West Minster School are pleased to announce that we have teamed up with MAF this year to become a partnership school. We will be learning about the communities around the world that MAF help. In addition to this, each year group is going to complete a long term cross curricular project called “A Ticket Around the World”. This will begin in term 2, 2021 and run up until term 6 2022.
EYFS and Nursery – South Africa
Year 1 – Brazil
Year 2 – Tanzania
Year 3 – Arnhem land
Year 4 – Indonesia
Year 5 – Mexico
Year 6 – Bangladesh
Ivy Centre- KS1 Tanzania and KS2 Bangladesh.
This week our school had the opportunity to participate in the 2021 Virtual Island Young Peoples Arts Festival. One of the workshops was a chance to learn more about the local area with the artist Nicole Mollett. During the workshop Nicole took the guests on a tour of Sheppey, giving an insight into local historical and geographical landmarks. The children then had the chance to get creative using the drawing workbook created for this event.
Year 3 and 4 – Rivers Topic
Year 3 and 4 have started their topic about rivers this term.
Here are some photos of a class using some OS maps together with a comment from one of the Class Teachers.
“They really enjoyed looking at the maps and were able to use them to identify rivers on them and were able to find specific features too such as: source, mouth, estuary, streams and meander. There was much excitement when they found part of the river that was meandering! One child even said, “We won’t find the mouth on this map because there’s no sea or ocean on the map!” A great moment where she was able to share her understanding.”
There has been lots of Geography work going on in the Ivy Centre this term. Clover Class have been studying the local area and comparing it with places in other continents, looking at climates, habitats, diversity of wildlife and recording their findings.
Meanwhile, Foxglove Class have been learning about the differences between islands and looking at the different human and physical features that can be found as part of their work this term, as you can see by their collaborative work.
Year 1 and 2.
The topic being studied this term is called “Amazing Animals”.
The children have been learning about the continent of Africa and the village of Mugurameno in Zambia. They have been learning how the villagers of Mugurameno keep their livestock and crops safe from wild animals by building boundaries such as a grass wall to keep hippos out, a crocodile fence so a portion of the river can be shared by humans and animals and a chilli fence to prevent crops being trampled.
This week the main text will be “Harry and the Dinosaurs go wild” and the class will be researching where in the world types of endangered animals are still to be found.
MAF Advent Adventure update.
Our whole school MAF project has been very successful this term, giving the pupils a chance to compare features of each country to the UK and also appreciate the fabulous work MAF tirelessly do. But just because it is the end of term it doesn’t mean the adventure stops there as we are continuing to post the daily questions on Class Dojo right up to and including Christmas day itself!
Have a look at some samples of work from the pupils below.
This week the MAF advent project launched across the school. Each child was given a free MAF package as we were lucky enough to be chosen to take part. All classes have been participating, watching the daily MAF video and “virtually” travelling to that country each day. As well as completing the online challenges, each class has been given a daily Geography question and a daily RE question to research and a class book to record into. Parents are also getting involved, through regular postings on Class Dojo.
Here is an example of our questions so far.
Geography question of the day.
Question 1 is for EYFS/KS1
Question 2 is for LKS2
Question 3 is for UKS2
Day 1 Ecuador
- Find out some foods grown in Ecuador.
- Find out about Cotopaxi.
- What are the 4 main regions of Ecuador?
- Find out about the climate and the seasons in South Sudan.
- Find out about a major river that runs through South Sudan. What other countries share this river?
- What is the Sudd and why is it important?
Papua New Guinea (Part 1)
- Find out about the tree kangaroo.
- What biome is Papua New Guinea?
- How much of Papua New Guinea is rainforest? Find some species that are unique to the island.
RE question of the day
Question 1 is for EYFS/KS1
Question 2 is for LKS2
Question 3 is for UKS2
Day 1 Ecuador
- Christmas is one of the religious holidays in Ecuador, find out which others are celebrated.
- What happens during the 9 days before Christmas in Ecuador?
- What is Pase del Nino?
Day 2 South Sudan
- People in South Sudan like to attend church on Christmas Day. What artefacts would you find inside a Christian Church?
- Due to a civil war, celebrating Christmas in South Sudan has been difficult. But praying to God was something they were still able to do. Why do you think this was so important to them?
- How does being Christian help people living in South Sudan find hope over Christmas?
