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Lesson 5: Polar equipment Key Stage 2: Computing, English, History

Investigating what equipment Polar Explorers used and how it has changed

One of the main reasons why polar explorers have been interested in visiting the continent is because so little has been known about it until relatively recently.

Early explorers had to measure the shape of the land mass, to begin to understand it.

Some polar explorers went on expeditions with a particular skill, such as surveying to record the newly discovered land.

This is highly skilled work; a surveyor would know how to use equipment like a theodolite. Explorers needed knowledge of maths, geometry, trigonometry and physics to work out the measurements.

Modern day equipment is much more accurate and easier to use with measurements being read and stored digitally.

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Purpose of study:

Computing - Ensures that pupils become digitally literate - able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology.

English - English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening.

History - History should inspire pupils' curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgment. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people's lives.

National Curriculum Aims / Attainment Targets Activity focus


  • Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
  • KS2 - select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information.
    Use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content.
  • Investigate polar equipment.
  • Choose one piece of equipment to make a presentation about it.
  • Research modern day equipment.


  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.


  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.
  • KS2 - a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils' chronological knowledge beyond 1066.
  • Investigate polar equipment.
  • Choose one piece of equipment to make a presentation about it.
  • Research modern day equipment.