21 May

Y5 Ironbridge Field Trip


The Ironbridge in Coalbrookdale, Shropshire stands as an iconic symbol in one man’s belief that he could prove the strength of iron when others were unsure. It stood the test of powerful flooding of the River Severn and together with the need for cannon and armoury in the Napoleonic Wars, the iron industry flourished and its growing use bloomed into a life–changing Industrial Revolution.

Travelling by underground canal, visiting a coal mine and a large furnace and watching melted iron being poured into casts, Year 5 groups examine the science of removing iron from its ore and casting.  They consider the geography of the area for the resources required and the evolving transport required for import and export. They also examine the architecture of the bridge itself, thinking about how, with relatively unsophisticated knowledge of metallurgy, the structure was made using carpentry skills.  Role-play at a reconstructed village raises their awareness about how social conditions and class developed between factory owner and employee.

Two local workshops in historic factories along the River Severn provide hands-on experience of using the local resources to form a clay mask as well as mastering the skill of tube-lining and glazing a tile, creating two very individual permanent memories of an area that began the transformation of our world.