Bedminster Down School

Balmoral Trip 2016


On the Tuesday 1st November a group of 15 year 8 pupils visited the Balmoral ship, moored by the M shed at Bristol harbourside.  The visit was related to Science, Technology and Maths with a focus on engineering, in particular how hydraulics is used in crane building.   We didn’t know quite what to expect when we arrived at the docks but had a great day aboard the boat.  Pupils worked in groups with older volunteers to build model robotic cranes using hydraulic systems.  During the day the pupils were shown around the ship’s bridge and the boiler room which was very interesting.  Pupils also had the opportunity of going up into one of the big cranes by the docks and driving it.  The day ended with a competition to see which team could control their crane to move a ball into a bucket – much harder than it sounds.   All the teams did really well but some did exceptionally fast times.


  ‘I have spoken with some of the older people who attended the engineering day and the team who delivered the day and the feedback has been fantastic. They all enjoyed seeing the generations working together throughout, including the older volunteers on the crane and Balmoral. The students were a credit to Bedminster Down School and hopefully they enjoyed it as much as all of us.’

One  pupil wrote about the day:

“Near enough the end of the day we went on a crane but I didn’t like the lift going up and down.  It was so cool up there and I went outside but everyone else stayed in.  I went out because of the view…

We went back to building our cranes.  Ours was the best one because we kept on winning and everyone else lost but it was good fun. “    (Jamie Doyle - year 8)


It was a really enjoyable day and pupils really seemed to enjoy it.  We hope that next year’s year 8 pupils get the same opportunity.