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Banks Road Primary School

We can do it!

Banks Road, Liverpool, Merseyside, L19 8JZ


Curriculum Enrichment

On Tuesday 5th December, our whole school was treated to a special assembly by Alessandro Tagliabue. The assembly was the launch of our whole school Curriculum Enrichment project for 2017-18. We will be tracking Alessandro on his upcoming expedition across the Atlantic Ocean where he and his team will be exploring the depths of the ocean and the hidden scientific secrets of the oceanic volcanoes lurking beneath.


Keep checking this page for up-to-date information on the work that all classes in the school will be doing on his expedition. Banks Road children and staff are inspired by his adventure and can't wait to hear all about it when he returns in February!

In this document are some of the questions that the children of Banks Road are hoping that Alessandro and his team will answer while they are on their research mission....

Take a look at some of the exciting work the children of Banks Road have been producing all about Allesandro's voyage...

Coming soon

When Alessandro visited the whole school before his adventure began....

Please click on the link below to find some of the answers to our questions from the expedition....

Allesandro's Blog - updated regularly

Final post

Hi everyone,

We are currently moving quickly towards Guadeloupe where we will get off our ship. You can check where we are on the map page.

At the moment we are busy cleaning up the laboratories and making sure the ship is tidy for the next scientists who will join the ship.

We are also packing up all our equipment into boxes so we can send it back to Southampton so we can collect it!

As a final post I wanted to say hello to Matilda in Miss Barr’s class, Nathan and Liam in Miss Dornan’s class, Mia Gaughan-Naylor in Mr McCartney’s class and all from Mrs Benz’s class who all asked whether can play on the boat and what we do in our free time when we are not doing science?

Most of the time on the ship we are working hard to do our science and then the first thing we do when we have spare time is to sleep!

However, we do also have other things we do. Its nice to talk with everyone when we eat our meals (see this post about the food).

We also have a nice games room where we can sit down and have a drink, play darts and table football. We have lots of board games and can play cards together too. During the trip we have organised a table football competition between everyone!

Here is the games room
This is the bar area next to the games room

Yesterday we had a special end of trip barbecue at the end of the ship and everyone dressed up in fancy dress using the things they could find around!

Some of the scientists in their costumes!

Tomorrow will be our last day on the ship … I will get my flight back to England on Friday and be back home in Liverpool on Saturday morning!!

I hope you have enjoyed reading the answers to your questions and I’m sorry for those who I have not been able to reply to.

On Monday morning I will take Matilda to school so come and say hello if you see me!!

Rubbish in the Ocean

Hi everyone at Banks Road! I realise that it has been more than a week since I sent any answers from the ship. I am very sorry about that but we have been very busy ….

I do have something interesting to show you though. Mr Savage’s class (hi everyone!) asked me about plastic in the ocean and whether we will see any?

Yes, I have seen a lot of plastic, especially near to the Azores Island. It is very surprising to see rubbish like this in the sea when we are so far away from Towns and Cities where people are living. Recently, we were stopped in the sea well away from anywhere (look on the map and see how far away the land is!) and a bit of rubbish floated by!

Who can see the funny cylinder shape floating towards us?

As the rubbish got closer we could see that was an aerosol can used to spray hair spray … it was all rusty because it had been floating in the sea for a long time. As it rusts it can release bad things into the water or a sea animal may try to eat it. Not good!

Here it is as it came closer!

It just shows that we need to be careful not to throw rubbish in the street and instead protect our environment by putting it in the bin!

Make sure you do your part by making sure your rubbish goes into the bin!

Iron is important!

Hi everyone from the James Cook!

A special hello to Ava TS and Anthony W in Miss Dornan’s class who asked me why iron is important to animals and plants

and also a special hello to Ben and Francis in Mrs Brierley’s class who asked me how we measure the strength of the iron

Iron is really important to the plants in the sea, without it they would not be able to grow and the animals that feed on the plants would have nothing to eat!

Plants do not have to eat anything and instead they grow by using the energy of the sun in a special process called ‘photosynthesis’. This means that with enough sun, there is the chance for plants to grow. Iron plays a really important role in photosynthesis and so if there is not enough iron, the plants cannot grow.

