Today we took the pupils who attend ‘Explorers Club’ to Cadbury World.
Explorers Club is our lunchtime Science/PHSE Club. We follow Crest Stars Award – although it is aimed at Primary age pupils, there’s just the right level of challenge for our SLD pupils. We decided as part of our Science and PHSE action plans that we wanted to do an unusual trip for these pupils this year, and it was even written into the budget! With a bit of creative thinking, we’ve written a unit of similar challenge to the others in the Crest series and linked the trip in.
Before the trip
We have been looking at how much air is in a Wispa. Well, an ASDA own brand, but you get the idea. With a little bit of support, but surprisingly not much, we deduced that we needed to measure the volume of the bar using water. Problem solving when trying to squeeze chocolate into a measuring cylinder was fun, but we did it! The next lesson we figured out that we needed to make the chocolate hot to take the bubbles out, and the one after we measured the volumes again.
On the day
Of course we weren’t the only school there, but we had a whole time slot to ourselves, so no worries about getting the pupils muddled up with others as we went through the exhibition. We had four adults, one a nurse to help a specific pupil access the day, and eleven students from KS3, 4 and 5. Quite a lot of the early exhibits were lost on them, those that involved reading or listening to long words, but the fun started outside the first Cadbury Tea Shop. Some staff in ‘authentic’ costume spoke to us about living in the Victorian era and the pupils were quite interested.
The ‘how we make chocolate’ theatre went down really well, with one young man making the link between the rollers to squash the chocolate and the rolling pin he uses at school. They all liked it when the seats shook!
The factory tour was great – although someone said the chocolate smelt like roast beef. Of course, being the responsible grown up that I am, I took charge of the many bars of chocolate you get as you go round. It’s quite heavy! There was a part that was inaccessible for the wheelchair, but since it was empty (just in case) we managed to get it up and down the stairs. The pupils all said that the ‘Cadabara’ ride was their favourite – I was worried that it would be too ‘young’ for them, but apparently not.
Onto the handmade chocolate section, and we all had a chance to write our names in chocolate, with varying degrees of success. Very messy, and something perhaps to think about for motor skills practice. The advert section went a bit over their heads, although staff reminisced and we all laughed at the drumming gorilla. There was a bit of fun stuff to play with, before exiting into, of course, the shop!
And then it was lunchtime. There is lots of space at Cadbury World to eat lunch, but it’s a ‘first come, first served’ basis. We headed down towards the marquee and then the pupils spotted the outside picnic benches. In the SLD/ASD world, sunny = warm. So, the pupils chose and we sat outside.
Next stop, ‘Essence’. Again, a little bit over most of their heads in places, but more than made up for by the warm, melted chocolate we got on the way out. I’d go in there again please. And again… A half hour letting off steam on the playground (note to Secondary teachers – just because you think your kids will be ‘ok’ doesn’t mean they don’t need supervising. Some of them were FOUL to my kids, and I couldn’t find a member of staff to deal with it!) and it was time to go home.
They are already asking when we can go again!
After the trip
The plan is to continue with ‘how much air is in a Wispa’ and to talk about what we have seen and done, using photos to help us remember. We might try writing our names in liquid chocolate again, and take home the results.
Note for PMLD teachers
Cadbury World has a beautiful new Changing Places toilet, so there’s no excuse not to take your pupils for a multi sensory experience!