09 Feb River Wandle wonders.
On Monday 5th February staff from the Wandle trust came in to introduce Year 6’s new topic after half term – Rivers. The children learnt about the River Wandle, recapped technical terminology and talked about the water cycle. Pollution, river water and how to help the local community keep it clean were also topics which were covered and the children were shocked to find out exactly what gets dumped into the river to pollute it!
As part of our Rivers topic next half Year 6 went on an activity packed (but cold) trip to the Beddington Park to learn more about the River Wandle over Tuesday and Wednesday. Although temperatures had dipped to 2 degrees much fun was had as the children did some bird spotting before they got involved with the more scientific side of the visit. The first activity was finding out the temperature; the pH level and make visual observations of the river water. Our findings were interesting as the river water was 3.4 degrees – warmer than it felt! However, the pH levels of the water were only 7, which was nearly neutral (maybe not good enough drink though!). As part of some scientific research the children were asked to analyse the kind of habitat the river was – whether it was a thriving habitat or if more could be done to make it a better home for some finned friends. Using visual observations and a chart to identify different creatures the children were asked to find out how many of each invertebrate/mollusc they were able to find in nets that collected samples from the river. We found lots of shrimp; some mayfly nymphs and even a few stickleback fish, although, there didn’t seem to be enough creatures to warrant the Wandle being a good habitat. Hopefully that will change after all the work has been finished.
Another activity which the children enjoyed was finding out how fast the current was moving using a tape measure, a tennis ball and a stopwatch. The children were keen to get involved and also made sure that it was a fair test by repeating the task several times as well as bearing in mind their variables and then working out the averages. We love being cross-curricular! The final, yet still fun activity was the clue search. Using a basic map of the river and some clues, the children were tasked with labelling different parts of the river by looking at the part of the river they were near as well as working out what the clue was suggesting.
All in all the entire trip was very successful. We had a few cold fingers and toes however Year 6 had a lot of fun and learnt a lot about Rivers and their local area. Our thanks go to Verity at the Wandle Trust for hosting the activities!