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Rebels, brandy and fossils

Rebels, brandy and fossils

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

ON the best day of the Spring to date, Year 6 enjoyed a combined History and Geography trip to Lyme Regis.

Putting classroom theory into practice pupils learned about the birthplace of palaeontology, the town's smuggling past and the importance to science of Mary Anning. As a woman she received small opportunity to enjoy much scientific credit or plaudits for her discovery and for the development of the new science of Palaeontology.

The field trip was split into two groups. Focussing on the more recent history, a local history guide, Christopher, took us on a guided tour of Lyme Regis, where he entertained us with fantastically interesting stories about the local area; who would have known the first Governor of Bermuda came from Lyme?! Sir Walter Raleigh was a frequent visitor to the port of Lyme Regis? Smugglers hid barrels of brandy in the graves in the cemetery and that the town was a ‘hotbed’ of rebels, both during the English Civil War and during the Monmouthshire Rebellion.

The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the chance to step outside the traditional classroom environment and experience “hands on” History outside. All embraced the chance to really look at the History around them and marry the knowledge gained in the classroom to an outdoor setting.

Looking further back into History, this term Year 6 Geographers have been conducting group PSB enquiries into the development of life on the Earth and the mass extinction events that have changed the direction of the evolutionary tree. Crucial to their studies has been examining and researching the fossil remains of creatures that previously, swam, crawled and roamed our planet.

After a quick review of what they have learned so far, a short brief on the Geology and Palaeontology of the region, we went into the Lyme Regis Fossil Museum to examine some of their excellent finds and learn about Mary Anning.

The knowledge collected here has added the final chapter to their forthcoming group presentations. Never forgoing the opportunity to dress up some of the boys and girls donned the garb of the Victorians who not only came to Lyme Regis to collect fossils but also to 'drink' the sea water...for its health benefits apparently. Not convinced of the benefits of drinking sea water the pupils also enjoyed a picnic on the beach and the obligatory ice-cream.

H McCarthy & Mrs J Hall-Tomkin