PRIMARY schoolchildren will be able to study one of Britain’s most iconic ships thanks to an enterprising University of Portsmouth student.
Nick Hook, 20, has produced a Key Stage 2 geography education pack about the formidable HMS Warrior, which was built to frighten off the French but never had to fire her guns in anger.
The second year product and design innovation student has timed his project to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the ship, which has been berthed at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard since 1987.
He says: ‘HMS Warrior gets forgotten about because she never fought a battle, but she has some fascinating stories to tell.
‘I want to target Portsmouth schools because local children don’t seem to visit her even though she’s right on their doorstep.’
Using historic maps of the city and three other historic ports visited by HMS Warrior, the lessons reveal sweeping changes across Britain.
In Portsmouth, for example, children will be able to see how the dockyard and city have changed dramatically in 150 years. Where Gunwharf now stands was once part of the dockyard with the slums clustered around it.
And in the maps of Sunderland, they can see how Sunderland Football Club’s ground stands on what was farmland when HMS Warrior visited the port in 1863 – a great example of the impact of Britain’s industrial revolution.
Nick adds: ‘I am hoping these sorts of geographic and historic details will help inspire a renewed interest in the ship.’
Nick designed the project with £200 from the university and it includes a series of downloadable interactive geography lessons based on HMS Warrior’s 1863 tour of Britain.
Ursula Pearce, HMS Warrior’s learning officer, who worked with Nick, said: ‘To have the input of a younger person who has new ideas and ways of presenting them is invaluable.’
The city’s 46 junior schools will be sent copies of the plans on DVD and accompanying booklets for pupils.
For details visit hmswarrior.org/learning or email firstname.lastname@example.org