St Nicholas at Wade pupils find history on their doorstep at Powell-Cotton Museum

Pupils working in the grounds at Quex

The extraordinary life of explorer Major Percy Powell-Cotton is being discovered by children at St Nicholas-at-Wade CE Primary School.

The Year 2 class are enjoying finding history on their doorstep at the Powell-Cotton natural history museum in the grounds Quex Park in Birchington.

Using a story map with key words and pictures, children created and presented a story about Percy’s travels in Africa.

They also enjoyed a tour of the museum as its history trail was revealed through its impressive dioramas and artefacts – and the group also made friends with Penfold the peacock in the wooded grounds when they were studying outside.

The educational visit, organised by Year 2 teacher Collette Palmer, is part of their current project work Movers and Shakers that examines historically significant people who have had a major impact on the world.

As the topic unfolds, pupils will learn to use timelines, stories and historical sources to find out about the people featured and use historical models to explore their significance.

In addition to Major Powell-Cotton, the children will focus on a range of important characters including Mary Anning, who was an English fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist who became known around the world for the discoveries she made in Jurassic marine fossil beds in the Dorset cliffs; and astronaut Neil Armstrong, the lunar explorer and aeronautical engineer who became the first person to walk on the Moon in 1969.

Head Teacher Taralee Kennedy said: “It is important for us to give children these examples, so that they can see how they can influence and shape their own and others future.

“Where better to start this educational adventure than at the fantastic Powell-Cotton Museum right on our doorstep. It is a wonderland of important historical treasures as well as being a vital research centre that is renowned around the world.

“Our young pupils learnt so many fascinating facts about Major Percy, his travels and adventures, and the sort of expeditions he went on. To have this gem of a resource so close at hand offers such a range of valuable learning resources.”

Powell-Cotton Fact File:

The Powell-Cotton Museum in the Grade II Listed in Quex House is home to unique natural history dioramas of African and Asian animals and wildlife, culturally significant and meaningful world-culture objects and local archaeology from the Thanet coastline.

Major Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton, was an English explorer, hunter, noted for bringing an extraordinary number of animal specimens back from his travels across Africa, potentially creating the largest collection of game ever shot by one man. Despite this, Powell-Cotton was an early conservationist, helping categorise a wide number of species across the globe. His two daughters, Antoinette Powell-Cotton and Diana Powell-Cotton shared his passion for conservation, pursuing archaeology and anthropology respectively.