London's canal boar crew

16th September 2005 at 01:00
This summer our Year 6 pupils finished their science project on rivers and waterways of Britain with a visit to the London Canal Museum. They spent about half an hour in canal boats on the water, which they all loved.

Some had never been on a boat before and found it a wonderful eye-opener, from donning the lifejackets to experiencing the sensations of floating in a vessel.

During our science week, just before the trip, they did experiments about floating and sinking, which were followed up during our museum trip by a workshop led by British Waterways learning officer Elaine Stanley.

Our pupils constructed a model arch and then saw the original from the water. They also investigated the history of transport, learning how horses once pulled the boats from the tow paths, and why these waterways were built. For example, canals were also used to transport ice for Gatti's, possibly the first manufacturer of icecream in London.

The visit was part of an event to celebrate the fact that since 2001 Elaine has helped 10,000 pupils find out more about London's canals, rivers and docks.

* www.canalmuseum.org.uk

* www.britishwaterways.co.uk

Tyrone Andrew and Denise McCarney, Highbury Quadrant Primary School, London Borough of Islington

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