Thames Venturer is moored at Teddington Lock and becomes your ‘floating classroom’ for the day. The boat can accommodate one class per day, or up to 35 children, who will 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’, the new addition to our School on the River day. Children discuss the presence of plastic in their lives and how the disposal of it impacts wildlife worldwide. They examine different kinds of plastic and re-create the flow of the Thames as a group, living the passage of plastic debris to the sea. They finish by examining some of the alternatives to plastic in their daily lives. Apart from this unit, schools may have a choice to visit Teddington Lock or foraging on the foreshore on days when the tides are low.
The other group stay on board and use hands-on scientific equipment to determine water quality and ph. They move on to run an experiment on the rocks and soils of the river Thames and learn about its geology.
After a packed lunch on board, the groups swap, and the day closes at around 2.45pm, or when schools need to leave to arrive back in time.