On land, there is lots of iron, so it does not really affect the growth of plants so much.  But in the sea things are different and iron is really low. This is why we need to understand how much iron is added by the deep sea volcanoes!

This is the special machine we use to collect bottles of seawater to measure how much iron is there

Because the iron levels are low in the sea, we need to be very careful that we measure them properly. We carry the bottles into a special clean room to collect the water into little bottles.

Scientists carry the bottles from the machine to the clean room (the white box at the end of the deck)

When the little bottles in the clean room are filled they are taken back to the main laboratory. In there we have built a special ‘bubble’ to make sure nothing gets into the water.

The Clean bubble!

Inside the bubble, scientists measure the strength of the iron very carefully!

My friend David, who is measuring the iron. Can you see the little bottles next to his right hand? They contain the seawater collected in the big bottles!

So far the scientists are doing a great job and we already know that some of the volcanoes are adding a lot of iron to the ocean! Great for the plants!!

A nice sunset from Thursday the 18th of January

Becoming a Scientist …

A big hello to:

Heidi, Ivy, Lexi, Matilda, Sophie and Yanyan in Miss Barr’s class


Ava S in Miss Dornan’s class

All of you asked me how you can become a scientist?

Daniel in Miss Corkill’s class also asked me if I enjoy my job?

Being a scientist is a job I really enjoy. I spend my time trying to understand how the world works. As an Ocean scientist, I am especially interested in the sea and how it provides all the things the sea creatures need to grow. Because of my job, I have the chance to visit different parts of the work to talk with other Ocean scientists about new ideas or things we have discovered and I get to go on big ships like this one to see wonderful things!

The Sea: This is what I am trying to understand

To become a scientist of any kind you need to do well at school! First, you need to make sure you go to school everyday and when you are there you need to listen to your teachers. At the same time, you should ask questions about things you do not understand so they can explain things to you!

Look at this amazing Rainbow we saw on the ship!

When you finish primary school and go to secondary school you can learn more about different parts of science. Taking care to practice your Maths is important so you can count up the things you find and estimate how important they are. You also need to pay attention to reading and writing so you can explain to other scientists what you have found!

Other Scientists working hard!

After secondary school, I wanted to continue studying to become a scientist and knew I wanted to especially work on the sea. So I went to a ‘University’ when I could learn much more about being a scientist. After 3 years there I went to another University in the United States of America to do what is called a ‘PhD’ on one very specific part of the sea – after you have a PhD you are an expert and can get a job as a scientist!

Me and my scientist friend Malcolm!

Becoming a Scientist was great, but I could only do it because I paid attention in school! If you’re interested in becoming an Ocean scientist you can learn more by watching some great nature programs like the Blue Planet!

A nice picture of the sunrise to say bye for now!

Cooking at Sea …

Thanks to:

Heidi, Gracey, Harley, Mason and Ivy from Miss Barr’s class

Jack Moran in Miss Corkhill's class

All of Miss McGorry’s class

Jake, Maimuma, Casey and John in Mrs Brierley’s class

Dylan, Tom, Katelin and John in Mrs Brierley’s class

And all of Mrs Benz’s class

All of you asked about what we eat on the ship and how we cook our food?

At home, we buy our food from the supermarket and cook it at home or we might go out to a restaurant.

On the ship, we cannot go to the shop to buy our food and instead have to bring everything with us when we sail. That means our ship is full of enough food to feed 50 people for 6 weeks!

As you saw in my earlier response, we live in little cabins and don’t have our own kitchens to make our own food. Instead, we have two fantastic cooks called Darren and Chris who make the food for us in the ships kitchen. Except on the ship the kitchen is called the galley! They make us breakfast, lunch and dinner every day! Even when the ship is rocking a lot in the waves.

Our great Chefs Darren (on the left) and Chris (on the right)
Chris making cookies!

When it is time to eat we all come to the galley and queue up to get our food just like you do at school! We eat our breakfast at half past seven,  our lunch at half past eleven and our dinner at half past five.

Dinner time! With food ready to be served!
The Scientists queue up to get their food – my colleague David from Spain is smiling at the camera!

Darren and Chris are helped by Stevie and Peter who take away the dirty plates and keep the galley clean and tidy.

