25 Aug 2015

Fish School

Thinktank on a week day morning in term time is an exciting, hectic, nerve jangling place to be. Hundreds of schoolchildren pressing buttons, pulling levers, laughing, talking and . . . . . HAVING FUN!! The children are doing what they are supposed to be doing and producing a phenomenal amount of noise in the process.

So sometimes when I need a bit of peace and quiet I introduce my school groups to a different kind of school. And here it is. A piece of rock split in two to reveal – a Fish School!

Fossilised fish School

These fish died 45 million years ago. How amazing is that? And yet we can still see their shadow. We can see their eyes, their open mouths, the delicate lines of their fins, even a tracery of spine and bone. Some of the fish are thinner than others, some longer, some shorter. They swim up and down, backwards and forwards weaving in and out of each other’s way. They are preserved for ever in one moment of time so long ago I find it is almost impossible to comprehend. 

The exhibit label says

"Sticking together as a group has always been a good strategy. There’s safety in numbers."

I don’t usually point this out to the children after all it didn't do the fish much good did it?

Fish School By Laura Smith
Illustration: Fish School by Laura Smith © Laura Smith

Take a look at the illustration above. Inspired by Fish School, Laura Smith has drawn her very own fun and creative interpretation.