Pupils study the history of Brunel’s SS Great Britain When it comes to getting some hands-on local history it doesn’t come much bigger than Brunel’s SS Great Britain. A visit to this Victorian steam ship and its adjoining museum lets pupils touch, feel and smell over 150 years of history.

Local teacher Jacqueline Ferguson partners the education team at the SS Great Britain to create a unit of work called ‘Creative Curator’. The unit is designed to develop the pupils’ investigative skills by focusing on artefacts that were used by actual passengers and crew on the ship. Jacqueline’s Year 6 class first work in groups to test their knowledge of local Victorian hero Brunel and then set about matching artefacts to passengers and crew before they present their combined knowledge through role-plays and art. The pupils also get a chance to quiz the ship’s curator as they continue their investigation of artefacts and their labels.

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