Despite the cold, Year 6 children at Bourne Westfield Primary Academy all ended their World War II history topic with an exciting visit to the Stibbington Centre. Following in the footsteps of real children who were evacuated from London to Stibbington village, the children took the part of an actual evacuee and got a feeling of what it would have been like for those who had to leave their homes and families behind.
The day began at the Nene Valley Railway Station where the ‘evacuees’ were met by a Stibbington teacher role-playing as a billeting officer. As the children walked across the field and through the village to the school, they were shown some of the actual houses where the real evacuees had stayed.
Once at the Stibbington Centre, which use to be the village school, Year 6 completed World War II identification cards and learnt about what children had do to keep themselves safe during the war. They looked at old propaganda posters to understand the messages from the government. For lunch, the classes were treated to a World War II lunch of spam and jam sandwiches, fruit cake and an apple. After, the children loved playing with old-fashioned toys such as skittles and stilts!
The afternoon was spent in the centre’s war-time classroom, where the children practised their handwriting and spellings using ink pens and blotting paper. Unfortunately, the air-raid siren sounded, so the ‘evacuees’ had to go into the shelter where they sang “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” to lift their spirits.
Year 6 teacher, Debbie Shepherd, commented “The children had a fantastic day and learnt so much about what it would have been like to have been an evacuee; many said it was the best school trip they had been on!”