Assembly on Connections
On Wednesday 10th October the children had an assembly on Prince Albert. This was a link to the theme of the curriculum namely “connections”
Prince Albert’s ambition was to become a patron of “artists…men of learning and Science”
As a young man he went on the Grand Tour to Italy and then went on to study law, political economy, philosophy and the History of Art at Bonn University. This left him with the realisation of how Art, Design, Science and Education could have a great significance for a society.
His patronage of Education was stimulated by a chance encounter on the streets of London. One night whilst out with a companion in London, they became lost in the fog and he found himself in one of the poorest parts of London. Seeing starving children and people living in conditions, which were so far from his own experience, had a profound effect upon him.
Some of the initiatives he undertook to fulfil this ambition were:
The Great Exhibition in 1851, which was the first international exhibition of manufactured products and exhibitors came from all over the world. The famous glass palace, which is now known as Crystal Palace, housed this exhibition and was the first time anyone had made a glass structure of this magnitude. To ensure everyone was able to come, tickets were issued to poor people so that they could also enjoy the exhibits. In addition, it was a truly international affair with exhibitors coming from all over the world.
The contents of this exhibition were then taken to begin a collection and formed what we all now know as the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum, The History Museum.
During the reign of Queen Victoria, England was involved in the Crimean War. Again Prince Albert applied his far-thinking intelligence to the problem realising that the army was badly organised and needed support. He gave the army money to purchase Aldershot – a 3,000 acre tract of land so that the army could have a permanent base. He also donated a large number of books to their library to help them research. In addition, he founded the Victoria Cross and insisted that this award for courage should be open to men of all ranks. Furthermore, he and Queen Victoria were great sponsors of Florence Nightingale and helped to improve the terrible conditions of the hospitals.
Prince Albert was a man in a powerful position who chose to devote his short life to the improvement of others and believed that, if people collaborated, it would enhance opportunities for everyone.