We are very excited to be welcoming author Julian Sedgwick to school on Wednesday to talk to all pupils in year 9 about his acclaimed novel Tsunami Girl.

The coming-of-age novel tells the story of Yūki Hara Jones, a quarter Japanese girl who relocates from the UK to stay with her Japanese grandpa on the Fukushima coast, arriving on the eve of the March 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, tsunami and radiation disaster.

As part of the author’s visit to school, pupils in year 9 have been taking part in cross-curricular learning in science, geography and mathematics exploring different aspects of the disaster discussed in the book.

In mathematics, pupils began by working out the ratio of red to white on the national flag of Japan, before watching a short video about the explosion at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Pupils were asked why it was called a triple disaster and how many people the it affected, either by being killed or displaced. Pupils were asked to consider why Japan began investing in nuclear power after World War Two and found out what happened when the Tsunami hit the nuclear power plant. The earthquake which caused the tsunami measured 9.1 on the Richter scale and pupils were asked to consider what that means. The waves of the tsunami were 40 metres in height. The disaster was the most financially costly natural disaster in human history.

In Mr Slater’s class, pupils investigated if there is a link between earthquake magnitude and financial cost. Pupils researched the ten biggest earthquakes in history, noting the name, location, date and magnitude and working out what the current financial cost would be, plotting the information on a scatter graph.

In Mr Hewitt’s class, pupils investigated why earthquakes with a similar magnitude had a different financial cost, investigating the earthquakes in Turkey – Syria, in 2023, Kuramoto, in 2016, and Sichuan, in 2008.

In science, pupils explored nuclear disasters, creating posters exploring how electricity is generated from nuclear energy, why it’s used, how the Fukushima nuclear disaster happened and the effects of nuclear radiation. Mr McGee, Head of Science, also talked about visiting an area where a tsunami had devastated an area a year on from the disaster and his experiences of that.

The lessons gave context to Julian’s visit which we are all very much looking forward to on Wednesday.