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Learning on The Move – Bristol

If you are in Y8, then Bristol is absolutely place to visit this year. Our Year 8 class is named after Isambard Kingdom Brunel. But you don't have to be in Y8 to enjoy this destination. However, one word of warning to the driver, Bristol City centre is poorly signposted and it is very difficult to find your way around and get to the parking you need if you need to park close to a venue for wheelchair or pushchair users. Having said that it is quite a compact area to walk around, once you are parked up.

The earliest know human habitation of the Bristol area is from the Stone Age, and there has been evidence of Roman occupation found. However, more interestingly a mint was in the 10th century. The town's influence grew int he Norman Era and gained a charter from the King in 1373 and became a county.


During the 14th trading connections with countries like Wales, Ireland, Iceland, France, Spain and Portugal brought in a steady stream of trade. By the 1542 those trade routes had expanded across the Atlantic.. Sadly during the 17th and 18th centuries the transatlantic slave trade brought a lot of wealth in to the city and surrounding area. in the early 19th century a floating harbour was built and there were advances in shipbuilding and industrialisation of glass, soap and the chemical industries. The Great Western Railway made it way to Bristol, then in the early 20th century aircraft manufacture, all of this has lead to Bristol being an important financial centre and a hub for high technology, now.


Things to do to advance our learning as we are out and about.


History linked with S.T.E.M: One of the best things to visit and learn from is Brunel's SS Great Britain. an attractive museum that is very interactive. You are able to go on board the ship SS Great Britain and see just what it was like to sale from British shores across the Atlantic to America.



The SS Great Britain was one of the most important ships in the history of sailing. No one had ever designed a ship so large nor had the vision of building it from iron. Brunel fitted the ship out with a 1000hp steam engine, the most powerful engine at that point in history. He also equipped it with the first screw propeller to drive the ship forward.


The ship was adapted by the Gibbs, Bright and Co by adding a second funnel and replacing the ships rudder and propellers with newer ones so that they could save both time and money when sailing to Australia. An extra deck was built so the ship could carry up to 700 passengers. You can then learn about the voyages to the Falkland Islands.



The second part of the museum is one dedicated to the life and times of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He had a number of fabulous achievements in his life time. He was famous for this work on the construction of the Thames Tunnel, he oversaw the design and construction of many bridges and viaducts. As we Walk the River Thames, we cross over his Maidenhead Bridge and we pass his Royal Albert Bridge. Whilst you are in Bristol you need to visit Clifton Suspension Bridge one of Brunel's defining achievement in 1830, he designed the 700 feet bridge to cross the Avon River.



In 1833, Brunel was appointed as chief engineer of the Great Western railway. In 1838, he embarked on Paddington Station which is still something today. He even has links to the Crimean War, when he was asked to construct a prefabricated hospital.


Art and Science: The Museum and Art Gallery is a great place to visit and covers the art part of your curriculum and the natural history section will sort your science out for you. There is a great section for the very young all to do with dinosaurs. How ever if you would like something a bit more modern in your science, please check out Aerospace Bristol. Where you can even sit in the iconic Concord the hight of technology in its day.


Geography: The must see, without really saying, is Wookey Hole. which is not too far from Bristol. There are 8 underground chambers and good walking shoes are best for this learning adventure. The caves have been home to giant hyenas, bears, Neanderthals and some cheese!

Physical Exercise: Just like Liverpool and Edinburgh, Bristol has a lot to see in a small space, If you start at Temple Quay and walk down river (the way the water flows to the sea) all the way to Hotwells via Harbourside that will cover your health education for the week, for sure.



Information, Communication and Technology: in 2017 Bristol was named a Unesco Creative City of Film, a status that recognises its global contribution to film and television. The home to Oscar winning Aardman Animation famed for Wallace and Gromit and Shawn the Sheep, and the BBC's Natural History Unit, Bristol puts on a brilliant film festival every year which would be fun to add to your learning evidence diary!


Don’t forget to add all of the activities that you take part in and record into your diary.



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