggs in so we are to watch these eggs grow up into big rainbow trout. Once they have grown up we will let them go in Chew valley lake.

Thanks Anna! I'm looking forward to hearing how you get on.

Trout arrive at Ashton Gate primary!

Yesterday was a very exciting day as the first of our schools received their trout. Ashton Gate primary school in Bristol are now the keen parents of lots of little orange eggs. During the day, students learnt how to look after the new additions to their classroom and all about the trout life cycle. They drew some amazing pictures and created their own freshwater life cycles. Each week pupils are going to take turns to write guest blogs and update us all on what's happening so watch this space.....