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Key Stage 2

Discovery Sessions: KS2

New for September 2018:
Railway Evolution - The Development of the Railway

KS2 Victorian Britain/How did life change in our locality in Victorian times?
 
Focus: The planning, building and development of railways, and the creation and development of locomotives. The important contribution that Brunel and his peers made to make Britain’s railways great. What were the problems with pre-railway transport? Why was a railway needed between London and Bristol? What was the role of engineers and navvies?
 
Overview: Using original objects, unique railway artefacts, costume and role play pupils investigate why and how the railways were built, with a focus on the Great Western region. Explore the life and achievements of inspirational engineers, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and George and Robert Stephenson, by bringing these characters to life. Retell the story of early locomotives like Locomotion, Rocket and North Star.
 
What solutions were found to the obstacles encountered by the three railway builders, like rivers, hills, valleys and marshes? How were engineering challenges overcome?
 
Pupils go on to move around the galleries, comparing our full size monster locos and discovering how they have changed and developed over time – bigger, better, faster! How does steam move through a locomotive to make it move?  
 
As one Victorian source claimed ‘…no locomotive could travel at 10mph, but if it does, I will undertake to eat a stewed engine wheel for breakfast.’
 
Curriculum links
History
·         A study of an aspect of British History beyond 1066: A significant turning point in British History: The First Railways
·         A local history study
 
English
·         Confidence, enjoyment and mastery of language through public speaking, performance and debate
 
Science
·         States of Matter – observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius
·         Forces: recognise that some mechanisms including levers, pulleys and gears allow a smaller force to have a greater effect
 

New for September 2018: Railway Revolution – The Impact of the Railway

KS2 Victorian Britain/How did life change in our locality in Victorian times?
 
Focus: The transformational impact of the railway on the lives of the Victorian generation, and its lasting legacy today. Why was the coming of the railway important? How did the development of the railway change the everyday lives of people in Britain? How did people react to the changes?
 
Overview: Using role play, original objects, costume and other primary sources, pupils explore the lives and views of people affected by the coming of the railway, with a focus on the Great Western region.
 
Become characters who were affected in different ways, and decide whether you are for or against the new railway. Whether blacksmith, farmer, landowner or traveller; coal miner, canal owner, engineer or navvy; school teacher, doctor, or even Queen Victoria – how will the railway affect YOU? Use speaking and listening skills to discuss the diverse points of view of other people, and decide if you have changed your mind!
 
Pupils go on to discover some of the different jobs created by the new railway, and what it was like to travel on the first trains. Could you make it to Engine Driver, the top job on the GWR? How dreadful was it to travel third class?  
 
Finally, pupils explore how the railway revolutionised Britain with its effects, including day trips, seaside holidays, a postal service and ‘railway time’. Can you plot the fastest route on the GWR network to get to your destination?
 
The Quarterly, 1825:
‘It is certainly some consolation to those who are to be whirled at the rate of 18 or 20 miles per hour, by means of a high pressure engine, to be told that they are in no danger of being seasick while they are on shore, that they are not to be scolded to death or drowned by the bursting of the boiler, and that they need not mind being shot by the scattered fragments or dashed in pieces by the flying off or the breaking of a wheel. But will they believe it? Monstrous, extraordinary, most dangerous and impracticable, the railway will cause wholesale destruction of human life.’
 
Curriculum links
History
·         A study of an aspect of British History beyond 1066: A significant turning point in British history: The First Railways
·         A local history study
 
English
·         Reading comprehension
·         Confidence, enjoyment and mastery of language through public speaking, performance and debate
 
Geography
·         Name and locate counties and cities of the united Kingdom

Inside the Works – Life in the GWR Factory

KS2: Victorian Britain/How did life change in our locality in Victorian times?
 
KS3: Britain 1750 – 1900
 
Focus: Conditions in a Victorian factory and what it was like to be a Great Western Railway worker or apprentice building locomotives in Swindon.
 
