Trip through 100 years of History

The 1st of April may have a dubious reputation but don’t let that fool you because B.D.Somani 6th and 7th graders went neck-deep into historical artifacts at Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS).
Students were waiting with bated breath as check-in wrapped up, getting a few selfies in before their field trip, not knowing that the impressions they carry from the visit will mean more. Upon entry, students were taken straight to the children’s museum section by the educational guides who let our 6th & 7th graders explore protohistoric 150,000-year-old stone tools and even handle different types of birds from the Natural History section.
Shortly thereafter students explored each of the galleries, walking through the 100-year-old museum. Students certainly got more than they bargained for as they strolled through galleries displaying statues from the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C.E. The exhibits were artfully curated, such as artifacts from a Hindu temple, dazzling gold jewellery and precious stone collections (Even the Koh-i-Noor diamond replica), early coins, miniature paintings, and a 5-day-old elephant installation.
One might think that the excitement of the dazzling and insightful visit was enough, but teachers and students did not hesitate to break bread together and share their anecdotes and experiences to wrap up a day well spent! And that is no April foolery!

Here is what our Grade 6 students have to say about their experience.

We’ve all gone to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj museum at least once before but that was long ago, back when it was called the Prince of Wales museum. Going to the museum again now, we saw it through a whole different perspective, in terms of understanding how the history of everything affects us today, everything all of the artefacts had been through and we just appreciated the museum more in general.

Our trip started as we passed heavy stone tools from tens of thousands of years ago around the class. Holding the tool gave us an inexplicable feeling, like a sense of importance and awe as we thought about the others that have fought with the tool. We next went to sit under a cool tree, where we were taught a lot about the history of nature and wildlife and how species were getting extinct now. Then they showed us how to stuff birds (they only use dead ones before the process, of course), this wasn’t extremely pleasant to watch, but as it was done, we learned about differentiating all types of male and female birds and we were learning so much, as our books filled up with notes, before even stepping into the museum.

Then we all stepped into the museum, where we were truly amazed. Going into the different sections and seeing all the cultures, ancient people had painted beautiful pictures in our minds of a colourful scene of unity. Walking through the museum, especially the currency, clothes, and art sections, I observed all of the detail that people put into everything in the old ages, even though they had to do everything by hand. Nowadays, we have machines that make items that are much less elaborate, so I could really acknowledge the beauty of the artefacts.

Then we went to the animal section, which was truly `the most outstanding part, as we walked through the aisles animals, a lot of them with original skin, we learned about the science behind the animals, like how they get their colour, name and their feeding habits, and we learned about some extinct species too. The animals looked extremely realistic though, with eyes made out of glass and ready to pounce positions, which made the experience all the more exciting.

After the stone tools, coins, clothes and animals, we were all quite exhausted, but our heads were full of knowledge from the past and we had an amazing time filling them up.

On the 1st of April, Grade Six and Seven of B.D.Somani school went on the first field trip in over two years. We went to the Chatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum to have a fun day full of learning. We arrived at the museum at quarter to ten and gracefully descended from the bus and entered the museum while lugging around our backpacks. By the time we entered from the gates we weren't allowed inside the air-conditioned museum, instead, we sat under the scorching sun where we were separated into two groups with different tour guides giving us different demonstrations. Our group learned taxidermy with the first tour guide who educated us on what taxidermy is, why it is used and how they do taxidermy. Then we moved on to the other demonstration where a tour guide had six different stone tools from different eras in early history. She told us what the tools were used for and what they are, after that she let us touch and feel the stone tools to get an understanding of them. After what seemed like millennia but was actually thirty minutes, we finished the demonstrations and got to move on to the main building.The same tour guide who gave us the stone tools demonstration came with us to explain the exhibits. First, she told us about the architecture used in the buildings and how many different features of architecture throughout history were used. After that, she led us toward sections of art for most of the morning. We saw sculptures of Hindu origin depicting gods and different stories. After that, we spend the next hour on artwork. We saw miniature paintings and the Himalayan paintings galleries. The tour guide explained to us the history, features, and styles of this art. Lastly, we visited a gallery that had tombs and skeletons’ gallery where we roamed around and took notes. We rushed down the stairs to take a lunch break where the teachers gave us mango juice and MacDonald burgers to eat. We immediately started the tour again after forty minutes by switching tour guides. Our new guide was the one who taught us taxidermy and she rushed us off to the natural history section. This wing of the museum had hundreds of taxidermied animals and sculptures. Our guide let us see all the displays and then proceeded to explain them to us. After quite some time we saw the Kanjor, Textile, money, and jewelry galleries. Then we saw the Tata exhibit where we saw various artworks from different periods like Irani, Japanese, and various other types, all donated by the Tata family. That concluded our visit and we set off to the buses and promptly returned to school. To sum up our field trip it was very tiring but it was fun, knowledgeable and one of the best experiences I have had after the Pandemic.

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CAIE and B.D. Somani: A true affiliation

At B.D. Somani International School we have developed a unique educational approach that seamlessly integrates international frameworks such as the Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE)