History: Year 5 Trip to Newhaven Fort

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This week, Year 5 were transported back to the 1940s with a trip to Newhaven Fort and accompanying lecture, which encompassed everything from life during the Blitz, types of gas masks and why, during the war, cows were painted white...

4While at the Fort we looked at the Home Front and Blitz experiences and were lucky to be given a very informative talk on some of the aspects of life during the war. Morrison Shelters, Anderson Shelters and various types of gas masks were discussed, as well as the practise of painting cows white to stop them being hit by drivers forced to travel in the dark.

We were then whisked off to an underground bunker to experience an air raid, complete with an ARP Warden checking in on us. We had some blankets, hot water for a nice cup of tea, as well as a rather unsightly white bowl - its use was the source of much speculation!

As we heard the planes flying nearer and the sounds of bombs dropping getting louder, it was an affecting and enlightening experience for all.

2Once the 'All Clear' had sounded sighs of relief could be heard from everyone.

Many of the students commented that they would not like to spend more than a day like that, and I could not agree more!

Finally, the children set about looking at all the exhibits within the fort, trying to place ourselves in the middle of everything and imagine what it might have been like to have been there at the time.

Following on from this trip, the Year 5 classes are now looking into the experiences of evacuees and rationing in some detail.

It is fair to say that our experiences at Newhaven Fort whetted pupil appetites and they are now hungry to discover more. Luckily, there will be no limits to the gluttonous portions of information available to each and every one of them in the classroom!

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Simon Gisby

Teacher of History

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