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History of Medicine at the Longshop Museum!

Key Stage 2 children had a fantastic time visiting the Longshop Museum at Leiston recently. They dressed up in Victorian costumes and even brought a Victorian packed lunch with them! All through the day, they did a variety of activities, including handling old-fashioned medical objects, learning about great Victorian medical discoveries and role-play, putting themselves in the role of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Britain’s first female doctor! Incidentally, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was the niece of one of the owners of the engineering works, which used to be on the site of the Longshop Museum.

Charles, in Year 5, says, ‘I enjoyed myself there, and especially enjoyed handling the objects. We looked at things like a Victorian bed pan.’

Lewis, in Year 5, says, ‘There was also a Victorian stethoscope. It made a big noise, like a dinosaur.’

Zoe, from Year 5, says, ‘I wasn’t so keen on my Victorian packed lunch, but I did like dressing up as a maid.’

Anyone who wants to visit the Longshop Museum, with their own family, can find details on their website. www.longshopmuseum.co.uk

If you would like to find out more about the life of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, visit the website below.
BBC Bitesize – KS2 Science – Proud to be a Doctor


Hollowford 2017 Day 4

Cavers’ Fashion Week hit Hollowford today, with many of our children choosing to get involved: Christopher, Erin, Katie, Jodi, Elsie F, Jessica A, Kian, Phoebe, Declan, Elisabeth, Jessica T, Amy and Grace all took the catwalks sporting fetching all-in-one outfits, accessorised with black belts, green wellies, hard-hats, and lights. Caving itself suits some children (Kian, Christopher, Phoebe, Elisabeth and Declan) more than others, but all impressed their group leaders and guides by descending ever deeper and going to the very end despite rising panic. Erin, Katie and Jodi were especially wonderful, conquering their fears in ‘the Hippodrome’ by singing hits from the Wizard of Oz. Christopher, Elisabeth, Phoebe, Kian, Declan, Elsie F and Jessica A performed a science experiment far beneath the ground using a polo mint; they had been told that, in absolute darkness, a polo gives off a tiny spark when it is snapped in two. So, having turned off all head torches and allowed their eyes to accustom to the dark, a polo was duly snapped by each child and… nothing happened. No light. Science aside, the children were incredible, disappearing down the tiniest of tunnels and commando-crawling through muddy puddles on their tummies with me slithering behind desperately trying to keep up.

Other activities today included the High Ropes and, again, this activity suits some more than others. Step forward Elsie F, who raced up the ladders and pegs, sprung confidently off the Leap of Faith pole and was chosen to try the lean-out-challenge. She had to balance on the top whilst others climbed up, then hold on to Flis from Worlingworth and lean out as far as they both could go – impressive stuff. The other person who stood out was Grace who spent 25 minutes wobbling on the top of the pole, trying to gather her courage for the leap off. Her determination to do everything, despite her fears, has been impressive all week.

Elsie C, Nathy, Bella and Edward were also very pleased and impressed with the raft they built today which they rowed to win two races.

Many of the children have enjoyed getting to know others. Amy has really enjoyed making friends with children the children in her group and her sportiness has also been noticed; she was first up the high ropes. Mr Hepburn has talked about her cheerfulness and the way she has got involved with everything.

This evening saw the return of the Hollowford Talent Show with a variety of different ‘talents’ on show, including singing, poetry, dancing, doing the worm, throwing a bottle into the air (!), magic and ballet. I’m pleased to say that Phoebe and Elisabeth came joint first with their poem – it helped that it was very flattering about one of the judges (me!).

Fressingfield girls – Grace, Amy, Erin, Katie, Jess T and Jodi are also the overall winners of the tidiest room competition. The Fressingfield boys, despite a sterling effort to improve the chaos in their room – and a noticeable improvement in standards, came last. Oh, well.

And now, the drying room has been emptied of wet clothes, the walking boots have been given back to the centre, the caving gear has all been hosed down (by the children) and hung up to dry, the children’s things have been packed into bags and they are all tucked up asleep. Tomorrow we leave after breakfast, exhausted, proud of our achievements and happy.


Hollowford 2017 Day 3

Today we spent the day in our school group and with the children from Worlingworth Primary. As the other children set off to conquer Mam Tor, we headed down into Castleton for the altogether less challenging task of browsing the gift and sweet shops of this beautiful town. It is impressive to see how many gifts can be bought for just £10 whilst still leaving enough to buy giant gobstoppers, edible money, nerds, millions, flying saucers, chocolate rocks, toxic wastes and sugar mice from, what must be, the world’s most comprehensively stocked sweetshop.

We also climbed the steep slope to take a look at the ruins of Peveril Castle. The children loved the (slightly daunting) views of Mam Tor from the top and then distracted themselves by rolling down the grassy banks, taking photographs, waving at the sheep in the gorge below and visiting the keep.

That’s when Elsie C began her campaign: “I think I’m developing a bit of a temperature Mr Leicester, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to climb up Mam Tor… I’ve got a bit of a sore throat Mr Leicester, cough, cough… I really don’t think I should be going up there Mr Leicester, it would be considered cruelty to children if you forced me… it’s probably against the UN Convention for Children’s Rights, cough, cough.” The campaign continued throughout the final dash around the last souvenir shop, the jog back to the centre just in time for lunch, and throughout lunch itself. Cough, cough. At 1:30, as we gathered in the lounge with walking boots on, water bottles at the ready and covered with suncream to meet the guides, Elsie appeared – her face and hands covered with little red spots. Cough, cough. “You see Mr Leicester – I think I’ve got chicken pox.” She almost convinced some of the adults too, but not the wily Mr Leicester. The ‘pox’ seemed remarkably easy to rub off and Det. Inspector Bella informed us that she had seen a packet of felt tips on Elsie’s bed with the red sticking out! Dastardly!

