Thames Venturer is moored at Teddington Lock and becomes a ‘floating classroom’ for the day. The boat can accommodate up to 35 children, who should come with sufficient adults to support them all.
The day begins around 9.45 with all children boarding the boat and having a safety briefing before learning a little of the history of the boat: it’s over 100 years old!
Then the class splits into two, and one group starts the morning on Ham Lands, with ‘Drastic Plastic’. Children discuss the presence of plastic in their lives and how the disposal of it impacts wildlife worldwide. They examine some of the different uses of plastic and identify alternative materials that could minimise consumption of single-use plastic. As well as this unit, groups will visit Teddington Island to learn about the weir. Schools may also have a choice to visit Teddington Lock or go foraging on the foreshore on days when the tides are low.
The other group stays on board Thames Venturer for 2 short sessions, conducting scientific experiments. In one session children learn about the history of the Thames. Children assess the quality of the water in the Thames by measuring pH and other metrics. In the other session the children learn about the river’s geology and perform an experiment on the rocks and soils of the Thames.
After a packed lunch on board, the groups swap activities, and the day closes around 2.45pm. Timings for the day can be adjusted for groups provided we are given advanced notice.
Throughout the day the children will use and refine the following skills:
- Numeracy skills
- Working and thinking scientifically
- Critical thinking
- Collaborative working