During our Home Is Where The Heart Is topic earlier in the year, we learnt about the phenomenal adventure that was Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Through our reading and researching, we learnt about the remarkable events of the journey and the amazing courage, determination and perseverance shown by all of those involved. We followed the journey using a variety of maps and we tried to comprehend the incredible time-scale of the expedition, from the day the Endurance departed from South Georgia in 1914, right through to the rescue of the crew from Elephant Island in 1916.
During our topic, we took on the role of the inspirational leader, Ernest Shackleton, and we wrote speeches to inspire and motivate our crew during their epic journey. We identified and researched the different wildlife the crew would have encountered while in Antarctica and we wrote our own non-chronological reports about these weird and wonderful creatures. We also studied the spectacular artwork of George Marston and we completed our own paintings and drawings, inspired by his techniques.
When we thought our learning couldn’t get any more exciting, Miss Ockwell announced that she was hoping we would be lucky enough to interview Charles Wordie, the grandson of James Wordie, the geologist on the Endurance with Ernest Shackleton. Initially, we didn’t believe this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity would actually become a reality, but eventually Miss Ockwell was able to track Mr Wordie down and he said he would be delighted to share his grandfather’s experiences with us.
We immediately set about compiling our extensive list of questions, and Miss Ockwell then sent these off to Mr Wordie.
Then, at last, on Thursday 29th April, it was finally time for us to come face-to-face with the grandson of this remarkable man. Mr Wordie had spent some considerable time contemplating our questions about his grandfather James Wordie and gathering the information, photographs and diagrams he needed to answer them. As a result, he spent over an hour answering our questions and sharing insider stories and photographs. It truly was the most remarkable and awe-inspiring afternoon, and a wonderful way to bring the topic to life. We learnt so much and we were able to develop a much more in-depth understanding of life during this awe-inspiring expedition. It really was an afternoon we will remember for a very long time!