A trip back in time on Brunel’s SS Great Britain

Our Year 4s enjoyed an educational day out of the classroom this week visiting Brunel’s SS Great Britain in Bristol. Supporting their topic on Victorians in history, it provided an inspiring and interactive opportunity to discover more about one of the most important ships in the world. 

When launched in 1843, she was called ‘the greatest experiment since the Creation’.  By combining size, power and innovative technology, Brunel created a ship that changed history. His vision for the SS Great Britain made her the great-great-grandmother for all modern ships.

Besides stepping in to the historic vessel, Year 4 headed beneath the glass sea, took a tour of the Dockyard Museum and watched a film about Brunel’s life. Alive with sights, sounds and even smells, they took a trip back in time to set sail on the most extraordinary machine of all times. 

Here’s what some of our pupils had to say:

“Yesterday we went and visited the SS Great Britain to learn about Isambard Kingdom Brunel. We started at ‘The Victorians at Sea’ workshop where we painted pictures using pen 7 ink, played games such as quoits, skittles and solitaire.  I really enjoyed the trip.”  William 

“First, we went to the ‘Victorians at Sea’ workshop where we painted pictures with old fashioned lammy pens. We looked at some Victorian artefacts, played olden games, dressed up, did shadow drawings and made a puppet show.” Czedale 

“We learnt about the toys they had on board, the pens they used to write with, and we were shown the equipment they used to navigate. We were told the ship sailed to New York, San Francisco, The Falkland Islands and even Australia.” Jules 

“I loved having a tour of the ship and going into all the cabins. In the museum, we went into a fake wobbly train and had to try and draw a perfect circle. I got 89% which was really good for a first time.”   Harry 

“After lunch, we went underneath the dry dock to see the propeller and hull of the ship. Then into the ship, we saw a white line that meant it was only for first class travellers. The dining room was paved with gold. We went into Brunels museum and saw his face. We went into his brain too.”   Sebastian