Thoughts on the project
One of the key aspects for me is the children’s change of view of the country and its inhabitants. Initially, they had an extremely negative view of the country yet now it is much more balanced. The children are able to make clear statements about how their view has changed and the reasons for this.
I was very pleased with the mind map and the ‘Find Someone Who Knows’ game as ways of assessing progression. They are both very simple and extremely easy to organise, yet incredibly effective in terms of demonstrating pupil progression. The mind map is provides a clear picture of individual progression and the game shows how the class are progressing as a group.
When practising, the children demonstrated their learning about the Saudi Arabian souques, however when the camera was turned on, the children lacked focus and were slightly embarrassed. Perhaps as a follow up to the role play, the children could have created a short graphic novel with a combination of the pictures, captions, speech and thought bubbles demonstrating their learning.
During this unit believe that I certainly saw ‘geography happening’. The children were engaged and made progress in terms of their knowledge, skills, understanding and values. I saw a dramatically increased knowledge of Saudi Arabia’s geography and culture. The work that the children completed, and in particular the correspondence with the Saudi Arabian children, broke down many stereotypes about the culture. All of the children now have a more positive view of Saudi Arabia.
The class are able to demonstrate a range of Level 3 and 4 skills
- The children are all able to locate Saudi Arabia and its key cities on a map
- They can use the internet to find appropriate information on websites
- The children can describe physical and human features of Saudi Arabia using appropriate geographical terms
- The children have made comparisons between Saudi Arabia and the UK
- The children are able to identify contrasts and cultural diversity
Although this unit was very cross-curricular, I will be taking it further by developing it into a completely cross-curricular six week unit of work with my class next year.
On meeting my new class at the end of last year, one of the first questions that they asked was whether they would get to learn about Saudi Arabia which shows how the enthusiasm travelled throughout the school.
It is a shame that there was not a field trip for this unit. Obviously it is not possible for the children to go to Saudi Arabia, however in the past some of our pupils have visited The King Fahad Academy which is an Islamic day school in London. Perhaps this could be a consideration for future years.