Rivers and Environmental Issues KS2


Session 1 – Riverside Fieldwork

Riverside fieldwork involves pupils using a range of scientific equipment to record simple abiotic data (temperature, depth, velocity, state of tide) and assess water quality through chemical tests. Pupils will observe river features including meanders and islands and river processes such as erosion, transportation and deposition. Pupils will use the local environment to gain experience in identifying and naming birds and recognise how they have adapted to their environment.

Session 1a – Foreshore Fieldwork

Foreshore fieldwork: at low tide pupils will take part in river dipping, a chance to discover first-hand what lives in the river by collecting, identifying and observing fish and invertebrates. Water quality will be assessed by biological indicators.

Session 2

Includes revision of geographical features and the water cycle. The River of Life floor game involves creating a natural river habitat and gaining an understanding of food chains and adaptations. Pupils will then look at how the river environment has changed over time and how pollution and human impact can pose a danger to living things. Through drama pupils will explore environmental issues and find “pollution solutions” to help devise a sustainable future for the Thames.

When the tide is high at Chiswick river bank options 1b and 1c may be taken instead of 1a.

Session 1b – Riverside Challenge

Exploring the riverside aims to encourage pupils to raise questions about riverside settlement, changes in land use, flood protection, human impact and the natural environment.

Session 1c – Meet the RNLI Lifeboat Crew

A great example of citizenship in action! Pupils will have the opportunity to visit the Chiswick Lifeboat Station, which is the second busiest in the RNLI fleet. Pupils will learn first-hand about features of a lifeboat, the crew’s kit and what happens when the crew are called out to an emergency. Pupils will also learn how to prevent accidents by developing an understanding of water safety. Please note: Chiswick is an operational lifeboat station so occasionally the crew might have to leave promptly to answer an emergency call. For this reason pupils will not be able to board the lifeboat.

If you would prefer to do sessions 1a or 1b but would also like to visit the RNLI Lifeboat station, visits can be arranged separately with the RNLI: Email chiswick@rnli.org.uk or phone 020 8995 5534.


Chiswick, Kew Bridge, Fulham Palace


Full day programme. Half days available on request (except at Fulham Palace).