Girls’ School – We Love Maps!

March 20, 2019 at 10:05 AM

Cartography, also known as mapmaking has been a vital part of human history for thousands of years. From cave paintings to ancient maps of Babylon and Greece, through to the Age of Discovery and into the 21st century, people have created and used them as essential tools to help define, explain and navigate their way through the world.

This term, the Girls’ School Year 7 and 8 students have been learning how they can use maps and have been designing their own that not only show different countries but also represent a deeper meaning. Using a combination of Geography, Social Science, Mathematics and Art, the girls individually or in pairs have created maps that shine light on their representation of the world and raise awareness around current world or environmental issues. The girls have been passionate about their ideas and have touched base on issues around war and global warming.

As part of the task, Nathan Heazelwood and Sarah Allerton from Eagle Technology came into the Girls’ School to share their knowledge and expertise on cartography and its history. Nathan showed the students pictures of the Girls’ School over time, discussing how technology has enabled us to create more detailed and accurate maps. He explained how the variety and accessibility of credible maps can help us to model patterns over time, make predictions and help inform choices that Governments and groups make. Sarah spoke to the girls about possible career pathways in geography and gave them advice on some of their mapping ideas.

Every week in March, teacher, Ms Rebecca Price met the girls to help them to define their ideas, teach them how to use atlases, help them to locate resources and guide any research they needed to do.

Later in the year, the Year 8 students will be using some of these skills for their mapping unit of inquiry within Social Science. In the inquiry, they will continue to develop their knowledge of mapping skills; such as learning how to use four figure coordinates, identifying and locating countries on maps, using photos and pictures to draw maps, as well as interpreting information within maps, including identifying their features. Mathematics teachers will also be working alongside Social Science teachers to reinforce and develop the key Mathematics skills involved in these activities.

The students will be entering their maps into the New Zealand Cartographic Society’s Children’s Maps Competition called, ‘We Love Maps’. They will be sent to Wellington on March 18 to be judged on their message, cartographic content and quality of execution.

It was wonderful to see the girls fully engaged in the task and really push their creative abilities. Thank you, Nathan and Sarah, for sharing your expertise with the students, we know the girls have taken a lot away and will present some great work.


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