Research on single-use plastic

In English, we have begun working on persuasive writing techniques. Among other things, we will be writing a letter to Ms Atkins about single-use plastic in the school.

Today, we did some background research on the use of plastic and considered these staggering statistics.

– There is more than one tonne of plastic in the world for every person alive today
– Humans buy about 1 million plastic bottles per minute
– 500 billion disposable cups are consumed every year.
– 5000 billion plastic bags are used worldwide each year, of which 99% are thrown away.  A plastic bag has an average “working life” of 15 minutes.
– By 2050, the amount of plastic in the ocean is expected to weigh more than the amount of fish.

If you can find out more about the environmental impact of plastic, then please share with the class tomorrow ahead of our writing.

Great Pacific Garbge Patch
Great Pacific Garbage Patch (three times the size of France) lying between California and Hawaii

Visit from Brazilian embassy

We were lucky to have four members of the Brazilian embassy’s education team visit the school today to talk to the children about Brazil, covering its geography, culture and the Amazon rainforest.   Among many things, they wanted us to understand the huge size of Brazil (the fifth largest country in the world by area) and the gigantic scale of the rainforest.

Size comparisonimg_3008

Friday challenge

A geography challenge this week:  Try to learn all the countries in South America.

The free Seterra app. is an excellent and fun way to learn countries: download the app, go to ‘South America’, pick ‘South American countries’ and click play.  It only takes a moment and your children will love it.



Videos about Brazil

To round off our geography project (other than our planned visit to the Brazilian embassy next month), the children made videos this morning about the different aspects of Brazil that we have studied.

Brazil’s diverse ecosystems

The Amazon River

The indigenous peoples of Brazil  

The Amazon rainforest  

Brazilian culture  

Rio de Janeiro 

An introduction to Brazil  


Brazil – indigenous peoples of Amazon rainforest

In geography today we learned about the indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest, including the Awa tribe, some of whom remain “uncontacted” (that is, with no interactions with the world outside the rainforest).  We ended the lesson by touching on the current pressures on the rainforest and the Awa’s way of life from commercial logging, farming, cattle ranching and mining.


Rio de Janeiro

In geography today we found out about two different areas of Rio:  the Rochinha favela and Barra da Tijuca. The children then wrote reflections on how Rio is a ‘city of two halves’.  For those interested in exploring Rio further, it would be great if they were to use GoogleEarth to look at other parts of the city and tell the class in next week’s lesson about what they find.



I was tremendously impressed with the start the children made on our first geography project which is on Brazil.  They divided into five teams, each of which used atlases and other materials to research different aspects of Brazil’s geography – the surrounding countries and oceans, the major cities, the Amazon river, the mountain ranges, and the fascinating regional terrains and ecosystems.  Then they moved between teams and shared what they’d found out with one another and annotated maps of Brazil and the South American continent.

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