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  4. ASPIRES Case Study 6: Volcanoes (Year 8)

ASPIRES Case Study 6: Volcanoes (Year 8)

Volcanoes 1 - Aspires Casestudy 6

Volcanoes with Year 8

School: The London Nautical School, Lambeth (All boys school, state funded)

Teacher: Catherine Wilberforce (

OverviewThis formed part of the Year 8 course about ‘The Rock Cycle and Rocks’. It is designed as part of a scheme of work that is based on a set of scenarios (visited via PowerPoint in several lessons). A lot of the information is delivered via different people who work in the field, volcanologists for example, and is a great way of getting pupils to think of ‘cool careers’ in Science.

Type of lesson: Classroom-based 


Why did you do this?

We were trialling the WIKID Schemes of Work and although we have not adopted them fully (too PowerPoint and print out heavy), we do use certain resources and this one is a good example of one that is relevant and exciting to pupils. 

Summary of Activities 

We used upd8 Wikid lesson plans. See documents on WIKID website called ‘Catastrophe’. 

This is a large scheme of work to cover Rocks and the Rock Cycle. The careers element is woven into the topic via PowerPoint presentations from the WIKID website highlighting the different scientists that work on volcanoes and earthquakes. You can use the WIKID information as a resource and then perhaps get pupils to work in small groups to ‘act out’ the roles of the characters in the PowerPoint. 

If you are unable to purchase the WIKID scheme of work, there are materials about volcanoes and related topics on the upd8 website. The lesson titles are below. (You will have to log in to the upd8 website and then search for the titles, so we cannot provide the actual links.)

 'Stromboli erupts'

Topic: Rocks

The Stromboli volcano, on a tourist island off the coast of Italy, has erupted over... 

'Tsunami Warning'

Topic: Rocks & weathering

The summit of Everest is the highest place on Earth. But unpublished data from China... 

'Journey to the Centre of the Earth'

Topic: Rocks

Japanese scientists plan to drill deeper than anyone else has ever dug - right through... 


Topic: Rocks & weathering

Cavers have found Britain's biggest cave in Derbyshire. In this activity, students... 

‘Pompeii: the movie’

Topic: Rocks

Film-makers are making a film about the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius over... 

Timing : 3-4 weeks of teaching (whole SOW on Rocks and the Rock Cycle) 


Materials: Pens, paper, sugar paper, ICT suite and interactive white board

Microphones and flip videos (if available) 

Costs: purchase of WIKID resources. Some of the PowerPoints can be found through Upd8 for FREE. You can contact the WIKID team through this linkFurther details can be found at: 

Learning and Other Outcomes/Evaluation

Pupils enjoyed learning about volcanoes through ‘real people’ and case studies. We did have to add in practicals however as the SOW was rather ‘power point’ heavy and we like our pupils to have a hands on experience in Science. 

Curriculum Links

Cross curriculum links with Geography and feeds into the KS4 CORE Science GCSE programme. 

Integrating Careers Information into the Lessons

The careers aspect is woven throughout this topic and continually discussed and brought up when discussing the Science. 

Top Tips

The PowerPoints can be a bit ‘click’ intensive so it is worth checking through them and editing the bits you would like to use. It is also rather ‘print out’ intensive so again pick and choose the bits you would like to use.