P5/6A researched a number of people who they thought contributed to the Titanic’s accident becoming one of the most significant disasters of all time.
Each person had a small role to play in the terrible tragedy.
The pupils then led a class debate where we decided who was most responsible, just like the two enquiries held in America and Britain after the accident.
Captain Smith – As the ships captain he was responsible for going too fast on the night and for ignoring several warnings of icebergs in the area.
The Shipbuilders – who were thought to use poor iron for the 3 million rivets used.
Bruce Ismay – The manager of the White Star Line Company who owned the ship. He wanted to set a world speed record for the voyage and pressured the captain into pushing full steam ahead.
Thomas Andrew – He was the ship’s architect. Under pressure to provide more room on board for luxuries, he did not stick to his original plans for 12 compartments which were watertight. The new version did not reach all the way up to the deck and so were not totally sealable. He also did not place enough lifeboats on deck, as he was pressured by Bruce Ismay.
Captain Lord- The captain of the nearest ship, who ignored distress flares and had his radio turned off that night.
Fredrick Fleet and Officer Murdoch were also called into question.
We agreed that everyone played a part in the disaster but that Captain Smith should have put safety first and not listened to Bruce Ismay about the speed. There were other factors which made the Captain to blame that night.
We then looked at the things we would change, the lessons learned from that night. Finally we looked at the laws put into place to save lives in the future.
Well done P5/6 A lots of work went into these debates.