Students will learn about maritime innovations that happened on the Island at around the same time that the Titanic was being built. Using costume, artefacts, and roleplay they will discover what happened to six people who were on board the ill-fated ship and how safety at sea in the past compares with what we do today. They will find out how the Titanic disaster improved safety, about Isle of Wight links to Marconi and how to send an SOS message using a torch.
At the Boat Shed Museum in West Cowes, pupils will see a folding lifeboat like those on the Titanic, an airborne lifeboat invented in Cowes, climb aboard the Bembridge lifeboat from the 1930s and go inside a modern-day life raft. The spectacular Fresnel lens from St Catherine’s Lighthouse is also on display.
We recommend that the visit takes in both sites but the workshop can be taught in the East Cowes gallery if necessary. (Suggested route & timings: 10-11am Boat Shed tour, floating bridge crossing from West Cowes, early lunch at East Cowes gallery, 12-2pm museum trail and workshop.)
About the Classic Boat Museum
Explore maritime history with 100 boats and models at the museum’s two Cowes-based sites – one housed in the iconic Columbine Building with its Union Jack doors in East Cowes, the other under the Hammerhead Crane in West Cowes’ historic shipyard. The museum’s East Cowes gallery tells the story with models and artefacts while the West Cowes Boat Shed has the real boats! We recommend schools visit both sites – each a short walk from the Floating Bridge.
Level: Key stage 1 and 2
Curriculum links: History, Science, English
Duration: Workshops and tour of two sites: 4 hours, suggested 10-2pm including travel time on the floating Bridge between East and West Cowes. Workshop and tour of one site: 2hrs
Pupil numbers: 32 (max)
Cost: Workshop and tour of both sites: £6.50/pupil; Workshop and tour of one site: £5.50/pupil (£100 min. charge for either workshop option)
This workshop is also available for delivery in schools.
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