Have humans conquered the air?

People: James Sadler

Places: Christchurch Meadow Oxford

Problem: Funding his passion for hot-air ballooning and belief in human flight

Possibilities: Resilience and perseverance/belief in a new idea


The project starts with the introduction of the Ancient Greek story of Icarus and his father, imprisoned in a high tower. They both suggest ways of escaping their tower prison and children are invited to make suitable suggestions. The children find out about making wings to fly and links are made with the first flying machines. Brave inventors, the Montgolfier brothers are introduced through a picture book that retells the story of how the first hot-air balloon was designed, trialled and successfully flew. Local links are made through the details of James Sadler’s flight from Christ Church Meadows, Oxford. 

Moving on, the children learn about the Wright brothers who invented the first aeroplane and the subsequent aeronauts such as Amelia Earhart and Bessie Coleman. 

Knowledge Organiser


Trips out/Visitors In 

Christ Church Meadows to see the site of the take-off of the first hot-air balloon in England.

Learning Exhibition 

Children will present the knowledge gained and their D.T., Artwork and writing to parents and family members at the end of the project. 

Self-Portraits produced over several drafts. Very impressive Year 2!