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Shipham Church of England First School

Blackrock Class getting hands on with rocks

Year 3 and 4 started this month with a day trip to the Earth Science Centre to learn everything there is to know about geology, focussing on the Mendip area.  Fortunately, they didn’t  have quite the hands-on experience that their predecessors would have had in the coal mines of Shipham. Instead, Blackrock class visited The Earth Science Centre; two quarries near Shepton Mallet where they received a guided tour of the operational facilities, allowing them to experience modern mining techniques. One of the highlights of the trip for the children was getting to see the huge machinery used to quarry the 700,000m square site. Pupils were shown a £1m dumper truck and got to watch as mammoth diggers unceremoniously dumped chunks of limestone, often weighing upwards of a tonne, into a crusher in an impressive display of mechanical power.


Climbing Instructor (and Dad) Ian Burton visited the aptly named Blackrock class and gave them a wonderful insight in to rock climbing. He came dressed in his father’s old climbing gear; his father was a famous climber in the 1930s. Ian compared his modern equipment to that of his father and gave a fascinating talk, with a hands on demonstration using ropes and safety equipment.