On a sunny spring day in 2023, a group of 50 young people from Gosport and Fareham hopped on a Wightlink ferry for a day out on the Isle of Wight. Their destination was the stunning Biosphere environment of Sandown Bay, where fossils and rocks were discovered along the coastline, and great memories made. This visit, hosted by the experts at Dinosaur Isle and Artecology, was part of a larger learning programme delivered by The Earth Museum which compared the natural and cultural histories of two UNESCO recognised Islands through their respective migration stories: the Isle of Wight (a UNESCO Biosphere) and Rapa Nui Easter Island (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).
The Key Stage 3 Global Curriculum students who participated in the programme came from Bay House School and Brune Park School. They investigated what it means to be a global citizen in the C21st, drawing upon The Earth Museum resources which saw them exploring digital heritage maps, researching the histories of these two islands with the support of experts including stories of migration, and crafting their own creative responses inspired by their discoveries.
Their creations included the collaborative building of their own digital heritage map, using our GIS-based Create The Earth Museum platform, on which were pinned short stories they had written. This didn’t just involve them researching and writing, but also collaborating on the development of a single spreadsheet across classes with information then uploaded to create a single map for the whole project. Some students created little film segments too! They learnt about the importance of respecting and valuing each other’s work, as well as gaining knowledge and skills supporting wider work with geography, history, citizenship, writing and speaking, numbers, and computing skills.
With student contact time on the project extending well over 100 hours, we have worked together to shape a powerful learning programme that delivers great levels of student engagement and strong performance on learning outcomes. We know this because our independent expert evaluators have made this conclusion, and because we recently received an award for innovation in sustainability education and outreach. Perhaps even more importantly, we also know because, due to popular demand from teaching staff and students, we are now setting up an after-school club at GFMAT!