Taunton School Main Building at Dusk

Sun, sand and St Michael's Mount

Posted: 18th May 2017

Bright and early last week 40 excited Year 5 children headed to Cornwall. First stop was the Eden Project, so we travelled across Bodmin Moor on a beautiful sunny day. Arriving at the Eden Project the children experienced the Mediterranean Biome first before heading into the heat of the tropical rainforest, a significant difference in temperature and humidity. We learnt about how olives and bananas grow whilst exploring the origins of different foods, how the world’s oxygen is managed and how plants are used to create our clothes. In the rainforest, respite was taken in the ‘chill out hut’ and by us all trying a Baobab smoothy which has the taste of a ‘nutty banana’ according to Wills Leach. We also learned about why the Eden Project is so important and carried out a questionnaire examining why people visit, linking our knowledge from our classroom tourism studies of last term. Climbing to the very top of the rainforest required Cornish ice cream on our way out to refresh our boys and girls.

From the Eden Project we made the short journey to YHA Penzance. There was a lot of excitement as the children were directed to their dorms. The evening meal was well received by the pupils and we put coats on to enjoy beach games, a sing song and roasting marshmallows on a fire built by Mr Coleman with the beautiful Saint Michael’s Mount as a backdrop. As the sun set we all settled down for our first night away from home.

The following day was again sunny and after a hearty breakfast we headed to the Telegraph Museum at Porthcurno to learn about how the Titanic transmitted its famous CQD message and the origins of modern communications. Then off to Land’s End or the end of the world as some children put it with songs from Pirate FM to sing-along too. Mr McCarthy even knows now that the Rag’n’Bone Man is not somebody who arrives on a cart…don’t put your blame on me. The views at Land’s End were magical but through the haze we were just able to see Wolf Rock Lighthouse where Mr Coleman explained how it was thus named, definitely one to raise with your children this weekend! There was much discussion about wrecking, secret bays and smuggling with Mrs Hall-Tompkin before a sensory exercise examining the natural and human influences at a ‘honey pot’ coastal tourist location was experienced. Our next stop was Porthcurno again, some children watched a swimmer brave the Atlantic surf whilst others played games on the sand unwinding after a busy day. Unfortunately time caught up with us and we had to leave for our supper at the YHA. After supper Mrs McLauchlan directed a ‘Penzance Has Talent’ show where pupils recited poetry, acted comedy plays and sang traditional and more contemporary songs with prizes being awarded to the best performances. After such an exhilarating day, topped by a winning comedy sketch by Hattie and Marni with a fantastic gymnastic and dance display by Lizzie and Daisy, the lights out order was greeted and adhered to without complaint by tired children, tired staff too!

Up refreshed after a good sleep children stripped their beds, packed and tidied their rooms before another hearty breakfast was devoured by all. After first discussing the ongoing Valentine’s Day Storm repairs to the Penzance Tidal Jubilee Pool we witnessed ‘Battery Belles and Buoys’ Open Water Swimming Club training in the bay, a feat made all the more impressive as we took the sea temperature and found it just in double figures! After a quick lunch, a traditional Cornish Pasty for most, we headed home with many of the children dozing peacefully in the buses. This Spring term’s modules of tourism, ships, smuggling and coasts is now complete. The children having successfully translated classroom theory into practical humanities based skills, used in the field in challenging conditions and under mostly beautiful blue Cornish skies.

Hamish McCarthy, Head of Geography


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