We are really pleased to be able to offer children direct access to the River Chew, which runs adjacent to our school grounds. Stepped access to a flat area under the bridge allows children to experience and investigate the river as part of their learning in geography, science and other subjects.
Many thanks to our Chair of Governors, Nigel Chambers, for providing these steps by hand-building them himself with help from two friends. Nigel has also consulted with the relevant authorities, such as the Environment Agency and the Bristol and Avon Rivers Trust (BART). This has ensured that the work has been done safely and legally.
Our school council have taken some time to talk about the river with Nigel and have come up with a list of themes and questions they think our children should investigate. We are in the process of weaving their ideas into our curriculum.
Their list of ideas is: Habitats; how the water flows; keeping it clean; floating and sinking - making boats; how to maintain the environment; sketching; how clean the water is; measuring the depth of the water; looking at how the river changes over time (erosion); identifying animals' prints; observing the wildlife; eels; tadpoles; mayfly; where does the water come from?; looking at different types of soil/ rocks; maps - looking at the path of the river.
We have carried out a risk assessment, using advice from BART, for our river access workshops. You can find a copy of the risk assessment here.