Investigating the Thames KS2

An opportunity to learn about the Thames (with history and science links)


Session 1

Fieldwork on the riverside and foreshore includes recording geographical features, using a range of scientific equipment to record simple abiotic data (temperature, velocity, state of tide) and assessing water quality through chemical testing. Pupils will use the local environment to gain experience in identifying and naming birds and recognising how they have adapted to their environment. On the foreshore pupils will collect historical artefacts, allowing them to gain an understanding and awareness of the past and compare it with the present. Fieldwork will encourage pupils to raise their own questions about their local environment.

Session 2

 In the classroom pupils will carry out hands-on investigations using a range of resources including maps, photographs and historical artefacts to learn about geography, wildlife, flooding, settlement and environmental issues of the Thames. A riverside trail around the local area provides an opportunity to observe and learn about the geography of the River Thames and land use change and how this links to a wider historical context. We will conclude by discussing why the local area was once globally important. At Museum of London Docklands, if time allows, you can explore ‘Sailor Town’ – a recreation of the streets surrounding the old docks. Visiting Sailor Town is subject to your group bringing a change of clean shoes (a museum requirement).


Museum of London Docklands, Old Royal Naval College (Greenwich)


Full day programme. Half days available on request, except at Greenwich (see above for alternative half day programme at Greenwich).

Learning Objective

Please send us your learning objectives in advance of your trip so we can tailor the programme to your requirements.

Please help us preserve London’s heritage by not taking artefacts from the foreshore

Please read our artefact policy