Following on from their introduction to Sir Titus Salt and his creation of the Utopian village of Saltaire, the Year 7 scholars considered the issues surrounding locating industries in any era. They discussed the differences between the different types of industry, primary, secondary, etc and thought about how this might be applied in a modern setting in the UK. Whereas the need to be near traditional raw materials such as coal may not be so great, other issues remain very similar, such as the availability of a suitable workforce. Working in pairs, they considered where a modern-day start-up car factory might be located. The students were able to appreciate the various factors at play, as well as times when compromises may need to be made. Parallels were drawn between Silicon Valley in the US and the area between Oxford, Cambridge, and London. Service industries, too, may have greater freedom of where to locate but still have constraints.
Referring back to Sir Titus Salt, the students were able to see that although the precise type of raw materials may vary today from coal and Alpaca wool, there will still be raw materials needed and that for Sir Titus, canals were a vital transport link in his day. The railway, of course, remains important then and now, but to transport tourists rather than goods.
This ability to think about change and continuity is a central skill the Scholarship Programme seeks to develop, and the work done in this session exemplifies this perfectly. In Year 9, the students will get the chance to visit Saltaire as part of their trip to Yorkshire. Combining a mine, a sculpture park, the Royal Armouries and the Bronte Parsonages, this trip demonstrates another feature of the programme: the ability to think across subjects and to look for links and patterns.