Albany Junior School

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Spring 1 –Geography: Mountain and Earthquakes

During the first half term, we will be discovering why earthquakes occur, why they are dangerous and where they are most likely to occur. We will also be finding out about the world's mountain ranges, using maps to locate them.



Quick Facts about Mountains

Mountains make up about one-fifth of the world's landscape, and provide homes to at least one-tenth of the world's people.

Heights of mountains are generally given as heights above sea level.

The world's highest peak on land is Mount Everest in the Himalayas. It is 8,850.1728 m (29,036 ft) tall.

Ben Nevis is also the highest mountain in Great Britain.

The tallest known mountain in the solar system is Olympus Mons, located on Mars.

There are mountains under the surface of the sea!



Some of the mountain ranges found on each continent:



Antarctic Peninsula, Transantarctic Mountains

The highest mountain, Vinson Massif in the Ellsworth Mountains, peaks at 4897 m.


Atlas, Eastern African Highlands, Ethiopian Highlands


Hindu Kush, Himalayas, Taurus, Elburz, Japanese Mountains


MacDonnell Mountains


Pyrenees, Alps, Carpathians, Apennines, Urals, Balkan Mountains

 North America:

Appalachians, Sierra Nevada, Rocky Mountains, Laurentides

 South America:

Andes, Brazilian Highlands




Earthquakes happen when two large pieces of the Earth's crust suddenly slip. This causes shock waves to shake the surface of the Earth in the form of an earthquake.

Where do earthquakes happen?

Earthquakes usually occur on the edges of large sections of the Earth's crust called tectonic plates. These plates slowly move over a long period of time. Sometimes the edges, which are called fault lines, can get stuck, but the plates keep moving. Pressure slowly starts to build up where the edges are stuck and, once the pressure gets strong enough, the plates will suddenly move causing an earthquake.



Spring 2- History: Mayans


During the second half term, we will be learning about the Ancient Mayan civilization. We will find out where they settled and what life was like for Mayans. They invented many things that have influenced our lives today so we will be discovering more about these. We will also try and explain why the Ancient Mayan civilization declined so rapidly.

The first Mesoamerican civilisation to develop writing, the Maya lived in central America around 4000 years ago (2000 BC) and developed a sophisticated culture of city states with fine monumental buildings and characteristic stepped pyramids.

The Maya were advanced in their use of mathematics and renowned for the accuracy of their calendar.



Facts about the Mayans:

By the year 250 A.D. the Mayan civilization reached its peak power. Their population reached as much as 2,000,000 people.

They called the Yucatan home. This is in the areas of western Honduras, Guatemala, northern Belize and southern Mexico.

The Mayans did not use a central ruler with their empire. They employed more of a city-state system of government. They had as many as 20 separate areas where each city had it’s own leader and noble class. These larger cities were supported by smaller cities in the surrounding areas. You can compare it to a city with suburbs.

The Mayan civilization is most famous for being advanced in certain areas. They developed a calendar system, used advanced hieroglyphic writing and showed incredibly developed knowledge of astronomy

They were good at creating structures. Many of them are still around for people to see. They created pyramids, palaces, temples observatories and ceremonial structures. Maybe even more impressive is that they did all of this with no metal tools.

They are also known for developing their own irrigation systems. They had little groundwater to work with, so they developed large underground reservoirs to store their water.