Pizza Oven

Term 2 

This term we will be working with Mr Peter Hear, Captain Planet (Enviroschools) to create our pizza oven.

During week 1 of this term we are looking at building our pizza oven. We need to have a plan, then design to build it. 

Firstly we needed to create a plan for the pizza oven shelter. We then had discussions on: what we needed for the oven itself, what preparation was needed for the area that the shelter will go in. Then it was all hands on deck to clear the weeds!

Our Pizza Oven Shelter 

Shared writing – Kahal, William, James, Rosie, Shakeal, Jael and Mrs Hill

Mrs Hill first shared that we were going to make a Pizza Oven last year after we saw Marco’s one. She thought we could use the steel framing from behind the woodshed to make the shelter to protect the oven. She talked to Mr Packman and he agreed. The stock pushed through the fence behind the playgroup shed and she saw a second one and realised they were old hockey goals.

When Mr Packman saw that there was a second one he suggested that we stack the goals on top of each other. Mr Packman shared this idea with Mr Marshall.  When they were outside discussing it, Mr Marshall said that he didn’t think it would be stable enough. Mr Marshall was concerned about the wind would move it and how would they secure the top goal safely.


Mr Marshall said they would be more stable side by side. He also said if they left a gap between the goals it would give more room around the trough to fit more people in when making the pizza. Mr Marshall with his knowledge of wielding made the joining of the goals together easier.




        The poles that secured the frames when we started were going to remain tall. Shakeal suggested that it would be cool to have a seat around the pizza oven. Mr Marshall said they could be chopped down and used to make a bench seat. Putting the poles in was harder than you think, James remarked. It was hard to dig a deep enough hole and then we had to ram the dirt back in around the post to keep them firm.

        Mr Packman and Mr Marshall used ropes to secure the frame to the posts to stop them from moving. William commented that they needed to use a level in three ways.

1 - we needed to put the level on top of the post to make sure the centre of the post was level horizontally,

2 - to check against the post to make sure it was level vertically, and we did that in two places!

        We used a tape measure to measure the height of the posts. We used the tape measure to also check that the distance between the goal pipes was even. When Mr Packman measured the poles, he showed Mr Marshall where to cut the poles. Mr Marshall used a grinder to cut the poles. Mr Packman hit the pools with a sledgehammer to move the post out of the way of the grinder.

Mr Marshall used wielding irons to bound the pipes, we wore welding masks so we didn’t damage our eyes and faces.

        They angled the roof by shortening the back poles for the rain to fall away from the edge. Mr Packman on Friday secured the roofing iron to the structure. He got sore shoulders and it was really windy!

        The shelter is not quite finished but it will protect the pizza oven when it’s built next week.




 The Pizza Oven

    On the 22nd of May, Peter Heard (Captain Enviro) came to Ratapiko School to help us build our pizza oven. Peter had the instructions

of how to make the pizza oven on a sheet of paper.    Peter set Aurora and Hunter-Lilly to cut up the black and white silage wrap as traps for us to smudge and crush the clay on. We made three different mixes of clay, they were an installation mix, a heat mix and the covering mix. The installation mix has sawdust in it to keep the heat in. The brick mix has sand to allow heat to build up and then the top covering mix again had sawdust in it again to keep the heat in.

The installation mix was 1 part clay to 1½  parts sawdust. Mrs Hill bought a lot of sawdust but it had prickles and sticks in it so it was no good! Ethan's Dad had to go and get some of his sawdust from the shed to use. We had to smudge the clay first so there was no lumps, hard bits or rocks. When Peter said it was soft enough we added the sawdust and some water to bond it together better. The institution mix was used to keep the heat in so we used it under and around the bottles on the trough. This meant the instillation mix and the bottles would keep the heat in and make a great base to build the oven on.

 Mr Packman, Peter, William, Kahal, …. Worked on placing the fire bricks. They used the plan to make it big enough to make two pizzas at a time. Ethan’s Dad, Mr Packman, Alana and Rachel made a sand dome on the fire bricks to create the shape of the pizza oven.

After lunch we were getting tired of making the clay mixes so Peter set a competition to see who could make the covering mix the fastest. We all worked really hard but Oliver, Jael, Blake and Kahal won the competition, but it was pretty close!bricks to create the shape of the pizza oven.

We then used the heat mix which was 1 part clay to ½ a part sand. We worked the clay the same way as the installation mix but instead of sawdust we added sand.

We made small brick size clumps to begin building the oven. We made the bricks going around the sand dome like a beehive. We had to smoosh it onto the brick below angling it backwards. We couldn’t pat the clay or it would bring the water out, and get to smooshie.

We built the layers up to the top. We did two more layers of bricks. The outside layers had sawdust in them again. This was called the cover mix and it keeps the heat in.

 Once the dome was finished Peter cut out the door and used the door bricks to finish the top of the dome as we didn’t quite mix enough. Peter said that the clay would crack as it dries though.

On the Monday of the next week, we lit the fire and began to ‘fire’ the clay so we can use it to cook in. We have to make the fire for three days to prepare the oven and sure enough it is cracking.

Bring on the pizza making!!!make it big enough to make two pizzas at a time.