Activity 1 WALT: identify features within our local environment
Year 3 went on a local walk to investigate what we have in our local area. The children were given a map of the local area, and the teachers modelled how to add keys to a map. The children annotated their own maps as they went around Burngreave on their local walk. We stopped at different points along the route, for children to annotate their maps. During this time, the accompanying adults asked the children about the amenities they could see, (where someone could go if they were poorly; where we could go if we needed to buy some food). At the end of the route, the children filled in a travel survey, to see how many different vehicles passed through Burngreave in a minute. The children were very surprised to see how busy the roads were in such a short space of time! When we returned to school, the children filled in a large group map, using their annotated maps from the walk. We then discussed the importance of the features of our local area, and how they support the people who live there. After reviewing the amenities they had recorded on the walk (several food shops, two doctors surgeries, a post office, etc,) the children recognised that Burngreave had the vital amenities needed to serve the people who live there.
Activity 2 WALT: identify key features of a city
To accompany our work on our local area, we went on a trip into the city centre, to see how it was different to our local area. Together, the class plotted the route on the IWB, that we would follow on our visit. Through doing this, the children were able to identify some of the key features of our city. We went on the city centre trip, stopping at the different points that we had identified with the children. At each stop, the children had questions to answer, and the accompanying adults also asked the children to compare the city with our local area (number of people, buildings, transport, etc). When we arrived back at school, the children shared their questionnaire answers, and this was followed up with a whole class discussion about the similarities and differences of the features of our local area and city centre.
Activity 3 WALT: locate destinations on a map
First, we helped the children to identify the four C’s (City, County, Country, Continent) by using a jigsaw image. The children then used Atlas maps to locate England, South Yorkshire, and Sheffield. The children explored the different maps in the Atlas and talked about what maps can show you. Using a world map children located the different continents and added post it notes locating where their families were from. This gave the children an opportunity to see how we are linked to different areas of the globe. Finally, we showed images of St.Catherines and Niza Trust School in Zambia using google earth. The children commented to the similarities (somewhere to play, different buildings) but also the differences (no grass in Zambia, very dry, no playground).
Activity 4 WALT: identify similarities and differences
We started off by showing some photos of the Zambia trip, and some slides of the comments the children had made at the start of our Zambia topic (wild animals, temperature, poorer quality of life). They were then shown different flipchart pages which merged together an image of St Catherine’s, and an image from Niza Trust (the two classrooms, playgrounds, two sets of uniform, two assemblies etc). The children then had to identify the similarities and differences between the pictures. The aim of the lesson was to challenge some of the children’s preconceptions about what life was like for children at Niza Trust School. By the end of the lesson, the majority of children could see that although the children at Niza Trust did not have the same equipment as us to aid them with their learning, they still had the things they needed, they still went to school every day to receive an education. The visual stimuli helped the children to recognise that even though social situations are different (in terms of amenities, facilities, etc) ultimately the goal of education in both schools is the same.
What we learnt
Our school has had a link with the Niza Trust School in Choma, Zambia, for the past three years. During that time communication between the schools has been difficult. The Geography and the Global Curriculum project has supported our children’s developed understanding of similarities and differences between their own lives and those of the children living in Choma.
They were able to consider and compare where they live and the amenities available to them and their families, in their local and nearby city centre to those of children who attend Niza Trust School, in Choma.
The children were shocked when they saw photographs of Niza Trust School. They could not understand the lack of facilities or why the children were not dissatisfied with what was available to them. In discussion, children at St Catherine’s thought that because the children at Niza did not have what they have, they must be poor.
This year, a lot of the time was spent on the physical geography skills. Although children have developed an understanding that there is no single story, next year we would look to dedicating even more time towards this through extended P4C sessions and circle times.
Something that we would like to focus on more is developing a better understanding of lifestyles; talking with the children about incomes, the value of money and the quality of life within both countries. Within the global dimension of diversity, we would like to focus more on differences in culture, customs and traditions.