On a dark November morning year 3 set off from school on an adventure. Our destination was Manchester City Centre and the Bridgewater Hall. Our 'Wonders of the World' topic is about looking at buildings and Manchester has such a great array of buildings, old & new, tall and short, with interesting shapes and features. We were also looking forward to spending a great day together.
Our adventure began with a walk to the bus stop. We waited patiently for the bus, it seemed like we waited forever before our bus arrived. Once we had got on the bus it took ages for us to set off because Mr Learmont had to pay for 35 tickets. The journey into the city centre was rather warm and our breathing made all the windows on the bus steam up. When we alighted from the bus we began our walk to the Bridgewater hall, we all knew where we were going because we had planned our route in school before we left. We were also on the lookout for interesting buildings to study later in the day.
We arrived at the Bridgewater Hall and were met by Bryony who was our guide for the day and Mr Mycock, our link governor was also waiting for us. We gathered in the Barborolli room for a discussion about the purpose of the Bridgewater Hall and the types of events that are held there. We listened to pieces of classical used on film and television programmes that have been written recently and in the past. As we started on our tour we had lots of opportunities to ask questions. One of the things that has amazed me about the children at Whitegate End is the quality of the questions that they ask.
Our tour started at the top of the building. We observed the view over Manchester looking at buildings that were hundreds of years old and buildings that had been constructed more recently. In a direct line of view from the Bridgewater Hall is the Free Trade Hall, the home of the Halle orchestra prior to the Bridgewater Hall being built 15 years ago. Architecturally the Bridgewater Hall has been designed to look like a ship. In the auditorium we looked at all the features that make the Bridgewater Hall a fantastic venue for listening to live, classical music. Lots of design features are there to make the music sound good. The chairs are designed to absorb as much sound when no one is sat on them as when a person is sitting down, and acoustic panels catch sound waves so that there is no echo in the room. The Bridgewater Hall seats over 2,000 people. As we made out way down through the building we looked in the artists' dressing rooms and the green room, where musicians relax before and after a performance.
In the undercroft we saw the features of the Bridgewater Hall that make it a very special building. The whole auditorium is built on over 400 strong springs that prevent noises from outside the building and vibrations by passing cars and trams from interfering with the performance. We were all fascinated by these features and learnt that many building in Japan use the same spring technology, but in Japan this is to protect the buildings from being damaged by earthquakes.
After out tour was completed we set off exploring a whole range of city centre buildings, thinking about when and why buildings were constructed, by whom and any alterations to their use. We also looked carefully at the shapes used to construct the buildings and looked for any lines of symmetry that we could see. Our tour of Manchester's buildings ended with a careful look at the Co-Operative headquarters building. Earlier in the term Mr Mycock had visited to tell us about the construction process of this building, it was great to see it up close. (A special mention here to Adam who spotted the Co-Op building from the bus first thing in the morning)
We had a fantastic day. A big thank you to Bryony for our tour of the Bridgewater Hall, to Mr Learmont, Mrs Maslen, Mrs Tierney, Mrs Walton, Mrs Leaf and Mrs Peacock who accompanied us on our visit and to the children for their excellent behaviour throughout the day. Below are some photographs of our day. See who you can spot.