Geography - Spring 2016
What’s been happening during the Spring term?
After completing a demanding skills based assessment on OS map work, the pupils in Year 4 have been busy looking at settlements. What are they? What are the important site factors? What do place names mean? Recently, the pupils have been scouring the Ordnance Survey map of Colchester for villages with common name endings such as ....don as in Kelvedon (a place built on top of a hill) and ......den as in Lexden (a clearing in woods for pigs to pasture; sorry to those who live in Lexden!). The pupils really enjoyed crawling over the map!
Since completing their assessment on water access in Israel, the pupils have started work on global environments. Their first activity involved pairing up, with one person using an atlas to describe the distribution of one major global environment e.g. tropical rainforests, and the other marking this distribution on a blank outline map of the world. Once complete, the pupils swapped roles and marked the distribution of another environment on the map. Pupils are currently looking in detail at desert environments – they were surprised to learn that there are cold as well as hot deserts. The wonderful David Attenborough has been guiding them through the climate and environment of these special places (‘Life on Earth’ documentary). After Easter the pupils will be studying the tropical rainforest. Part of their work will involve a presentation piece which will be entered into a whole year group competition – the best three win prizes!
Pupils in Year 6 have had a hectic time circumnavigating the globe, identifying areas where the most hazardous earthquakes and volcanic eruptions take place. This is part of their work on Tectonics, a unit of work which the pupils began in Autumn half-term. They have discovered that the most dangerous earthquakes and volcanic eruptions take place on or near to destructive plate boundaries, the most famous of which is the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’. The pupils are currently looking at volcanoes; they were surprised to learn that although volcanic eruptions can be very hazardous, they are also essential to life on Earth!
Following on from their fieldwork on the microclimate of Holmwood House, the pupils undertook and recently completed a project on Google Slides. They have not only learned about the factors affecting the microclimate such as shade and aspect but also how to graph and analyse primary data. Currently, pupils are learning more about our wonderful British climate. Please remind them to look at televised weather forecasts over the Easter break as they will be playing weather men/women at the beginning of the summer term!
Our Year 8 have had a hectic schedule in geography during the Spring term. Most have had to complete their CE coursework on the River Brett whilst also revising for their February trial examination. The standard of the coursework was high with most of the pupils gaining 75% or higher. This will be a real grade changer when their overall CE grade is worked out following the examination in the Summer. I encourage the Year 8 pupils studying for their CE examinations in June to look at the website and have a go at some of the revision activities. The scholars have been incredibly busy revising for their scholarship examinations during this term and have enjoyed great success in the subject. Most of the scholars are now researching an area of geography they are particularly interested in and putting together a presentation for their Learning Logs. They will be presenting their findings to the Headmaster and the rest of the senior management team towards the end of the first half of the summer term.