What a fantastic day working with Years 2-6. After class teachers had briefed pupils about the day ahead, they joined myself and the amazing Emma Espley (https://create2inspire.co.uk) to discover more about these incredible regions.

Emma was to helping pupils understand the effects of climate change on the Arctic and how this affects the world. To begin the students simply explored the giant floor map to make their own connections. They then discussed what type of map it was (circumpolar; physical) and what each colour might represent. Then, turning the globe so that the North Pole was facing pupils, they identified some countries and points of interest.

The main part of the session encompassed three or four different activities in order to cover aspects such as climate change, mapping sea ice cover, global warming and what the UK is doing to help. Pupils were enthusiastic and worked well together. Whilst they were familiar with several of these terms and had a good grounding of such issues, most, if not all, students had acquired new knowledge and understanding by the end of their hour with Emma.

Over lunch, Emma ran an abridged session with Year 2 and the school’s Geography Subject Leader as they had recently been looking at cold environments and to give them a flavour of the Arctic Alive programme.

Meanwhile, I was looking at ice, ice and more ice, and the role that melting ice plays in climate change at both the Poles. We set up a simple science experiment to learn more about when melting ice causes sea level to rise and when it doesn’t!

Pupil’s knowledge of the North and South Poles and the wider Arctic and Antarctica was put to the test by using the ‘Poles Apart’ activity from Week 1 of WWW’s scheme of work (https://wickedweatherwatch.org.uk/teaching-resources/).

We then looked in more detail at the links between climate change, melting ice and sea level rise. We looked at different kinds of ice (ice sheet, icebergs, glaciers and sea ice) and the importance of the massive Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, how much sea level might rise if they melted and the global impact this might have.

We rounded off the session with a fun comparison of different Polar expeditions using WWW’s explorer sleeping bag race. It was the Arctic versus Antarctic and the old versus the new – looking at how expeditions to the poles have changed between the 1800s and today, including the impact of climate conditions upon our ability to travel to and from the poles.

I was really impressed with the participation and knowledge of the children. Thank you to all who made it such as fantastic day!