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Sir Francis Drake’s Circumnavigation

A New Character

I am currently researching a new character – one of Drake’s crew who circumnavigated the globe with him on the Golden Hind. This is likely to be one Lawrence Eliot, although I have yet to decide for certain (there are over 40 sailors to choose from!) He has even already been booked for this September and I am very much looking forward to my first visit as him.

This new character will very much suit the new Key Stage 1 history curriculum requirement for “significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements”. The national curriculum gives the example of a comparative study of ‘Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong’, but of course this works just as well with Sir Francis Drake as the earlier adventurer. It helps that I already have procured a chest of navigational instruments as used at the time, as well as all the costume and artifacts I need to tell the story of traveling all around the world in 1577-80. Now all I have to to is read, then read some more, until I am an ‘expert’! That’s my homework for this summer.

Already I am finding out about strange occurrences and events during the trip, from deadly quarrels amongst the men to dancing with the natives. What with storms and separations, hunger and disease, it wasn’t exactly a pleasant trip! But it certainly was an exciting one. During the session I intend to tell the story of the circumnavigation, with practical exercises dotted throughout – acting out events, looking at navigational instruments, hefting weapons and tying sailors’ knots.

Once I have done some more reading and planning, I shall create a web page about the new character. So, watch this space!

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