Upton pupils delve into history and heritage of China

A model of the Great Wall and a youngster creates a Chinese dragon at Upton

The fascinating and complex history, heritage and culture of China is being explored by children at Upton Junior School, Broadstairs.

The Year 5 group has spent weeks of topic work finding out about the many diverse aspects of the country, from the earliest civilisation of the dynasty.

The children began by looking at where China is in the world, identifying key physical and human characteristics and the rise and development of the mega-cities.

They also created their own map of the region and compared the life of a child in China to that of their own.

To understand the human impact on its physical geography, pupils explored the Great Wall of China using a virtual walk/ tour. They also created their own parts of the wall with a range of craft materials.

When they studied the three-gorge dam and hydro-electric power, the group also made their own water wheel turbines.

Other activities have included making oracle bones from clay – these were originally crafted from ‘dragon bones’ and had questions written on them that would be answered by the priests during a divination ceremony. They also made their own plasticine dragons.

They investigated artefacts and discussed the clues that historians would have followed to trace where the objects came from and what they were used for.

The life of Fu Hao – the first known female military leader and the most successful and powerful leader of her time – also formed part of their topic.

Athanasia Papa-Adams, Head of Year 5 and 6, said: “It was so wonderful to see the children enthusiastically engage with this topic.

“They thoroughly enjoyed becoming geographers and historians and have gained so much new knowledge. These learning opportunities not only made delving into China and its place in the world fun, it also ensured that everything they discovered has been was stored in their long-term memory.”

Children at Upton learn basic Mandarin as part of the school’s foreign languages teaching and learning.


  1. “Fu Hao”?
    Who? Not even Maxine Hong Kingston and Jung Chang have ever mentioned her. Intersectionalism hits primary schools.🙄
    Who penned that famous tome, “The Art of War”?

  2. Would it not be good for the children to make contact with a Chinese person to get that persons view of his/her own country and gain their views of the Western World rather than a political view.
    I myself have had several Chinese students and teachers stay in my home having open and honest conversations. It has been interesting to see the changes in their views.
    It they dislike the Western World so much why do their opinions change. Why do they source out countries that will give them free education (UK, Netherlands, Canada) and benefits. Yes they can work in the UK for 6 months + but under a year and they are then entitled to a basic UK state pension.

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