Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Carmarthen schools enjoy their final field trips

Queen Elizabeth High go to the seaside

A fine morning greeted the students from QE High when we arrived at the beach in Ferryside. At the mouth of the Tywi River, we were opposite Llansteffan Castle, where two weeks before the children of Johnstown Junior School had visited. From this side of the estuary, the castle was very dramatic across the water and the village, church and big house made a number of nice scenes. The children were not slow in capturing these landscapes, together with many other possibilities in the shore itself with patterns and textures in the sand, flotsam and seaweed. The jetty and shoreside buildings provided other creative opportunities.

Above: Queen Eliizabeth High students and staff on Ferryside platform

One of Ferryside's significant features is, of course, the railway. The main line between Swansea and Carmarthen runs round the coast and up the Tywi estuary. The trains are quite frequent, though many do not stop here. Taking pictures of the trains, and the station from the footbridge and the platform gave our students some exciting shots. Before leaving, we all gathered on the platform in front of the signal box for the group picture. The exhibition is going to be wonderful, judging by the quality of the images we looked at back in school.

Johnstown Juniors in the formal garden of the Bishop's Palace

A short bus ride from Johnstown is the Bishop's Palace at Abergwili. Home now to the Carmarthen Museum, this fine building has beautiful grounds with mature trees, lawns and shrubberies. The first thing we did was to tour the gardens taking many photos of the magnificent trees in their late autumn finery and on the way making the most of details in the leaves, bark and fungi.

Above: Johnstown Juniors on the grand staircase at the Bishop's Palace Abergwili

Completing the circuit, we made the most of the curators' invitation and spent the rest of our time in the museum itself, enjoying the displays of the history and archaeology of our great county. There was much to see, ranging from mineral samples, through paintings to the great stone frieze depicting the death of General Picton at the Battle of Waterloo. We were allowed to take pictures inside, but not with the flash on our cameras, due to the bad effect that bright light can have on some of the exhibits. It was a real treat for the kids to get this opportunity and thanks are due to the staff at the Bishop' Palace for their hospitality.

Next year

This was the last field trip for the two Carmarthen schools in this part of the project. When we resume in January, we will undertake the three classroom sessions, learning about downloading images, making folders and choosing and naming pictures. This will start on the nineteenth of the month. Prior to that, on the tenth, we begin work in the last two schools in the project, Pantycelyn Comprehensive and Rhys Pritchard juniors, both in Llandovery.

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