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National Maritime Museum


On Thursday 28th March, Y5 went to the National Maritime Museum to explore the galleries and learn about polar exploration. We went to the museum as this term we are learning about Ernest Shackleton’s famous expedition on his boat, Endurance.

We began the day looking around the Polar Explorers gallery. We looked at what Antarctic explorers have worn over the years – we were shocked at how thin the clothing was in the early 1900s, when Shackleton lived. One case had artefacts from Endurance itself including a chair, a penknife and a diary from one of the crew members.

We then explored the hands-on gallery where we got the chance to use Morse code and we used a pulley to lift sacks of sand. It was fun to have time to play!

After lunch, we went to a workshop where we learnt about Shackleton’s life and his rivalry with Captain Scott. We also learnt about how a polar explorer survives in such harsh conditions – they needed 6000 calories a day and they ate animal fat. They needed to wear windproof jackets too. The second workshop was all about artefacts. We were shown personal artefacts found onboard boats from polar expeditions.

The items were inside special plastic to preserve them and to stop the acid from our hands destroying them. We saw a newspaper that crew members made on a ship to entertain each other and there was an invitation to a ball that was being held. We even saw a letter from Shackleton to one of his sponsors.

The trip was fascinating and lots of fun! Many thanks to the teachers and parent helpers that came along on the day.
Mati and Liza (Y5)


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