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Background

On the morning of Friday, 21 October 1966, tragedy struck a small mining village in south Wales.  The valley around Aberfan had been piled high with spoil from the nearby Merthyr Vale Colliery, and, a little after 9am, ‘Tip 7’ began to move.
Within minutes a vast landslip of shale and coal dust hurtled down the mountain, becoming liquefied by underlying water and engulfing everything in its path. 1,000 tonnes of colliery spoil wiped away two farm cottages, several houses, and tore into the side of Pantglas Junior School.
144 people were killed, 116 of them children, triggering a profoundly emotional response across Wales and throughout the international community. Thousands rushed to help with the rescue effort while sympathies and financial support poured in from around the world.

Prezi presentation: Aberfan - the lost generation

Questions to discuss

  • What caused the disaster?
  • What was the impact of the disaster on the community?
  • How would different people involved in the disaster feel?

Activities

  • Use the prezi presentation as an introduction to provide background information.
  • Use a photograph / film still of the disaster as a starting point for further investigation.
  • Interpret the events of the disaster from different viewpoints.
  • Write a newspaper article/report or film a television news bulletin.
  • Create a piece of poetry/artwork which represents Aberfan's significance.
  • Discover more about the location and scale of the slag tips, the path of the landslide down Merthyr Mountain and the buildings that were impacted.

Learning experiences

(derived from the statements of what matters)

Humanities
  • Developing paths of enquiry.
  • Human impact on the world.
  • Cause and effect
  • Impact of decision making
  • Geographical features