Day 3 Papua New Guinea (Part 1)
- Christmas is a Christian celebration. What is the festival celebrating?
- Christmas is one of the most popular Christian celebrations. Why do you think it is so popular around the world?
- On Christmas Eve, most Christians attend church, why are churches important to Christians?
Year 3 and 4
Autumn Term 2, November 2020
Year 3 and 4 are currently learning about volcanoes through their topic “Cool Vibrations”. They have completed their RAG sheet and have learnt about the layers that make up the Earth. They have labelled the main parts of a volcano and even created their own volcano models in their cross curricular work. The enthusiastic pupils are also extending their knowledge by taking on their own home study projects.
Ivy Centre Autumn Term 1 2020
Clover Class have been having fun in Geography by using the text Rosie’s Walk this term. They created their own colourful labelled maps with a key of the route Rosie took on her journey in the story. The question was then posed, what if Rosie would come to visit your house? Room plans with compass points and keys were mapped out from an aerial viewpoint. The children in Clover class created and labelled a map of our school following fieldwork lessons looking at the school grounds. They learnt about human and physical features. They practised recognising and sorting human and physical features of our local area. They also created definitions of human and physical features as you can see from their written work.
The World on Stage
Term 4 2020
Term 4 promises to be an exciting one for Year 3 as they begin their topic of “The World on Stage”, with its spotlight on current geographical issues. To date, the pupils have read First News articles about the work of David Attenborough and the impact Greta Thunberg is having in raising awareness about important issues.
The pupils are beginning a contrast study between the UK and Brazil. Here are some responses from the pupils.
“I am looking forward to learning more about Brazil. It is important to keep the rainforests, trees and plants.”
“The Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest in South America.”
“Brazil is near the equator. The equator is an imaginary line around the middle of the world. Brazil has a tropical climate near the equator. The UK has a temperate climate.”
“There is interesting food in Brazil. Yams are different. They are like potatoes but sweeter.”
Crucially, the pupils have realised that if everyone can make a small change then this can have a big impact on world change. For example, the pupils know to switch lights off when they are not needed and they make every effort not to create food waste in their daily school routine.
Here are some more of their initial responses.
“We have been learning about plants and how they grow in a temperate zone. England is in a temperate zone.”
“It is important to learn Geography, so you start to know what is happening around the world.”
“Something dangerous could happen and you need to know about it.”
“Quite a lot of people are trying to walk to school now.”
“We need to stop the ice melting. We need to stop driving so much and use less aeroplanes.”
“Trees are being cut down, but they release oxygen and take in carbon dioxide.”
“I would like to see if the hole in the ozone layer is getting bigger or not.”
“Geography in one word?
Around the Globe
Term 4 2020
Year 2 Term 4
The new topic for term 4 in Year 2 is called Around the Globe. This week sees the introduction to this topic. The children have been immersing themselves in geographical texts, looking up continents and countries using atlases and trying to solve the puzzle of which flags belong to which countries as part of their independent challenge. They have looked at images of the Earth as seen from space and identified land, oceans, cloud, mountains and a hurricane. Given an opportunity to reflect upon what Plane Earth means to them, here are some responses from this week.
I feel amazed because of the sea where the fish live.
I feel angry, because people litter.
It is important to care for the Earth so that animals and people can live in the world.
I feel amazed because the Earth is a massive planet and people should look after the planet.
I feel sad because when people drop rubbish in the sea, the fish, whales, dolphins – all kinds of beautiful animals die.
I am excited to find out about new countries.
I feel excited to see the sea.
Term 3 2020
Year 5 children have completed their topic called “Space Cosmic” this term (Term 3 ).
Here are some excerpts from their conversations.
“We have been learning about the Milky Way, zooming in to the British Isles and then Kent.
Isle of Sheppey
The children were very keen to share their knowledge of the “First News” article about the Solar Orbiter that was launched on 10th February 2020.
(The Solar Orbiter (SolO)] is a Sun-observing satellite, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA). SolO is intended to perform detailed measurements of the inner heliosphere and nascent solar wind, and perform close observations of the polar regions of the Sun, which is difficult to do from Earth, both serving to answer the question “How does the Sun create and control the heliosphere?” – Wikipedia)
They could explain that that the equipment would enable information “to be collected from the top and bottom of the sun.”
