Class 7 has embarked on some new territory this term so far. We began the term with our class play, The Canterbury Tales, thinking we would be performing it back in week 4. How wrong we were. Instead, we postponed the play until week 8 and managed to slip in a 3 week Mechanics main lesson as well as a week of The Age of Exploration. Now that Cathy is back on board she will be pulling the play back together again this week in preparation for our performance this Friday. At least the students have had a long time to learn their lines. Hopefully it has not been so long that they have now forgotten them!
The Mechanics main lesson had us levering, measuring, weighing, pushing and pulling, as well as hoisting (with pulleys). We did several experiments every day and the students became better and better with their observations and use of scientific terminology. As a result, their experiment write-ups improved a great deal over the 3 week period. With some of the larger pulleys and strong ropes we hooked up a system on the veranda that could easily lift Jude in the air. It was great fun, and so nice to get out of the classroom for a while during this main lesson.
We have only just scratched the surface of our Age of Exploration main lesson, but we found time to attend Prince Henry the Navigator’s school of Navigation for an update on the latest 15th century navigational tools and techniques. We then boarded a Caravel ship in Portugal, sailed to the west coast of Africa and managed to sail south past the dreaded Cape Bojador and into the ‘Sea of Darkness’. Despite rumours that we would be eaten by sea monsters, burned black by the sun, or boiled in the seething waters, we managed to return safely to our homeland. After our class play we will board other vessels and sail once again into the unknown.
In our English practice lessons this term we have begun to immerse ourselves in the fantastic world of the Arthurian Tales. I really love these tales and even had the good fortune to study about them at uni way back when. One of my Medieval History professors had a passion for Arthurian literature and offered a course called ‘Adventures with Arthur’. It was definitely a highlight among the courses I studied. For the main class reader, we are using a book called King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green. It is a classic from 1953 which attempts to bring the myriad tales and legends, which were mostly written in the high middle ages, into a coherent retelling. We will continue the Arthurian tales throughout the rest of the year.
Bye for now,