Curiosity Week at The Abbey

24 January 2020

Throughout the past week, the Lower School have been focussing on curiosity and getting involved in a number of activities around the topic.

The History Department asked Lower School students to bring in old or odd objects. We have been amazed at the range of objects and the conversations that have gone on at home about family history and why some humble objects have become treasured family heirlooms. We really appreciate those families who have called up older members of the family – some of them based overseas – to help with this project. To give an idea of what has been brought in – a tray that’s value goes way beyond its use, a violin bow with the permission certificate that allowed it to be taken out of Austria by a Jewish family escaping Nazi persecution, a Portuguese birth certificate from a student who hadn’t realised that she had Portuguese ancestry, and a book that belonged to a great, great aunt signed in 1891. These and many other objects were housed in our ‘Curiosity Cabinet’ in the Hardcastle Hall. We also had offers to bring in swords and stone ornaments from the garden – these were talked about at length but thankfully didn’t come to school! Perhaps you can find another item of family history to talk about tonight?

Upper III had the opportunity to trial a new part of the educational resource ‘Annie’s Box’, which was brought into school by representatives of the education unit at the Ure Museum of Archaeology, Reading University. This is all about Annie Ure, the first curator of the museum of Archaeology who had taught at the Abbey School earlier in her career. You can find out more about Annie here.

In drama classes, Upper III built a maze out of matchsticks with only one route to the end. They raced to complete it and Dani holds the record, managing to get from one end to the other in nine seconds!

Overall, the week was certainly thought-provoking and we hope that it has inspired your students and their families to continue to be curious about the world around them.

The items in the Curiosity Cabinet have been revealed! Have a look at the gallery below: