Primary Field Trips
Off into the great Swiss outdoors
Primary students were out in the great Swiss outdoors to learn hands-on from local history and nature.
Taking their learning beyond the classroom, Grade 3s went up high into the Glarner Alps for a 24-hour German immersion field trip. They went hiking and exploring Mettmenalp and tackling team challenges – all in German.
Grade 4s, meanwhile, stayed in the lowlands as they visited the remains of the Roman settlement in Augusta Raurica. This excavation site is the best preserved Roman town north of the Alps. It is just brimming with possibilities for exploration and the adventure of discovering an ancient culture.
Both trips are typical of ICS in the way we encourage our students to balance theoretical knowledge with hands-on learning through experience.
In their classrooms, Grade 4 students first explored replicas of the silver treasure at Augusta Raurica, developing their questioning and observational skills. They also began to build an understanding of more abstract concepts like 'civilisation' and 'interpretation'.
The two trips the students then made to Augusta Raurica further helped them understand how archaeologists and historians work as they interpreted the evidence of past civilisations.
What did these people leave behind? How have the artefacts been unearthed and documented for us to see? What were the Romans using 2,000 years ago that connect to today's modern conveniences? The Grade 4s found answers to these and many more questions during their visit – which even gave them the chance to grind grains and bake bread just as the Romans did, and visit an archaeological dig.
Meanwhile, Grade 3s practised their German by communicating with each other in German as they hiked round a lake and observed the natural world. They did German-language activities linked to their inquiry into 'Diversity' as they contrasted living in a town or city with living in a rural area like Mettmenalp. In the evening, working in a team, native German-speaking students helped classmates with much less knowledge of the language.
Pooling their skills, as both sets of students did during their trips, is a process beneficial to all learners. It is also proof of what ICS students, collaborating successfully, are capable of.