On Monday for science we were exploring the properties of paper and finding out how strong it is. I challenged the children to use one A4 piece of paper to get a wooden board to stand on it at least 10cm above the table. They had great fun exploring how they could do this, some more successfully than others but they were all keen to work together experiment.
On Tuesday we had our trip to Shire Hall. It was brilliant and the children's behaviour was exemplary. We all learnt a huge amount about the Great Fire of 1613 in Dorchester and the children were able to apply their prior learning from The Great Fire of London to answer questions and explain what happened. I subsequently received an email from Shire Hall praising the children. The education officer, Anne Brown, who led our session wrote 'We had such an enjoyable morning with you and your class, they are a real joy to work with and I am so glad you all had a good time. If it’s possible to share any of their lovely writing, we would be absolutely delighted! I was also so pleased to hear your Year 2s talk about what they remembered about Harry Parker and their last visit, sometimes it’s hard to follow up the impact that visits to museum have on children, so it’s great to be able to hear first hand.'
We began in the learning room comparing an old and new map of Dorchester and seeing what had changed. We then learnt about the fire and how it started on 6th August 1613 in Thomas Bakers Chandlers shop. His cauldron used for melting tallow caught fire. The children were able to handle and smell both bees wax and tallow candels to see the difference. We then learnt that 40 barrels of gunpowder were being held in the cellars under where Shire Hall and they had to be moved. The children went down to the cell area to see how the prisoners were unshackled and made to wrap damp cloths around the barrels and roll them to safety. They worked in pairs, one pretending to be a barrel and rolled each other! We also went outside to see the blue plaque on Connells estate agents which commemorates the fire and look at the two Tudor buildings next to it that miraculously survived. The children were also able to see the three churches, St Peters, Holy Trinity and All Hallows that they had found on their maps earlier. The final activity took place in the court room where children became different characters from the time, put Thomjas Baker on trial and had to decide having listened to the evidence, whether he was guilty of deliberatly or carelessly starting a fire, or whether it was just an accident. Some year 2s took the main speaking rolls and did fantastically in reading their scripts whilst everyone else was the jury.
Well done to all of Dolphin class for making our trip so enjoyable. Thank you as well to the parents who came with us.
We have followed up our trip with writing about what we did on Tuesday and next week we will be looking at the diary of Samuel Pepys and the Great Fire of London and writing a diary entry from the time of the fire in Dorchester.
Thank you for all the boxes, I think we have enough now for our project.
I have not set a homework for this week as I would like ALL children to start learning their lines for the nativity by heart.