Life below Water, Clean water and sanitation


12 weeks

Learning Objectives:

Learning objectives related to : Creativity and Innovation
• Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Decision Making
• Communication
• Information Literacy
• Scientific Literacy
• Citizenship
• Life and Career Skills
• Personal and Social Responsibility
• Interacting Considerately
• Creating Awareness
• Acting with Respect

Description of the learning process and activities:

This practice is based on OTTER Lab approach (student-centered & inquiry pedagogy):

Prepare: The teachers met with the OTTER team online and in-person for planning meetings. Here, the OTTER representative helped to guide the teachers to possible ideas for OTTER Labs and ways that it could link to the current school curriculum. Possible sites to visit for EOC activities were also discussed and reviewed for relevance to the topics being addressed. The teachers also decided that linking the 6-8yr old students and 9-11yr old students would be an opportunity to enhance collaboration, communication and mentoring students across the whole school instead of just within one class. This manifested in students buddying up with one student from 2nd class (6-8yrs) having a buddy from 6th class (9-11yrs) throughout the OTTER Labs.

This school took on OTTER across all subjects for a complete term of school. This was a huge adaptation, but the teachers felt that the OTTER Learning Objectives were relevant to all of their teaching and could be completely embedded in the curriculum across all of the subjects taught. As a result, the Orientate step was continuously in process. In-class activities were centered around the big topic as students embedded the topic into their reading (storybooks), writing (social media posts, letters to the newspaper), drawing (sketches and diagrams of the baths to scale) and modelling (maker space). 
There were particular points of specific input relating to the EOC trips such as: 

EOC trip 1 – trip to a University
Teachers pre-taught that there are things in water that we cannot see such as bacteria. They read story books about water.
EOC trip 2 & 3
Students looked at photographs of the local baths in the past. Students heard stories about why there are outdoor baths in the community in the past.

EOC trip 1 – Trip to University
Students became familiar with working in a scientific lab, but they also had the chance to interact with real scientists, enquire about how they might be similar to their role models and explore their own interests in STEAM subjects. The goal of these connections between students and scientists was to create an awareness of the stereotypes surrounding people who do science and emphasize their relevance in our day-to-day lives. Students also engaged in a nature walk to a famous architectural bridge where they could be surrounded by the many different functions of water around us. 
EOC Trip 2 – Trip to local Outdoor Baths
Students visited the local outdoor baths and looked at pictures of what it used to be like versus its current state. Students ate their lunches on the steps and drew pictures of the baths.
EOC Trip 3 – Trip to Local Outdoor Baths
Students talked to a local historian from the area who remembers the baths when they were 
functioning. They heard about the economic and recreational value of the baths. Students took measurements of the baths such as depth, width and length. Students also took water samples from the baths. 
The 9-11yrs students were visited by 5th yr (16-18yrs) students, also involved in OTTER to learn about water treatment. They asked questions and participated in engaging models of different systems to treat water.

Make an Impact: 
Students created a social media campaign to try and reopen the baths. In groups (2nd class and 6th class students) designed plans for the baths to be renovated and refurbished. They drew diagrams to scale, considered accessibility, designed keys to highlight important features of the baths. Students shared their ideas with the whole group and posted their posters on social media tagging local authorities and county councils. The also tried to recreate an old photograph from the area on a local bridge at the baths that is still standing today. 

Reflecting happened at every stage of the OTTER Labs not just at the end of the cycle in this school. The teacher chose to complete the reflect step as part of one of the EOC visit. The reflect assessment tool also helped students to consolidate learning.

Other organisations involved:

Local University; community links

Resources required:

Equipment for measuring and testing water, storybooks about water, historical records and artefacts, outdoor school classroom, modelling kits