2 October 2014

Year 5 embarked on an academic adventure to HMS Victory, in the historic Portsmouth docks. Each class had two fantastic activities to look forward to, and of course the joy of a packed lunch from home.

5R began the day with a tour of HMS Victory which was led by Rachel Pairman, and punctuated by input from various professional tour guides on board. The boys enjoyed the warship so much and asked so many questions at the first stop, that they had to be told to “move on” to allow other groups on board. We explored the gun decks, learned about the ships guns (not cannons!), and we were treated to a talk about the Victory’s discipline methods. Following this enlightening talk we all agreed that we were very much glad to be under the authority of a caring headmaster, rather than a baton-wielding senior crew member!

5L began their day with a series of practical activities in which they learned about sailing knots, communication flags and clothing. They had great fun learning how to tie a “bowline” and getting into character through dressing up. Judging by the laughter I heard from across the ship, the boys really entered into the spirit of the activities, and I know the tour guide was mightily impressed with our 5L boys.

Lunch beckoned, and we all formed ranks to march to the canteen (restaurant!) where we all shared stories from our morning and ate scrumptious lunches; there were certainly no complaints about the food on this trip!

Our afternoon brought with it a switch in activities, with 5L on the tour, and 5R on the activities deck. Following this we all took in the “Victory Experience” in the museum which brought home to us the fact that warfare on ship was a treacherous affair, and after seeing the way operations were carried out, we all agreed that avoiding the ship’s doctor was a priority! Our day finished with a brief spell in the HMS Victory shop, and a chance to purchase a memento from the day.

We had a fabulous time, and now have some great first-hand experiences to use in our history class this term.

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