Wreck & Rescue!

“… You have inspired so much—I’ve got such a lot to take back to the classroom … Thank you for a real hands-on learning experience. The children were totally captivated.”

Duration: 2 1-hour activities, plus time to explore the Museum
Cost: £4.50 per pupil, adults free
Group Size: Up to 2 classes

KS1 and KS2 History and PSHE

Activity one
This session focuses on the tragic and dramatic story of the wreck of HMS Anson and introduces children to Cornish inventor Henry Trengrouse. Through storytelling, role-play and a range of primary sources, children will discover how his ’rocket line and breeches buoy’ rescue apparatus worked. The session finishes with children taking part in a ‘real’ breeches buoy rescue over the sea!

Activity two
A practical, hands-on history session in which children learn how to make rope from simple fibres – and how ropes have been essential to the lives of sailors, fishermen – and rescuers!


The children will be taken around the Museum to find out how boats are made, their shape, the different materials used and how they are powered. They will then make their own boat, with a sail and keel, before testing them on the large boat pool.

Curriculum links
History: knowledge, skills and understanding (historical enquiry, interpretation, chronology, people in the past); local history

PSHE:  developing a safer lifestyle.

Supports the Inspire Curriculum unit ‘To the Rescue’ and the Sense of Place unit ‘How can we find out about wreck and rescue around the Cornish coast?’ but can be adapted to other units and themes, including the coast, the sea, inventors, famous people and keeping safe.