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River bank is full of history

Ideas and inspiration across the curriculum

Year 3 and 4 children took part in beachcombing the River Thames as part of the Rotherhithe Shore Explore organised by Thames 21. We were told about areas which were especially muddy: of course, this is where most of the children ended up. We found artefacts such as Coke bottles and rusty tins, but also pottery and boat parts and old pipes.

After discussing our treasures they looked for living creatures under rocks. With five children stuck in the mud up to their thighs and four boys with water over their boots, we decided we would have to call it a day.

Walking back to school covered from head to toe in smelly mud, we attracted stares, but the children had a fantastic time.

We had a workshop using artefacts from the banks to create abstract art.

The day linked with geography and history topics on investigating the area and was followed by a trip to our local museum, the Pumphouse, where we looked at the geography of Rotherhithe. The children are now more aware that they live in an important and exciting city and they have a responsibility to look after it.

Alexandra Douglas

Year 3 teacher and literacy and musicco-ordinator, Albion Primary School, London borough of Southwark

* More information about Thames 21 is at

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