This week saw four year groups visit the Chalke Valley History Festival over three days in glorious weather.
On Tuesday, the year 7s were treated to a WWI trench experience where they learnt about life in a trench and gas attacks. They were also turned into English Civil War soldiers, as part of Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army, and drilled in the ways of a Pikeman and found out about what food was available during the Tudor period.
On Wednesday, the year 10 & 12s had the privilege of listening to some leading academics. This included Ben Walsh, the author & historian, who the students know very well from their GCSE text books, and who spoke to the year 10s about Elizabeth I and her world. In the afternoon, they were very fortunate to listen to Dr Annette Gordon-Reed Pulitzer Prize winner, Harvard graduate and professor who flew over from the USA especially for the CVHF and spoke not only about the history of Africa America Civil Rights, but also her own experience of attending a newly segregated high school in her youth. The year 12s were then treated to a lecture on Weimar and Nazi Germany from Professor Alexandra Richie from Walsaw University. Between lectures they were given the opportunity to explore the sights at their own pace.
On our final day on Thursday, the year 8s were given a fascinating insight into the history of falconry and watched two birds of prey as they hunted and swooped over their heads. They were then turned into WWII army recruits, learnt drill with wooden rifles and given the opportunity to experience throwing a (plastic) grenade and fire a (model) machine gun. The day was finished off with an entertaining lecture on the history of Britain.
All the students behaved impeccably throughout the three days and many people stopped me and complimented the students on their smart uniforms; especially the girls hats. As always, my thanks go to the community members who drove the minibuses and the members of staff who helped support me over the three days.