Link Worker Diary: The Wider Earth

By Ella Peterman - Link Worker at Flora Gardens Primary School

On Thursday 22nd November, members of the West London Zone cohort at Flora Gardens Primary School visited the Natural History Museum.

Although some of these Year 4 children had visited the museum before, this trip provided the unique opportunity to visit a new space within the building: The Jerwood Gallery theatre. West London Zone had been contacted by Trish Wadley Productions and invited to see their new collaboration with Dead Puppet Society, The Wider Earth. The performance follows a 22-year-old Charles Darwin on HMS Beagle's daring world voyage.


After lunch, I left school with six highly excitable Year 4s. We met a member of their family round the corner at the tube station and navigated our way to South Kensington and then onto the museum. A knowledgeable member of staff explained some of the exhibitions to us and we then made our way to the theatre. It was lovely to see the pupils spending time with their family in a new and exciting context. As soon as the lights dimmed, the audience were captivated by the effects of detailed scenery, revolving set, cinematic animations and the entertaining original score.


Magic truly occurred when Darwin set sail. The audience were taken on a journey through South America, the Galapagos islands, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, where the remarkable handcrafted animal puppets were brought to life! Amongst the thirty beautiful creations, we witnessed the fluttering of butterflies, swooping of finches, gliding shoals of fish and an incredible plodding tortoise! The children were mesmerised!


After the show, I asked the adults and pupils about their favourite moments and thoughts :


"The acting was very realistic."

"The set was beautiful!"

"The fire was exciting, but I was scared for them."

"I liked it when they moved in slow motion when the water splashed on the boat."

"It captures how revolutionary Darwins' discoveries and thoughts were." 

"The puppets were so cool!"


The day beforehand, on Wednesday 21st November, Robyn, Link Worker at Ark Brunel, had also taken six Year 4 children from her school. The children thoroughly enjoyed the experience, stating they had learned lots of new information and loved the animal puppets. Parents were really grateful that their children had been provided with this opportunity.



together, every child and young person can flourish.