Last Friday Year 4 visited the River Salwarpe, at Droitwich, to learn more about how rivers are formed and how they move. The visit was led by staff from the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust (Marissa and Steff), who were both so knowledgeable and fantastic teachers.
The children started off in a nearby church hall, looking at how the landscape had been back in Anglo Saxon times (making a link to our Year 4 History Curriculum). The children used a rune chart to work out the names of some animals that had lived in the saltmarshes, next to river, during that period and were very excited and amazed to find out that mammoths had lived in the area at one point. Steff brought round a piece of mammoth bone for the children to look at, as well as an oyster catcher skull.
After this we headed down to the river to learn about the River Salwarpe’s basin and the other rivers that feed into it, as well as where the River Salwarpe’s mouth is. The children were interested to find out that the River Salwarpe is made by two brooks joining together (the Soadesbourne and Battlefield Brooks) to form a confluence, and that its mouth is where it feeds into the River Severn, as a tributary.
The class then learnt about erosion and deposition and how this is linked to the speed of the water in the river, and how it contributes to the river moving and changing shape over time, including the formation of meanders.
Then it was time to get into the river to carry out some river profiling, to look at the depth of the channel across its width at various points, and the speed of the water flow at those same points. The children were amazing at working together in groups to collect and record this information for their allocated spot along the river. Once they had gained dry land again, they evaluated their results to see what they were telling them.
As the weather was nice, the children ate their lunches on the playing field next to the river, before venturing into the neighbouring ancient woodland on the other side of the river. Here they were able to take a trip back in time to look at the plants found there in Anglo Saxon times, and investigate how the Anglo Saxons would have used these plants.
It was an amazing day and we all learnt so much! Thank you Marissa and Steff.