(Schools as Hubs of Communities at risk of flooding)
The school is part of a SHOCFlood project which aims to use schools to raise awareness of the issue of flooding and how it may affect communities around a school. The children have been looking at what it means to be affected by floods. They have met with local people who are active in helping the community react to and prepare for flooding such as local councilors, Flood action Group members and Environment Agency staff.
The children looked at the flooding in Morpeth and how it affected the places they know. They talked to Mrs. Fogerty about what happened when her house was flooded. Nursery tested pouring water onto different surface to see if the water would drain away. It did not drain on the hard surface of our yard.
Children made a model of Morpeth using sand and plasticine models. They poured water on it to simulate the effect of rain and watched the effect. They recognised that it would be safer to be on a hill during a flood and how the ground will absorb some of the rain.
Thinking skills – children decided some of the most important things that they would need to take with them if there was a flood. They made simple models of these.
Class 7: Investigating how people adapt in flood prone areas. Children were shown photos of Bangladesh floods and investigated how people overcome the difficulties of being regularly flooded in relation to crops and housing. Children then created a town of houses on stilts using junk modelling and made ‘floating gardens’ on which they planted cress seeds.
Class 8 Investigating climate change in different countries – Thinking skills activity. Using personal accounts, problems and solution cards, children had to match up to decide the most appropriate course of action in each flood story case study. They then presented their information to the rest of the class.
Class 9: Science links – Testing which material would be best to fill a sandbag to stop flooding with. Children made simple sandbags and filled them with a range of materials eg gravel, sand, shredded paper, soil etc. They also selected the type of material to construct the sandbag with eg fabric, plastic. They will then carry out a test to see which is the best for holding back floodwater.
Class 10 Comparing and contrasting the effects of flood in Morpeth and Pakistan. Children initially decided the items that they would take with them if they had to leave home because of flood. Using a first hand account of a child involved in the Pakistan flood, children then took part in a thinking skill activity to decide the things that a child in Pakistan would take with them. They looked at the different values that children in a contrasting environment have for personal belongings and the responsibility that children in Pakistan have to shoulder in these circumstances. They then wrote some poetry about floods.