Year One pupils and staff enjoyed a fantastic educational visit to The Big Pit at Blaenafon in Wales. The trip linked closely to the term’s topic on ‘The British Isles’ and it gave pupils the opportunity to travel outside England and look at the changing landscape as the coach passed through South Wales. It was interesting to experience what life was like in the past in a coal-mining community and to compare life then with life now. The children enjoyed a virtual tour of an underground mine and experienced the sights and sounds that were part of the daily life of miners. A look around the museum allowed everyone to see clothing, machinery, tools and equipment from different periods of the past in the days of King Coal. The children found out how coal has been produced from trees that died millions of years ago and how it became a vital fuel during the Industrial Revolution. During the tour of the pit buildings we passed an old fireplace and Mr Collier (being a bit older than other staff on the trip) recalled his childhood experiences of visits to his grandparents’ house by the coalman and the sweep. The visit was supported by activities in the classroom and enabled the children to extend their learning experiences.

Mark Collier