They were very keen and excited to learn that the orbiter was assembled in the UK at Airbus, Stevenage.
“It is the first of its kind to go and visit the sun.”
“The sun is a lot hotter than you think.”
“It has been made in Britain, which makes me feel proud.”
“In the future, we can be the people who build amazing things to go to the sun.”
Term 3, 2020
Year 6 pupils have just completed a topic on Japan. Here are some of their thoughts.
“Geography is important because it helps you to understand what places are like and where places are in the world.”
“The work gets harder in Year 6 because there are more research questions and sometimes the answers can be hidden or harder to find.”
“Japanese lessons have been helpful, we have learned from films and vocabulary. It all helps us to understand what happened in World War 2. It helps us to understand the language better.”
“Kensuke’s Kingdom is a really good book. It is mixed with interesting characters and information about the part of Japan that got bombed in World War 2. I would recommend it.
We have used atlases to find where places are in Japan and the iPads for extra research and reading.”
“We have learnt about volcanoes, what they are like inside and how they erupt.
Our art work was focussed on Hokusai, we learnt about the famous painting “The Wave”.”
“We have learnt that Mount Fuji is one of the most visited landmarks in Japan. Over 250,000 people visit it a year. The Skytree in Tokyo is the tallest manmade building. Sushi is one of the most popular foods.”
“Geography in 3 words?
Interesting. Fascinating. Enjoyable.”
Year 1 and Clover Class
Bright Lights, Big Cities
Term 3, 2020
Year 1 children and Clover Class have been busy taking Paddington Bear around the world this half term. The local area was explored and mapped. Pupils discussed what they would like to improve in the local area. Pupils took Paddington on a series of virtual trips to London, Paris and New York and used maps, atlases and globes to find out about each city and its notable landmarks. Many rich opportunities were provided for child-initiated challenges and the teachers were delighted to see the variety of model making, map creations and creative play happening. The topic reaches its bright conclusion next week when the children go on an outing – taking the local train on a visit to Queenborough and learning about their island.
A selection of enthusiastic Year 5 pupils were interviewed about Geography this week. Here are some responses.
” I have enjoyed learning about Islamic festivals around the world as part of my RE lessons.”
” It is important to know how important it is to use recyclable objects to reduce plastic waste.”
“If you want to go to a different country and want to communicate, Geography is important.”
” A good Geography teacher is someone who has researched and knows about places. They can help you learn about different cultures.”
“3 words for Geography? Interesting. Wow. Fascinating.”
Clover Class in the Ivy Centre have been busy constructing maps as part of their Bright Lights, Big Cities topic. After going on a walk in the local area, the pupils discussed how it could be improved. They learnt the vocabulary of house, flat, street, semi-detached, detached, terraced, town, chemist, shops, school, fire station. They built a 3d map of St George’s Avenue for Paddington to explore, adding the local landmarks.
Our recent World Religion Day provided a rich opportunity for cross curricular Geography.
Reception children explored the story of Noah’s Ark, making animal masks and dramatizing the story in the space of the school hall. Time was spent looking at maps and a globe to find out where different animals lived. They discovered that most kangaroos have their habitat in Australia and pandas only live in in certain provinces in China.
Year 1 children discovered Buddha was born in Lumbini, which was part of Northern India but is now part of Nepal. They located India on a map and used Google Earth to find famous landmarks such as the Taj Mahal.
Year 2 children discovered where Israel was and compared it to the UK. They researched the surrounding countries and found out about The Dead Sea. They made collaged flags and maps of Israel.
Year 3 and Ivy Centre pupils discussed the meaning of Geography and named the continents. Then, they focussed on India, making a fact file of regions, populations and languages spoken. They chose an aspect of school life to compare with their own lives. There were many books to research information from. Stories from India were shared.
Year 4 children discovered that the origin of Sikhism began in the Punjab area of South Asia which now is part of the present-day states of India and Pakistan. They used a globe and atlases to find out information about India and recorded this on a factsheet.
Year 5 pupils learnt about the Islamic faith and used research skills to find out about the famous mosques in the world. They discovered where in the world Islam was most practised.
Year 6 pupils researched where in the world Humanism was thought to originate. They researched which countries in the present day have the highest number of Humanists and found out that the Norwegian Humanist Association is one of the largest secular humanist associations in the world.