Our primary school is in a village on the Teign estuary, which is identified by the Environment Agency as a flood-prone area. The agency invited our pupils to make poster artwork for its 2005 calendar.
My curriculum theme in Year 5 for the autumn term was "water" and in geography the children were learning about the water cycle, stages of a river, and how floods occur, focusing on the River Teign. Work on the calendar linked geography, citizenship and literacy lessons.
The BBC website's video archive of news reports was a very useful resource.
Using our interactive whiteboard we were able to watch the events that had taken place in Boscastle during August last year.
A whole-class discussion followed about how the people affected must have felt and the aftermath of the flood. Using their imaginations to understand the experience, the children wrote their own eyewitness accounts of the flood. They read newspaper reports of the Boscastle flood and compared these to the video they had watched, providing the opportunity to explore how the news is presented in different media.
While learning about the features of recount texts in the form of newspaper reports they wrote a newspaper article, imagining that the Teign had burst its banks and that the bridge over the river leading to Teignmouth was inaccessible.
Following these activities the children were all very keen to submit a picture. They used their learning to engage in a discussion about what should be included in the posters.
The Environment Agency calendar made it possible to provide a vivid and real curriculum in a range of areas.
The quality of the children's learning is reflected in the pictures they produced and their obvious pride in the end product.
Ann Parker Shaldon Primary School, Devon
www.environment-agency.gov.uk@91 T to T: Headline 18pt (other letters) =