Where we live, the first day back at school for most children was Wednesday this week. Friends were madly naming uniform, packing lunches, sorting pens and pencils, filling school bags…
We decided to have a special not-back-to-school day! Partly to celebrate the absence of all these things above and partly to reward the girls for their hard work on our recent Ancient Egypt unit. We planned a trip to the British Museum.
J decided she wanted to take her camera and take photos so she can make a scrapbook about her day out. This was great news to me as it meant that she had something besides looking at the exhibits to do and would not get too bored and also that we have a mini-project to work on when we get home. The results are a rather hilarious collection of selfies all around London!
We took our time in the morning. While friends were doing the school run, J looked like this:
Then hopped on a train and headed towards London. We shared a set of four seats with an older lady who, rather than being disturbed by us invading her space, seemed very amused by our chatter on the journey. She joined in with a couple of games of hangman and was interested to hear what we have been learning about Egypt.
We took the tube and ended up in Bloomsbury Square, where we ate an early lunch (OK, so I DID make a packed lunch that morning, after all!) before heading in to the British Museum.
On the Underground
Then we spent HOURS in the Egyptian exhibits in the British Museum. It was fab, and the girls saw so much that they have been learning about. We even took the opportunity to explain the different languages that appear on the Rosetta Stone to another visitor!
3,000 year old chair. They don’t make ‘em like they used to.
Papyrus scroll found inside a tomb
An early mummy. Preserved in the desert sand by ‘accident’.
The Hieroglyphs and Coptic writing on the Rosetta Stone
Head of Rameses II, brought to the British Museum by Giovanni Belzoni. The girls knew about this thanks to a BBC documentary we watched.
Gift Shop Foolishness!
I thought they might be a little tired of the British Museum by now, so we stopped for a drink and snack. However, when I suggested moving on somewhere else they both wanted to stay! So we headed into the Greek section and took a look at the Parthenon exhibition.
I took the opportunity to discuss with the girls the ethics of the Elgin Marbles being in the British Museum. K knew a little about it but this was all new to J. We talked about the fact that Lord Elgin rescued the statues and friezes from damage and possible destruction in Greece, but that now the complete set is split up – half in Athens and half in England. There is no doubt that they have been preserved in such good condition thanks to being moved here, but does that mean that they should remain here? Or should they be returned to Greece? An interesting discussion, which led onto talking about the difference between archaeologists and treasure hunters. How much does history belong to its country of origin, or those who discover it?
The plan for the day was to head over to meet Daddy, who works near Old Street, for dinner. We realised that we had an hour and a half to kill before meeting, and he suggested that we should pop into the Museum of London. It is a wonderful place which charts the history of the city from pre-historic times until the present day. There were fossilised mammoth skulls, stone-age flints, mediaeval artefacts, Roman exhibits and Stuart and Tudor displays. We picked up a couple of children’s activity sheets on the way in so spent lots of time learning about Plague, War and Fire so they could complete their worksheets. We had to rush through a couple of the more modern displays about the Victorians and the World Wars to get to the end before closing time, so we will have to return another day! The highlight for K was seeing the Olympic Cauldron from London 2012. We were lucky enough to get tickets to several events at the Olympic Games and so seeing the cauldron, that held the Olympic Flame, up close was a real treat!
We were among the last to leave the museum, but J was really happy to hear that it was “Daddy Time!” We went to see his new office and he bought us dinner at a swanky burger place. We got home late, exhausted, sore-footed but happy.
Daddy’s New Office
The journey home. So tired!
So, how was YOUR first day back at school?!