Witham Theme Day

22 Feb 2017

On the Tuesday before half term Reception through to Year 7 enjoyed a Theme Day focussing on ‘Understanding the World Around Us’.

Year 7 travelled to the Olympic Park investigating the sustainability of the Olympic Park. Led by John Widdowson (author of the ‘Geography for Common Entrance’ textbook), they discovered how the stadium and aquatics centre have been adapted for continued use, how the East Village apartments (formerly the athletes’ accommodation) have been designed with the environment in mind, and how the whole site is provided with electricity and hot water by burning biomass in a single combined energy centre.

Years 1-6 all merged together into House groups and explored a variety of themes. Their thought provoking day included many of the following activities and more:

  • Understanding poverty, child labour and enterprise through a ‘live’ activity making paper bags. This highly interactive game gave an insight into what life is like for poor people trying to earn a living. Focusing on poor children in India, this game challenged pupils to find out if they could survive on the streets of Kolkata.
  • Investigation of aspects of Japanese life, language, and culture. The children enjoyed Japanese counting games to music and with actions, learning some other basic Japanese language and finding out about their culture. There is some lovely artwork on display outside 4T now. At lunch time a chicken teriyaki meal was enjoyed by all!
  • Understanding the world of someone with a disability. As well as in-house events including playing sitting down volleyball and experiencing the world of lego construction while blindfolded, we were thrilled to host two Speakers from Mintridge Events. They were:
  1. Jordan Jarrett-Bryan originally a wheelchair basketball player who captained GB as a Junior, but who is now better known for his role as a Sports Reporter for Channel 4. He originally made his name for his part in the award winning coverage for Channel 4 of the 2012 Paralympics.
  2. Jamie Andrew OBE is an astonishing individual who survived for 5 days on the ledge of an Alpine summit in temperatures at times of -30 degrees. Despite surviving the ordeal he lost his hands and feet due to frostbite. Since then he has learnt to walk on prosthetics, do all the necessary everyday tasks for himself and then exceeded all expectations by learning to ski, snowboard, sail and paraglide and has run the London Marathon. He has also subsequently returned to climbing too! He was awarded an OBE for services to charity and is an extraordinary example of bravery and determination.

The children found their stories both fascinating and inspirational and were full of questions. Our thanks go to Jordan and Jamie for giving up their day to share their experiences with the children.

  • Understanding the world of employment and jobs. The children were divided into three groups. They used a questionnaire to ask questions of our visiting speakers about their career paths and work experiences. Our thanks go to Mrs S Halford, Mrs Tombs, Mrs Craven, Mrs Allport, Mrs Weldon, Mrs Anthony, Mrs Hanson, Mr J Wills and Mr A Pinner.

The children also thought about their communities and the people who help them and what jobs they do. They expressed their thoughts through Lego constructions and artwork.

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