Wednesday 14 February 2018

New IPC units - The Islands


The 'Islands' units are 3 new geography focused units that form part of our new curriculum content launch this Spring - Treasure Island, Island Life and Earth as a Island. 

I caught up with Elise Redman, an experienced teacher, and a current head teacher over Skype to discuss this new unit. It was a great opportunity to learn more about her experience with researching and creating the Units. Elise has a wealth of knowledge of teaching the IPC both in the UK and in International Schools. 

How do these 3 units relate to each other?

The overarching theme of the Islands is the main link for all of the units.  The main focus being on geography throughout the units also means that there is a clear progression in terms of knowledge, skills and understanding.

How are they different from each other?

In terms of focus, knowledge, skills, understanding and the different islands that are focused on I have tried to keep each unit distinct from each other. This means that there should not be any repetition for a child who begins with MP1 and goes on to learning through the other units for the rest of their school career.

Describe an exciting resource that you’ve included in this unit

In terms of MP1 I think that entry point would be really fun both for the children and, hopefully, the teacher.  Some of the games and activities have been firm-favourites when I have used them in class, particularly Captain’s Commands! 

 In MP2 the geography tasks, particularly the one about how islands are formed, should be interesting for children. I also am excited about the Desert Island disc’s inspired tasks. I am looking forward to using this in class. 

For MP3 I think that the focus of the international tasks will be really exciting and provide opportunities for children to think beyond their lives and school to the wider world; something that is of increasing importance in this interdependent world.

What do you think learners will enjoy about this unit?

Hopefully there is enough variety so that all learners will find something that captures their imagination and fires that love of learning that we try to provide for children.

What do you think teachers will enjoy about this unit?

The units are all  inter-related but also quite distinct. I have endeavored to provide as many links and resources as possible as I know from having taught for nearly 20 years that teachers are time poor!

Fun fact

Treasure Island

  • The Head on the pirate ship was the hole at the front of the ship that was used as a toilet. The modern Navy still call toilets "the heads" today.
  • Chickens were kept on board pirate ships and called 'cacklefruit'.
  • Pirate Madame Cheng (also known as Ching Shih) commanded ' Red Flag Fleet' across the South China Sea with 70,000-80,000 people under her command in boats called Junks.

Island Life

  • Java in Indonesia is the world’s most populated island with over 145 million people.
  • The Floating Islands on Lake Titicaca (Las Islas Flotantes), Peru, are entirely man-made of woven floating totora reeds. The enormous mats are fastened to one another with ropes, to keep the mats from drifting off.
  • Around 1 in 6 people on the planet live on an island, that equates to around 1.2 billion islanders in the world.

Earth as an island

  • Carteret islanders have been battling the rising sea levels for the last few decades. Since 2015 the islanders have been evacuated to nearby Papua New Guinea.
  • Plastics from land are washed into the world’s oceans and are causing problems on some of the world’s most remote islands.

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