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Go with the flow

Louise Peel, head of geography, Beth Jacob Grammar School

I heard about the Thames Barrier Information and Learning Centre when I was doing my PGCE and I had visited it before coming to this school.

So when we started to do rivers in Year 7 I thought it would be a good idea to visit our river. The package offered at the barrier is very hands-on.

Our group of 50 children was of mixed ability and they all found it very accessible. All the pupils could participate in the River game and it was a good way to get them to really imagine history.

The whole area around the barrier is interesting, predominantly industrial with the Dome and the City airport nearby. The children were impressed with the scale of the barrier and surprised that the river is becoming so much cleaner, despite its appearance. I think the working model in the information centre is very useful for an understanding of the mechanism of the barrier.

It was a visit that helped with key stage 3 study of the water cycle, rivers and human settlement and there was also some overlap with science and history.

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