Class 7/8 Kayak Launch

14 July 2017

Class 7/8 launched their Inuit qajaq (kayak) on the last day of term, as a wonderful close to the School year. The whole School was out in full celebratory spirit to witness the river launch of their 22 foot, full-size reconstruction of an 1823 Inuit qajaq (kayak). Find our more below…

A Living Research Project

The project has been lead by our Woodwork Teacher, Mike Morgan, and has taken Mike and the Class four months to complete. It has been a fantastic living research project, connecting learning across all areas of our broad curriculum – from maths and the science of buoyancy, to history, ethnography, craft and literacy.

The original qajaq is typical of those from Igloolik Island in Foxe Basin, Canada, and is part of the British Museum collection.  Class 7/8 used close-to original construction techniques ,though using 12 oz cotton duck canvas rather than the craft’s original 13 seal skins.

After finally skinning the boat Class 7/8 carried the qajaq from our home in Llandaff North, through Hailey Park, across the busy A4054 at Llandaff Bridge, and down to the launch at Llandaff Rowing Club. They were followed by an excited troupe of children, parents, teachers, staff and friends and drew bemused and admiring glances from passers-by along their way.

Mike trialled the qajaq  first to gauge stability, before each student took their turn to experience the culmination of this exiting project. It was a unique opportunity to get a hands-on appreciation, not only of all their hard-work, but of a craft which was the absolute cutting-edge of technology of its time.

It was a fitting end to the school year – the culmination of the Class’ Lower School journey before they ‘launch’ into our pioneering new Upper School opening in September 2017.

BBC Wales were there to film the occasion – you can watch their short video story and listen to a more in-depth radio interview about the project (piece starts at 57:33).

We would like to say a huge thank you to Mike for bringing the Class this amazing project, and also to Llandaff North Rowing Club, and all our children, parents, teachers, staff and friends who came along to celebrate this pivotal occasion with the Class.

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