The reception class at Prep were today practising their best pirate impressions during a visit to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall (NMMC) in Falmouth. As part of their work on transport and in preparation for their next topic on pirates, the children enjoyed a fascinating morning learning about the golden age of pirates around 350 years ago.
They started at the Learning Centre, looking at an old world map from 1577 and examining the points on a compass. Next, they helped to label the continents and oceans on the map and using their knowledge of 3D shapes, identified the world as a ‘sphere’.
Mr Hall, the Formal Learning Manager, then got them thinking about pirate treasure. The children discover that pirates sought gold, silver, and other precious cargo. This included porcelain from China, silk and spices from Asia and pearls from the Americas. They were amazed that a 1lb of cloves was worth far more than a 1lb of gold 300 years ago.
Next, the children learned about the notorious English pirate Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard, who terrorised the seas around the West Indies. They discovered the weapons he and his crew used to capture ships at sea, including pikes, pistols and cutlasses. There were also many rats on board pirate ships, and the stuffed rat was fascinating.
The children then learnt about the key parts of a ship and made their vessels from the materials supplied. Afterwards, they added weights as ballast and raced them on the water.
A big thank you to Mr Hall and all the NMMC staff and volunteers for a memorable morning of pirate adventures.