This is a very short half term, so our humanities topic will continue into the second half of the summer term; this being Wales and Britain in the 19th century. Most of us know this topic as 'The Victorians'. The class will be looking back at the social and economic differences between the past and present day, comparing education and schooling and learning about the importance of engineering (railways and canal systems) and how coal built Cardiff. Of course, we have the perfect primary source of evidence - the school itself!
We start our topic we an immersion day trip to Big Pit Mining Museum, where the children will experience first hand what it was like to actually work underground. We can't wait to go!
Our literacy genres during this term included recounts in the form of a diary, letter writing and creating a balanced argument. We will also be developing our drama and role-play further, which in turn will help us with our oracy skills.
Homework will be sent home regularly, which will in turn prepare the children for Year 6 and beyond into High School. Activities will vary and may have a literacy, numeracy or topic focus. We encourage parents to help the children will some of the tasks. Homework can be emailed to the school if the children decide to use ICT to present their ideas. The email address is on the main page. Remember also to check the ActiveLearn activities which are set for the children to enjoy.
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Our Trip to Big Pit
On May 10th we travelled to Blaenavon to visit the Big Pit Mining Museum. This was a visit linked to our new topic and we were all very excited to have the opportunity to experience a little of what working in a mine would have been like; especially back in the Victorian period.
Before we descended into the actual mine, we visited the museum and Pit Baths. This was where the miners would have come after their shift to shower, removing as much of the coal dirt and dust as possible, before changing to return home. We enjoyed looking around the museum, learning about the Davy Lamps, how clothes were washed and dried and how heavy a small coal dram was to pull.
At midday, we travelled down 90m to Pit Bottom. It was very dark but we had special lamps on our helmets to help us see where we were going. We also noticed how cold it was. Our guide was called Adrian and he was extremely informative and knowledgeable.
Adrian took us into a small section of the mine, between two trap doors. This was where the small children, as young as 5, would have worked - sitting all day in the pitch black, with the rats scuttling around their feet. It must have been a terrifying experience for these children! So Adrian told us to turn off our own lamps, just so that we would also get a taste of life in total darkness. You could not see your hand in front of your face!!
It took about an hour for us to walk around the some of the 27 miles of tunnels under those mountains. We saw how the miners removed coal from the coal and we also visited the stables of some of the horses who used to work underground. They had a very sad life.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Big Pit and would recommend it to anyone!