Cross-Curricular Week - The Polar Regions
Pupils across the School from Nursery to Year 6 came off timetable for the week (4th to 8th June) in order to immerse themselves in the Polar Regions. Following an introductory assembly illustrating some of the similarities and differences between the Arctic and Antarctic, each year group focused on a particular aspect of these vast areas of apparent wilderness.
In Nursery, a tent erected in the classroom provided a skyscape onto which children created the Northern Lights with coloured torches. In Reception, a full week of creative activities looked in particular at the precarious life of the polar bear. Year 1 children created their own versions of Inuit clothing and learnt about the challenges of living in Arctic lands, such as making fire and finding food. Penguins featured in many of the activities enjoyed in Year 2, including a song, as they studied life in the Antarctic.
In the Preps, Year 3 enjoyed stories and poetry inspired by the polar landscape and focused in particular on a telling of the epic journey of Ernest Shackleton. In Year 4, the exciting but tragic Race to the South Pole between Scott and Amundsen was used as an example of the importance of preparation and teamwork when facing a challenge. Year 5 looked at the threats faced by the Polar Regions as a result of climate change and enjoyed a workshop at London Zoo about the threats posed by human use of plastics. In Year 6, pupils looked at ways in which scientists, explorers and adventurers seek to understand and conquer these extraordinary and challenging environments.
During assembly at the end of the week, with pupils dressed in silver and white to represent the landscape of the Polar Regions, it was apparent that this cross-curricular week had, perhaps more than any other, given pupils and staff the opportunity to learn something new. All came away with a sense that these areas at the extreme ends of the Earth are fascinating, challenging, surprising and precious but also threatened and deserving of our attention.