Steam Museum opens for Year 1

Elstree Year 1 was incredibly lucky to visit the Steam Museum in Swindon this week. Although closed to the public due to restrictions, the museum kindly opened its doors as a special treat to  Elstree Pre-Prep.

For some pupils, this was their first experience travelling on a big coach.  Needless to say, excitement levels were high. However, singing songs helped contain their excitement, or at least it did until they arrived at the Steam Museum.

Learning about railways at Swindon Steam Museum 

At the museum, everyone was met by Sarah, who was dressed in 19th Century clothes. She introduced us to the famous Railway engineers of the time: – Stephenson, and Brunel, who founded the Great Western Railway.

Next, the children had the opportunity to put on hats and waistcoats that represented the different people working on the railways around the 1830’s.  These included engineers, the workers (navvy’s) and the highway men.

Each child was then given their own box, and inside was a different part of a nineteenth century train to reconstruct. It was quite tricky, but our pupils were brilliant at putting all the different pieces back together – just like the engineers of the time.

Virtually driving the train

After lunch, Year 1 had time to explore the Steam Museum and the chance to virtually drive their own train. This involved pulling different levers to open and close the sidings to let the Royal Train pass, which was fantastic fun.

They also saw where the passengers would have purchased their tickets, and took a peek at the buffet train. Rounding up an exhilarating day, our children played a game where the correct wooden trains had to be put in the right order on a large track. This took some focused thinking and involved a lot of teamwork.

Back on the big coach to Elstree Pre-Prep

It was then time for Year 1 to get back on the big coach to Elstree Pre-Prep. After an insightful time learning about the invention of trains, the children wished they were returning to school on a steam train and not on the coach.

Elstree Pre-Prep would like like to say a huge thank you to the staff at the Swindon Steam Museum for opening its doors, so we could visit in safety.  To sum up, it was an incredibly engaging and fun learning experience for our Year 1 pupils. Here’s what some of them had to say:

“I’d never been on a coach before!” – Hugo, Year 1

“Did you know, Brunel wore a hat to make him much taller?” – Gabriella, Year 1