Slow The Flow Launches Education Resources for KS2 and KS3 on Natural Flood Management

Funded by The Community Foundation for Calderdale, Slow The Flow has developed a range of free teaching resources on Natural Flood Management for both primary and secondary schools in Calderdale.  

Written by qualified teachers and designed to fit within the KS2 and KS3 Geography curriculum, these resources explore the issue of flooding, increasing the awareness of flood risk, flood related issues and the use of Natural Flood Management as an option for reducing flood risk. 

These completely free resources are available through the Slow The Flow website and can be delivered by teachers themselves as part of the National Curriculum.  

The Key Stage 2 day of learning is aimed at 8-11 year olds.  It is led by a fully qualified teacher and member of the Slow the Flow education team. All sessions are fully planned and resourced by Slow the Flow. The sessions take part at individual schools and lasts for a full day. The sessions include: 

• Introduction to Slow the Flow and the work they do in the community

• Studying the Calder valley and its unique geography with an interactive river mode including a Calder valley river lesson

• A detailed explanation of the causes of flooding within the Calder valley

• An explanation of Natural Flood Management and its impact on reducing flooding

• A creative approach to learning, including creating case studies and exploring some of the materials used to build leaky dams• Practical STEM sessions on SUDS and NFM

Slow The Flow themselves can also potentially deliver directly KS2 to primary schools using their own Trustees. This is completely free for schools to use and includes participation by the students themselves. 

The KS3 unit of study is designed so it can be delivered directly by qualified teachers and subject specialists in Secondary education. It is also completely free to all Calderdale schools, paid for by The Community Foundation for Calderdale.

The resources have been designed to be delivered over a series of lessons but can also be stand alone sessions that can be dropped into existing Geography schemes of work around flooding and flood mitigation.  The resources include PowerPoint presentations, photocopiable worksheets, assessment questions and many of the lessons are based around an enquiry, thinking skills approach. 

Slow The Flow are passionate about educating the next generation of children. Our vision is to widen the curriculum and to inspire a new generation of creative thinkers. We want to give children the tools to learn about the link between their local environment and the changes happening globally. The ethos of Slow The Flow has always been one of practical, positive local activism and through our work with schools we want to show young people how we can all contribute to reducing the effect of climate change by our individual and community actions.

100s of children in Calderdale have already benefitted from the lesson plans developed and delivered so far.  The interactive lessons have proved to be incredibly popular with the children and their teachers, with a growth in the number of schools signing up regularly for this free resource. 

The philosophy behind all the KS2 materials delivered in Calderdale schools is one that puts children at the centre of the learning process, exploring problems and creating practical solutions. At Slow The Flow we are passionate advocates of the idea that all learning must allow children the creative space to think beyond the classroom.

The children’s feedback from some of the recent lessons is a testament to their impact:

“I enjoyed learning about SUDs and building leaking bridges. I didn’t touch much of the wood, because there were insects on them.” 

“I enjoyed learning about NFM and SUDs as I didn’t know these facts. Also, building the dams was really fun!”

“I enjoyed the building and just everything! Nothing negative at all, the whole thing was AMAZING! I LOVED IT!”

“It was the best day of my life”

Bede Mullen, Chair of Slow The Flow explains 

“Slow The Flow started as a community led organisation determined to reduce the impact of flooding in the Calder Valley by building natural flood management into the local environment. 

We have been carrying out this practical work since 2015, working with over 1000 volunteers and landowners such as The National Trust and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. Our work has had a demonstrable impact on river peak flows, improved water quality and biodiversity, leading to habitat renewal.

Slow The Flow is very keen to convey lessons learnt to pupils in schools so they can be better prepared for the inevitable impact of climate change which will bring with it more extreme and unpredictable weather patterns, increasing the likelihood of flooding. 

The Key stage 2 and Key stage 3 curriculum materials have been welcomed and extensively used by local schools who can access them freely because of a generous grant from the Community Foundation for Calderdale”. 

Slow The Flow continues to provide educational resources, both desk based and practical experiences through their voluntary work around Calderdale.  The scheme at Hardcastle Crags continues into its 8th year with volunteers attending monthly to build and manage more leaky dams, planting trees and other forestry management techniques.  

Slow The Flow has recently begun a new scheme at Broadhead Clough in Cragg Vale to continue this work to reduce flood risk into Mytholmroyd, much like the scheme in Hardcastle Craggs. They have also developed a certified accreditation scheme for Natural Flood Management based on the work at Broadhead Clough.  This would be of particular interest to people who would like to have a career in Natural Flood Management, further study in geography or hazard management or in various land management roles. 

Slow The Flow continues to work throughout the Calder Valley and influences policy and voluntary and statutory organisations of the merits and practical and financial advantages of using Natural Flood Management to reduce flood risk.