Year 6 on the Roof of the World
Prep Head of English and Drama, Mrs Suzanne Chinnock, writes:
The recent Year 6 non-fiction English project couldn’t reach any greater heights, focusing as it did on the tallest mountain in the world: Everest. The children learned new facts about Everest and thought about what motivates a person to attempt to summit the ‘roof of the world’. The children looked carefully at arguments for and arguments against climbing this most magnificent of mountains. Arguments for included fitness, a once-in-a-lifetime experience and collaboration. Arguments against encompassed the litter left on Everest and how this unique environment is being damaged, the grave dangers involved in a summit attempt and leaving family and friends behind. They went on to compose detailed balanced arguments, focusing on the key features of this style of writing as well as facts about Everest.
As the culmination of their project, Year 6 were lucky enough to have a visit from Charlie Sweeney (Year 6 parent). Charlie was part of a group who travelled to Everest Base Camp to take part in scientific research. This led to a television programme ‘The Cure – Doctors on Everest: Investigating Intensive Care’ which can be viewed on YouTube.
Charlie brought plenty of pictures and video clips to share with the children. As well as learning a great deal about the trek to Base Camp, they also learned about transport methods, living conditions and farming in this the harshest of environments. Charlie brought along items for the children to handle, such as a yak bell (lovely sound!), special sunglasses and a medal. He also showed a clip of his plane landing on the world’s most dangerous airstrip: Lukla Airport in Nepal, the gateway to Mount Everest. The runway is just 500 metres long and has been carved into a mountain ridge. It sits by a perilous three-kilometre drop.
The children were fascinated by Charlie’s talk and there was plenty of time to bombard him with questions! A huge thank you to Charlie for being willing to share his experiences with Year 6, making their writing far more real.