If we are working late, then we can come to the galley for a snack. Some people like to have some cheese and crackers, while others like to have some biscuits!

Nice tray of cookies!

Have a nice meal to eat is a great treat at sea so we all really appreciate the effort made by our excellent galley team!

Recently we have had some stormy weather with big seas … but now things are calming down! I hope you are all well back in Liverpool!

Stormy seas!

Cups Away …

Hi everyone,

This is a special short message to the children in Miss Barr’s and Miss Dreifuss’s Year One classes:

Last night, in the middle of some rough seas, I put the cups you decorated onto our water sampler and they were sent down to 4,500m depth!

This the frame of our instrument before the bottles are added, I tied two bags of cups on the inside – can you see them?
Now the bottles have been added – can you see the white bag underneath the bottles? Your cups are all in there!

To do this, I put all your cups into two white laundry bags and tied the bags to the frame of the instrument.

Then the whole system gets lifted up by the winch and sent down into the ocean! It took around 2 and a half hours for them to go all the way down and about the same again to come up! So 5 hours in total.

Look at the sequence of pictures below – can you still see the bag of cups?

The cups are lifted out over the railing to the sea
Down they go into the sea!
Splash! They are on their way to the bottom of the sea!

Do you remember what the cups looked like before you decorated them before Christmas? When I get back to Liverpool I will come and visit your school and return the cups to you! What do you think they will look like?

A nice picture of the sunrise to say bye bye for now!

Do we catch fish to eat?

Hi to everyone in Miss Dreifuss class who asked whether we catch fish to eat?

Thanks for the great question! Of course the sea is all around us and full of fish! Sometimes when we are in the middle of the ocean doing our work we have to keep the ship still for quite a long time – sometimes as long as a whole day at school!

When we do this, sometimes sea creatures come to see us. At the end of last week we did this and a group of fish (a group of fish are called a ‘school’) came to visit us. Look at the picture I took as they swam round and round the ship. The fish are called different names by different people, some call them ‘Mahi-Mahi’ others call them ‘Dorado’.

Dorado fish swimming around our ship – look at their yellow fins!

Some of the scientists got out a fishing rod and did some fishing, but they did not catch anything!! If we did catch something then the cooks on the ship would cook it for us. But don’t worry, we do not have to catch all our food! Our ship has plenty of food for all of us and we have two great cooks! I will tell you about them in another message.

Some of the Scientists trying to fish

Actually the scientists like to try to catch fish. Not because they want to eat them, but because it is a nice way to pass the time looking at the beautiful sea!

Sunset at sea, the cable you can see is carrying our bottles down to the deep sea to collect our samples

Sleeping at Sea

A big hello to lots of children:

Aydin, Gracey, Matilda, Sophie and Teagan in Miss Barr’s class

Jodie-Leigh in Mr Savage’s class

Ms McGorry’s year 3 class

Olivier L in Miss Dornan’s class

Casey, Jake, John and Maimuna in Mrs Brierley’s clas


Thomas in Mr McCartney’s class


All of you asked me the very good question about where I sleep!


All of us on the boat have special little rooms. We call them cabins and its where we go to sleep. Because I am in charge of the other scientists, mine is a bit bigger. You can see in the picture that I have a lounge area where I can work on deciding where to ask the captain to sail the ship to. I then I have another little room with a bed and a bathroom.

This is my lounge area, on the left you can see my sofa, on the right is my desk where I am working

Sometimes sleeping on the boat can be difficult because of the rolling of the sea. This can make you roll around in your bed! You can see that my bed has a special rail on the side so I don’t need to worry about falling out! Sometimes when the weather is bad it can be very difficult to get to sleep because you are rolling around so much! But a little bit of rocking can be nice and relaxing. One of the hardest things to do when the ship is rocking a lot is to take a shower! You need to hold on and also wash yourself!!!

This is my bed you can see the rails that stop me falling out, the phone in case anyone needs me in the night and the photos of my family
This is my little bathroom, I have a sink, a toilet and on the right is a small shower

I like my room as I have big windows so I can see the sea and also look down onto the deck and see what is happening. I have also brought some photos of Matilda, her sister Emilia and Mum.  My next door neighbour on the ship is the captain! His room is similar to mine, but he is facing the front of the ship.