Teaching pack: Why is our local river or watercourse important to us?

Rivers have been essential to our communities for centuries, but how much do we really know about the ones closest to where we live?

This teaching pack has been developed to support teachers and other educators in planning and delivering teaching and learning that helps children to engage with their local river or watercourse and to reflect on its significance to their local area, village, town or city.

Developed as a collaboration between The Resurgence Trust and The Harmony Project, the pack poses the initial question, ‘Why is our local river or watercourse important to us?’ and encourages children and their teachers to explore their responses through a series of cross-curricular learning activities. In doing so, they begin to see their local river – or stream, canal or estuary – through a different lens, forming a deeper connection with it and beginning to consider how it can be better respected, protected and regenerated.

This pack is linked to the principle of the Oneness and provides teachers with ideas for a series of activities which build upon one another. These begin with two starter activities which invite students to explore and reflect on the question: ‘What will we discover on a visit to our local river?’.

Leading on from this, four subsequent themes for learning are presented as standalone units, each with ideas for assessment and differentiation, and with links provided to the National Curriculum for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland.

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