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Pond Dipping: Key Stage 1

What lives in the ponds? Children use nets, collecting trays and identification charts to learn about local aquatic life.

In 2015 we created a new pond dipping platform especially so that children could get closer to nature and learn about pond life. Our boardwalk allows access to 3 small connected ponds set in a reedbed. The ponds were created by the army in the 1980’s – they detonated explosives to create the pools as part of an experiment! The ponds had been overgrown by reeds but we recently re-discovered them.

Working together in groups of up to 6 the children will use nets to catch creatures living in the ponds. They will use collecting trays and identification charts to work out what they have caught. As part of this we will help to teach them about aquatic creatures, their life-cycles and some of the adaptations that they have to survive. The types of creatures caught might include frogs, sticklebacks, boatmen, dragonfly larvae and water beetles.

This activity lasts 30 minutes and works best if children are in groups of 6 or less, with each group supported by an adult.

Learning Outcomes/Curriculum Links

Science Curriculum: Working scientifically, Animals and Living Things & Their Habitats.

English Curriculum: Spoken Language

This activity will help children to:

  • identify and name some of the different kinds of animals in their local environment, describe and compare their structure and consider whether they are carnivores, herbivores or omnivores.
  • relate life processes to animals found in the local environment.
  • asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways.
  • observing closely.
  • identifying and classifying.
  • using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
  • learn language associated with wildlife and nature.
  • care for the environment.