The Year 4 children in St. Joseph’s Upper Primary have completed a two week Project Based Learning module on the importance of water. The topic was first introduced by action4schools founder Mr Jimmy Bruzon, who came into school as an expert on the topic. He spoke to the Year 4 children about the charity and how important providing a clean water source is and how, in some countries in Africa it is rare for them to have fresh water. Through this talk, children were inspired to help the charity and came up with the idea of a Swimathon. The children swam 18.8km as a relay in the new Lathbury Barracks Pool and raised £3,150 for the charity. After the initial introduction to the topic, the various classes came up with different areas of the topic that they wished to study further, thus taking ownership of their own learning.
Children’s curiosity peaked when they visited the HM Customs Marine Section, where Mr Galia and his team of officers spoke to the children about protecting British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. They were able to see first hand what it entails and the children learnt so much through this real world engagement experience. The children learnt how the Customs Officers board and search vessels, how to tie nautical knots and how they use underwater drones to search the sea bed. They were even able to board some of the Customs boats. The children and teachers alike thoroughly enjoyed the trip and learnt so much on the topic of keeping our waters safe.
Our next trip led us to the Aquagib reservoirs up on Willis’s Road. Mr Chris Gomez spoke to the children on how Gibraltar collects, cleans and distributes water to houses. The children were able to see the reservoirs and learnt valuable facts. They were able to see the lab where Craig Pratts spoke to the children about his job and how he tests the different water sourcesin Gibraltar and keeps our water source safe to drink. When returning back to school children were able to critically think about the importance of keeping our water source clean and researched aspects of pollution and made posters to inform others of reasons not to pollute our seas.
We then spent a few days in school where children focused on different aspects of their mind maps. Some focused on water based activities and how it can help us become healthier, how boats float, how water helps in the survival of sea creatures and some even focused on the historical aspects of pirates in Gibraltar. Some classes discussed the ratio of water to land on Earth and how it has changed throughout the ages.
The year 4’s were also taken to Camp Bay where the Nautilus Project introduced sea creatures which they had collected from our waters earlier in the day. The children were able to experience and hold different species and learn the importance of keeping our waters clean and the effects our pollution has on our waters.
Our last trip was to Sandy Bay where In2Adventures allowed the children to use SUP boards and explained how they use them to keep themselves fit and healthy. The morning ran smoothly and was organised extremely well by Tom Cawthorn and his team. The focus on staying healthy was then discussed by the children and how staying healthy could also link to having fun. Due to the children’s efforts and focus throughout the project they were treated to Bubble football (made possible thanks to Kaylie Napoli from Team HR) in Sandy Bay. All in all a great way to show the children how fun can be linked with keeping ourselves fit and healthy in the water.
The Year 4 team at St Joseph’s Upper Primary would like to thank everyone who in one way or another collaborated with this project and would like to give a special mention to HM Customs Marine Section, Aquagib, the GSLA, the RGP traffic section, the Nautilus Project, action4schools, In2Adventures and Team HR for going over and above to make the excursions so worthwhile and enjoyable. Without their expertise, we would not have been able to delve as deeply into the subject of water and make the children’s learning as meaningful with first hand experience and knowledge.