Needless to say, all the children were fantastic on the walk – Elsie included. Declan deserves a special mention for soldiering on despite a sore knee, the results of a fall earlier in the day. Edward and Elsie F ran the last stretch, getting to the top in tied second place. Jodi kept me company as we walked and Mrs Sheldrake helped encourage some of the stragglers and we all – all – made it to the top: a fantastic achievement.

The descent was fuelled by the sweets the children had been allowed to bring with them from their morning shopping. It is interesting to observe the effects of the consumption of an entire stick of rock on an eleven year old, and both Erin and Katie were keen to demonstrate; see the photos if you’ve never witnessed it first-hand. Jessica A was certainly impressed – albeit slightly bemused. I think both girls were so full of energy they would have happily gone back up and done it all over again.

The evening saw the appearance of the Room Inspectors, and I am pleased to note that Erin, Katie, Amy, Grace, Jessica T and Jodi were joint winners of the tidiest room. Their greeting in French, the aroma of Grace’s perfume, the perfectly folded clothes and towels, neatly lined up shoes and immaculately made beds (with teddies tucked in, but arms over covers) helped them to a 19/20 (and another sweetie prize!).

And again, needless to say, I have insisted that all the children have brushed their teeth before going to bed.


Hollowford 2017 Day 2

What a great day! Today was the first day of activities so, after a hearty full-English breakfast, we set off in different directions.

Bella and Elsie C, Nathy and Edward found themselves descending into the darkness of Bagshaw Cave – hundreds of roughly hewn steps down into an ancient mine. The cave involved wading through winding tunnels, many too small to stand up in, with dirty water sloshing over the tops of their wellies and up to ther knees. They loved it!

Jessica T, Amy and Grace, Erin, Jodi and Katie, Elsie F and Jess A were driven up into the clouds to the top of Higger Tor, a cascade of millstones, to go weasling. Their instructor Ian was really pleased with them as they squeezed and shimmied their way through tiny gaps. Jodi especially shone for conquering her fear of small spaces. In the afternoon it was the turn of Christopher, Declan, Kian, Phoebe and Elisabeth and I can personally vouch for their bravery and enthusiasm. Kian and Elisabeth were crowned King and Queen of the Weasels for their incredible skill at twisting and turning their way through narrow tunnels.

Edward and Nathy, with Mrs Deatker from Stradbroke Primary, really pushed themselves this afternoon on the High Ropes. Initial enthusiasm was replaced by wobbly legs and knocking knees when the realisation of how high the bars actually are hit home. Despite the wobbles, both of them climbed the ladder again, getting one step higher before leaping off for the dangle back down. Both Edward and Nathy claimed to prefer the tight spaces of the mornings caving: “I’ve got the opposite of claustrophobia, whatever that is” says Nathy.

Erin, Jodi and Katie took on the top-pole-challenge this afternoon: this involved climbing to the top of a very tall pole with a tiny platform at the very top. Once there, the children had to wait for the rest of the team to climb up one-by-one, with the pole wobbling with every step taken, until all four were at the top. Then, putting their faith in each other, they were asked to hold on to each other and lean backwards as far as they could go! It is a reflection of high opinion the instructors have of this year’s groups that they were given the chance to do this – I have never seen it done before.

Elsie F and Jessica built a raft this afternoon (and took on the zip wire whilst waiting for the other team to build theirs). Their raft was described as perfect – every knot pulled tight, each plank square, and the whole thing, sturdy and pond-worthy. Their next step is to improve their rowing skills though as they were soundly thrashed by the other team in the race around the pond.

This evening we had a lively game of Beetle Drive – and Katie, Elsie F, Kian and Erin won the first prize of half a kilo of sweets. Well done team Fressingfield! (I have made sure that everyone has brushed their teeth before going to sleep!)

Tomorrow we visit Castleton in the morning, then climb Mam Tor in the afternoon. We are hoping that the rain will stop.


Hollowford 2017 Day 1

The long, long bus journey (made e-v-e-n l-o-n-g-e-r with endless roadworks and an accident on the A14) was all suddenly worth it when we came over the hill and into the Hope valley. The children thought it was beautiful, and were fascinated to see houses perched half-way up hills. “Is that the one we’re climbing?” replaced “How much longer?” for the last hour of the trip and, to cap it all, the sun came out.

We were warmly welcomed by the staff at Hollowford and given a short lesson on how to put a duvet cover onto a duvet.  Some children – Elisabeth and Declan step forward – are very good at making their own beds. Others will not be shamed here. A short amount of time was given for the girls to carefully arrange their things on the shelves in their rooms and for the boys to scatter their belongings liberally all over their room, then we ate, and set off for a walk.

We headed up to Odin’s Mine, through fields of sheep that Edward helpfully named for us; he seems to be able to speak their language fairly fluently. The walk was lovely with spectacular views and Fressingfield led the way. Katie – as our resident photo-journalist – snapped almost every blade of grass, black slug and stream we stepped over. Christopher, Kian and Nathy all walked really well, although that might be because Bella offered to carry all their bags for them! The sound of sheep baaing, cows mooing and the wind gently rustling the ferns was all perfectly complemented by the guinea-pig-like squeaking of Phoebe’s new laugh.

When we got back – at about 8-ish – we set up a game of football and a game of rounders. The rounders game ended with a spectacular, very tense, extra-time draw thanks to Jess A’s two incredible home runs. Then it was time for showers and bed.

All went off very well with no issues at all. Most children have chosen to keep the lights in the bathrooms left on and their teddies are all snuggled in with them.

Tomorrow they find out their day groups and the activities start – rocks, high-ropes, caving, zip-wire and rafting.

We can’t wait!