Overview: Pupils step into the shoes of young GWR apprentices and experience the long hours, strict timekeeping, ruthless discipline, harsh rules and hot, dangerous, dirty surroundings of the locomotive factory. Handling original tools and other unique GWR and factory artefacts, pupils explore the different jobs, materials and physical processes involved in the construction of a colossal loco.
 
Curriculum Links 2014:
• A study of an aspect of British History beyond 1066: A significant turning
   point in British history.
• A local history study
 

Life in a Victorian New Town – The Railway comes to Swindon

KS2: Victorian Britain/How did life change in our locality in Victorian times?
 
Focus: the impact that the coming of the railway had on the small Victorian market town of Swindon and domestic and working life in the New Town of Swindon.
 
Overview: Pupils are introduced to a family who, along with many others, moved to New Swindon to work on the Great Western Railway. Using role-play, costume, original artefacts and photographs, pupils find out what life would have been like for the family in the community and how it differed from today. Themes include health and disease, church and school, shops and recreation, housing and police, the Mechanics’ Institute, domestic duties at home and factory conditions at work.
 
Curriculum Links 2014:
• A study of an aspect of British History beyond 1066: A significant turning
   point in British history.
• A local history study.
 

Discovery Sessions – World War Two

Air Raid Experience

KS2: Britain since 1930
 
Focus: what it was like for children living through the Blitz in the Second World War.
 
Overview: The ARP Warden sounds our original siren to signal an imminent air raid. Inside and outside our meticulously researched reconstruction of a public shelter, pupils interpret a superb collection of original WW2 objects and ephemera relating to the Blitz and bombing, air raid shelters, air raid precautions and the role of the ARP Warden. Pupils experience first-hand the conditions inside a shelter including sleeping and personal ablutions. The class consider questions such as how did people pass the time and how did they keep their morale high? After the anxiety of the raid, the Warden sounds the All Clear and pupils emerge from the shelter to reflect on their experience.
 
Curriculum Links 2014:
• A study of an aspect of British History beyond 1066: A significant turning
   point in British history.
 

Evacuation Experience

KS2: Britain since 1930
 
Focus: what it was like for children who were evacuated in the Second World War.
 
Overview: Share the anxiety and excitement as your pupils simulate the experience of leaving, travelling and arriving at destination as evacuees. On our station platform and inside our meticulously researched reconstruction of a wartime carriage, the pupils pack an evacuee’s suitcase, school satchel and lunchbox and handle original WW2 objects relating in particular to gas and blackout. The session finishes with a role-play as pupils are chosen or rejected by host families on arrival in the countryside.
 
Curriculum Links 2014:
• A study of an aspect of British History beyond 1066: A significant turning
   point in British history.
 

World War Two event for schools - We'll Meet Again

(Early October and early March only)

Experience our popular immersive wartime festival for schools.
 
This includes Air Raid Experience and Evacuation Experience, as well as interactive workshops covering wartime memories, wartime childhood, the Home Front and the changing role of women.
 
Please click here for full details about We'll Meet Again. This event is very popular, so please book early.
 
Curriculum Links 2014:
• A study of an aspect of British History beyond 1066: A significant turning
   point in British history.
 

Self-Guided Visits

STEAM features fantastic historic and interactive displays exploring the history of Swindon and the Great Western Railway. It is ideal for visits linked to the history of transport, the impact of the railways, industrialisation, local history, art, engineering and figures of historical significance, including Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
 
School bookings for self-guided visits are available for any Key Stage.
 

Original Gas Masks

Please note that children should under no circumstances bring original or vintage gas masks to the Museum as part of their World War Two visit. Templates for making replicas are provided in STEAM’s additional learning Resources for World War Two.
 

Making a Booking

Take a look at our Planning Your School Visit page to find out more about booking your visit or to download learning resources to use before, during or after your visit.
 
To make a booking call 01793 466640 or email steameducation@swindon.gov.uk
 
Alternatively, click on the following link for our: Learning Enquiry Form

STEAM - Museum of the
Great Western Railway

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