Friday 20th September 2019

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM TRIP

YEAR 10 TRIP TO NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON

6.30am Dawn breaks over Woodchurch. Whilst all good people should still be in their beds, a crowd… some 57 strong… gather silently outside the school gates. Why are they silent? It is simply FAR too early for Mrs Moulton and Miss Casey!!! As the coach pulls away heading south, all that can be heard is the quiet rustling of 57 packed lunches already being munched!

8.00am Pit stop. Imogen looks ominously peaky as we board the coach after refuelling near Birmingham with large Starbucks Latte and Pain au Raison! Miss Casey is wondering why all the queasy individuals are now seated behind her! Mrs Moulton hands Imogen her first grey bowl.

10.00am Approaching London. Traffic is shocking but Year 10 are in very good spirits despite being denied “The Wheels on the Bus”! As the coach nears South Kensington we’re all awake (except for Imogen who’s now thankfully stopped being sick and has fallen asleep on Matthew - but is only drooling down his shoulder slightly!) and getting excited about the day ahead!

We eventually pull up outside The Natural History Museum. It is an impressive building and there are queues of school parties milling about outside. Mrs Moulton marches straight to the front of the queue and within minutes we are in. Bags checked (found to be devoid of anything more dangerous than warm coke cans and half eaten ham sandwiches!) and we were off!

11.00am The museum is amazing.....like a shrine too life on earth. Halls stuffed full of different exhibits are overwhelming in richness of information and biodiversity. Dinosaurs tower menacingly above us in one room, insects of every hue and size in another, and even a life sized blue whale suspended above our heads in the mammal’s hall. A large display of stuffed Humming birds draws a group of our pupils too.

A life sized model of a blue whale dominates the Hall of Mammals.

  • The Blue whale is the largest animal that has ever lived on earth… and it feeds off the smallest animals on earth!
  • The minute Bee Humming bird beats its wings over 200 times a second to enable it to hover above flowers to drink their nectar. And it has to drink nectar to fuel its flight! Catch 22! Modern technology has only just caught up with it but only the worlds most advanced cameras can capture the beat of its tiny wings frame by frame
  • Some dinosaurs are thought to have been warm blooded… the evidence is in their bone structure!
  • Insects are the most diverse and successful group of animals on earth. They out number us 200 million to one.

Biology is clearly the most fascinating science and much better than Physics or Chemistry!!!

Miss Casey (Physics teacher) wholeheartedly agrees! NOT!

12.00pm Our turn to enter the Cocoon Exhibition. A huge egg like structure over 80ft tall and constructed inside the museum houses their new Darwin Exhibition. We travel to the top of the egg in a lift and rather puzzlingly are given bar coded cards. The reason for them becomes clear when the lift doors slide back. Every exhibit has a huge interactive table screen. You simply touch click on the item you are interested in and store it on your bar coded card. All the information YOU CHOOSE can then be accessed via the internet from anywhere else once you type in your code. WOW. Pupils go mad clicking and adding information on their cards…. And there is tons of it. From how scientists study beetles in the rainforest, to how we use populations of specific indicator species to reveal patterns and links with climate change. Awesome!

Check it out for yourself at: www.nhm.ac.uk

Lauren x 2, Emma and Emily admire the croc and his ancestor!

Fossil evidence lies alongside creatures that live on the earth today. But why are Darwin’s ideas still only a THEORY of evolution?

Charlie and Lauren check out the reptile hall.

Every hall is jam packed with exhibits. Every class of living thing is here on display with a wealth of facts and figures. Info overload!!! Time for a pit stop!

Three wise Seps take a break!

1.00pm Mr Gregory and Mr Francis accompany Mrs Moulton to the dinner hall and enjoy a delicious if over priced coffee and slice cake! Pupils sporadically spot us and rush over to share some amazing thing they have seen or learnt. Plenty of advice from them on which exhibits to see next! We set off again in search of the polar bear…. OMG it’s bigger than even Mrs Moulton thought.

  • Polar bears can reach a height of 10ft and can weigh as much as 2000lbs
  • Their fur is not white; it is in fact hollow to trap more air for better insulation
  • They can smell a seals breath from 2km away and through 3ft of solid ice which they can then rip though in seconds

2.00pm Human evolution. Fossil evidence for the origins our own species and others is still insufficient to fully prove the link with our primate cousins. Pupils are fascinated by this exhibit and frankly demonstrate the evolution of man admirably in this photo! John is doing an excellent impression of a Neanderthal… but how did Jack end up the MOST evolved???

2.30pm We reluctantly meet under the huge brontosaurus skeleton in the main foyer. No one wants to leave. Pupils chat excitedly about the weird and wonderful things they have seen and learnt. Between us we have seen the whole of the museum but no one managed to see it all, there is just too much stuff and we all agreed that we could do with coming back to spend another day and see the whole place.

All present and correct!

3.00pm Back on the coach and heading out of London. Traffic is dreadful but the driver keeps his temper.

Even Imogen feels better and is not asleep and drooling on Louise! YEAY!

6.00pm Pulling out from final pit stop for more coffee and crisps in Birmingham. Its been a very long day and we have been out for 12 hours but great time had by all. Staff started talking about how fantastic the pupils had been from start to finish. Exemplary behaviour, plenty of Haribo cola bottles handed out to teachers and no one even attempted to sing “the wheels on the bus”!!! Not once!

(Although there was almost a mutiny when we drove past KFC as everyone was really hungry - having eaten their lunch before 7am!)

8.00pm Arrive back at Woodchurch High School tired but happy!

10 hours on a coach together and everyone was still smiling!

As Miss Casey and Mrs Moulton waved the last of the pupils off to their lifts home and our final thought was…. As we’d had such a fabulous time…

Where are we taking 10 Seps next? WATCH THIS SPACE!