Portsmouth Dockyard

Education Project: Dockyard, Then and Now

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Dockyard Then and Now

During the course of February and March 2007, we worked with a group of 19 Year 5 pupils from Stamshaw Junior School on the Dockyard; Then and Now Education project, part of the larger Sea Your History project. With funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund we were able to develop a series of sessions that allowed the children to explore and gain a greater understanding of Portsmouth Dockyard. The sessions varied from classroom based to site visits.

Group from Stamshaw School (RNM)
Group from Stamshaw School (RNM)

Historic Dockyard Tour - 6 Feb

On this first visit to the Dockyard we walked around the historic area with the children. As part of the tour we looked for clues to identify the use of the buildings and understand the features we came across. We used a group question and answer session to tease out information.

We looked at:

  • Police cells

  • Boat house 4

  • Mast pond

  • Semaphore Tower

  • Basin 1

  • Rope house

  • Railway and Weighbridge

Working by the Police Cells (RNM)
Working by the Police Cells (RNM)

The children recorded their impressions of the buildings in photographs, drawings and in cinquain style poems. They also had envelopes for each building filled with adjectives and they had to decide which adjectives applied to the feature.

Harbour Cruise - 13 Feb

On this visit we had a boat tour around Portsmouth Harbour, this included a pre-arranged commentary. The aim was for the children to understand Portsmouth Dockyard's function and location from the water. We looked at some of the ships in the harbour to appreciate how they used the Dockyard. The children were able to better understand the geographical reasons for Portsmouth Dockyard's location and to appreciate some of the facilities within the Dockyard.

We looked at:

  • Semaphore Tower

  • Storehouses

  • Jetties

  • VT Shipbuilding halls

  • Basins

  • Portchester Castle

  • HMSs Fearless and Intrepid

  • Refuelling Jetty

  • Rat Island

  • Clarence Yard

  • Priddy's Hard

Drawing on the Boat
Drawing on the Boat (RNM)

The children recorded what they saw and heard in photographs, notebooks, by drawing and writing cinquains. They had a list of adjectives and they applied the appropriate one to each feature listed above.

IT Session; Building an interactive map - 27 Feb

We used MWR's Magic Studio to create interactive maps of the Dockyard.

The children worked in pairs with the software. We developed their photographs from the previous two sessions onto CD. The children selected 4 photographs from their CDs and wrote captions for each photograph. They then followed instructions to put together interactive maps, which involved uploading photographs, typing up captions, locating the buildings on a map and then matching all of the information together.

Creating Interactive Maps (RNM)
Creating Interactive Maps (RNM)

Dockyard Apprentice - 6 March

We took the children to the Dockyard Apprentice exhibition in Boathouse 7. In preparation we created a worksheet for the children to complete with answers found in the exhibition. They had to read the text panels, draw objects and provide their own responses.

They came back to the Royal Naval Museum where in groups we taught them about object handling. We gave each child a pair of gloves and each group had an object; either an adze, chisel, sailmaker's palm, ship's badge or lifebelt. The children completed object investigation sheets and then drew the object. We provided them with basic facts about the object and they ended the session by presenting their object to the rest of the group.

Presenting a Life belt to the Group
Presenting a Life Belt to the Group (RNM)

IT session; Building an interactive timelines - 13 March

We demonstrated how the timeline worked to the children, so they understood what they would be creating. We got them into small groups and they each received a package of captioned photographs, which they had to arrange into chronological order.

We used MWR's Magic Studio to create timelines of the Dockyard. The children worked in pairs with the software. They selected 4 photographs from their CDs and wrote captions for each photograph. They then followed instructions to put together timelines which involved uploading photographs, typing up captions and then putting all the information together.

Building Timelines
Building Timelines (RNM)