Medium-term plan: Is Antarctica worth protecting?
We know that the health of the Antarctic is threatened by climate change. But how many of us – and how many of our children – link this issue to the choices we make in our daily lives? And how many feel empowered to tackle it? This medium-term planning for an enquiry of learning linked to the principle of Interdependence, allows students to learn how all living things in the Antarctic ecosystem – and their non-living surroundings – are linked, and to explore the impact our own actions have on this frozen habitat.
The Science activities outlined in this medium-term planning link to National Curriculum content for KS2 on changes of state that occur when materials are cooled or warmed, which links well to an exploration of the melting of the polar ice caps.
The Geography content has a strong focus on identifying the climatic and physical features of Antarctica, with plenty of opportunities for mapping. An excellent key text to support the learning about Shackleton, which flows through both the Geography and the English planning, is the beautifully illustrated Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill (Flying Eye books).
Meanwhile, the Maths content is closely linked to the sustainability theme for this enquiry, challenging students to monitor energy use at school or at home, to find ways to reduce this and to analyse energy use data over time to evaluate the success of their efforts.
The Great Work element of this medium-term planning is an exhibition of artwork around the Antarctic theme, with a possible element of ice sculpture where a local partner in learning can be found to support this. The inevitable melting of these sculptures provides a poignant reminder of what is happening in our polar regions.
This enquiry links to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 7 Affordable and Clean Energy and 13 Climate Action.