26 May

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Mr Hanif reports on his visit with the Key Stage 4 pupils to the Imperial War Museum North..

This term our Key Stage 4 pupils have been exploring the theme of warfare and conflict in their History lessons. We have focused on the First World War and learnt about the main causes of the war, as well as looking at the trigger event of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

We have had the opportunity to borrow a box full of resources from the museum over the last few weeks which has really brought the topic to life for the pupils. The box contained both replica and original items from WWI and we have really enjoyed trying on the different masks and hats as well as being able to handle some replica weapons used in the war..

The loaned resources had to be returned this week which gave us the opportunity to visit the museum. We were asked to write a message to the next school to borrow the resources which we have put in the box..

We are very grateful to the museum for the loan of the box as a number of classes across both schools have really benefitted from exploring all the wonderful items.

Wednesday’s trip was really enjoyed by the pupils and we were lucky and honoured to meet David Teacher, a D Day veteran..

David was able to talk to the pupils about his many experiences during the war including how he was one of the first soldiers to drive his Bedford truck on to Juno beach just after dawn on the 6th June 1944. The pupils were fascinated by David’s stories and couldn’t stop asking questions. Summer was really surprised when she asked David how he felt on that morning and he said that he wasn’t nervous but impatient to get started. He knew nothing was going to stop them and that they were about to make history. David had us all enthralled and before we knew it we had been talking for the best part of an hour! What really pleased me the most was how engaged all the pupils were – we hadn’t realised that we had quite a crowd gathered around us who were all listening and didn’t need to ask David anything as our pupils were asking all the questions that they wanted to find out about. It is for these moments that I wanted to become a History teacher, and this is why these visits are vital in enriching the curriculum for our pupils.

David will be recreating his journey once more this year and driving a refurbished Bedford truck back on to the same beach with the permission of the French Government. He will be followed by a film crew who will be making a documentary about his journey. If anyone wants to read more about David’s fascinating story, please have a look at the RAF Beach Units website here.

I have invited David and his fellow veterans to our school next year to share some more of their stories with all our pupils and David has graciously accepted (with the proviso that he’s still around). I for one cannot wait.

After speaking to David we were then able to explore the museum and experience some of the sights and smells that our soldiers faced..

We even got to try on some camouflage gear..

Thanks to Miss Peak and all the pupils (who were impeccably behaved and a credit to the school) I had a wonderful day, one of my favourites at New Bridge (and that includes having been to Disney last year)..