Maps, bearings and triangles

Over the past few weeks we have been using compass bearings to find hidden markers. We know that a bearing is an angle measured from north.
In our latest orienteering adventure we have used bearings for a different purpose- making maps!
First we marked out a five metre line on the ground a few metres in front of the trees. This was drawn on our map as a 25cm line- it seemed sensible to represent every metre on the ground with 5cm.
Next we took compass bearings on the tree from both ends of the 5m line. The same bearings were used to draw lines from both ends of the 25cm line on the map. The tree was marked where the lines crossed. Each time we drew the bearing lines on the map we found that we had formed a triangle.

Triangles have been used to find the position of objects since the early days of map making.


Finding hidden markers

This, our final adventure in orienteering required us to follow a course of written bearings to find hidden markers. Because we were unable to see the next marker, we relied on the accuracy of our compass skills and pacings.
Well done Y5, you have successfully completed all of the challenges and are now ready to apply your skills to map making!

Stepping out…

This week saw Y5 take to the wide open spaces of the school grounds where they took bearings and used the leap-frogging technique to navigate between orienteering markers. Now that the relevant skills have been honed, they will be following bearings to find markers that have been hidden.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

Heading North!

The latest development in our orienteering journey has been to find magnetic north using a compass. In turn, we have been able to orientate our school orienteering maps to magnetic north – a key skill in the sport!

It was tricky at first but we persevered, becoming quite proficient by the end of the session.

Next week we will move on to short course orienteering.

Orienteering @ Lakeside

Putting learning on the map!

Pupils from Y5 have been taking classes in orienteering. As well as being an introduction to the sport of orienteering, the lessons are also designed to offer a practical context for the application of maths and, in particular, those skills relating to space, shape and angles.

You can see from the pictures that we have been developing our skills in small spaces, using simple maps to navigate between cone arrays. The next step is to transfer our skills to larger, more open spaces such as the school grounds.

Upcoming lessons will see the pupils learn how to make a simple plane table survey using basic trigonometry, just as the early pioneers of mapping would have done.




Y5 have delivered the results of their investigations into air quality around the school site and on the main approach routes. The project, launched back in February, has seen  a number of our Y5 and Y6 pupils working alongside environmental scientists to investigate threats to their local environment and formulate plans to tackle them.

Measuring air pollution using diffusion tubes

If you have been following the blog, you will remember that Jennifer Biggs from Modeshift worked with a group of Y6 Lakeside pupils to position diffusion tubes around the school site and on the main approach roads.

The tubes were placed in order to find the levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) present in the air. This gas, which can be a danger to health, comes from petrol and diesel vehicles.

The tubes were sent back to the lab where they were tested and the results were sent back to school.

Air pollution van

An air pollution monitoring van also visited the school. The quality of the air was measured during half term and on a normal school day.

Interpreting the results

Nitrogen Dioxide ( NO2 ), Ozone ( 03 ) and tiny particulates ( PM10) can be all found in the air we breathe and can all be harmful to health. The levels of all three were measured.

Jenny worked with a group of Y5 pupils to interpret the results and to build a presentation which was shared with KS2 children on Thursday 13th July.

You can share their presentation and findings by downloading the PowerPoint.

Lakeside Air Pollution Assembly



Summary of the results

Air pollution was higher during the school commute times.

Air pollution was much lower during half term.

The highest levels of pollution were collected along Hatherley Road.

Air pollution levels recorded in the playgrounds were not as high as expected.

How can we help reduce air pollution

We were lucky to be joined by Louise Boyle (Senior Environmental Officer). She explained how Cheltenham Borough Council are monitoring air pollution in the same ways as we have been and explained how the council are acting to help reduce air pollution. She spent some time answering questions offered up by the children.

As part of our Eco Schools work we will be looking at how we can work together as a school community to minimise air pollution around the school site and neighbouring roads.

Our results show that the best way to do this is by minimising the number of car journeys to and from school. The results and the work undertaken by the children will also feed into our School Travel Plan. More on this next year!

In the meantime we would like to thank Modeshift, Jennifer Biggs, the scientists manning the air pollution van and Louise Boyle for their help and support.