We had a fantastic, but very cold, day at the Lincolnsfield Centre today in Bushey! We rotated around 4 different activities dressed in our 1940s attire! We were so impressed with the effort the children (and parents) had made with their costumes and thought they looked brilliant.
The Blitz Room
Children saw the devastation that a bomb had left and learnt how St Paul’s Cathedral was restored and repaired after the bomb. We learnt about skylights and the blackout. The children were taken into the brick built air raid shelter, where they learnt about different planes that were used during the Blitz, and how there was a blackout designed to try and confuse the German air force. Children who were taken into this air raid shelter during the school day would have to continue lessons so in true style, the children were asked to answer arithmetic questions whilst bombs were blasting outside. They also had to be very aware of squeaky mice!
Children were given an opportunity to go into a museum, led by a 91 year old man who fought in WW2. The children were very surprised to learn that he was not injured throughout the war, yet saw people very close to him die in front of him. In the museum the children held a real gun, and tried on a backpack and helmet to understand the weight of what the soldiers used to carry. They also learnt about tactics the British used to fool the Germans, including blow up, pretend tanks.
Digging for Victory
Outside we learnt about how people kept chickens, pigs and rabbits to get food, and also how they would have allotments to grow vegetables to feed their families. We also heard a real air raid siren, and had the opportunity to climb into an Anderson shelter. The children were very surprised at the fact that the shelter was built for 6 people, yet they could only just fit in there at a squeeze! Cramped inside, the children commented on how damp, cold and smelly it was. Lastly, we used pumps and hoses to eliminate a fire from a bomb on the roof of the house!
In the 1940s style house we learnt how people lived during wartime. We learnt how they washed their clothes using a washboard and a mangle, cooked their food and more importantly how to use gas masks. We also got the chance to squeeze in a Morrison shelter, under a table in one of the rooms of the house, and play wartime games that children would have played. The lady taught us about how ‘make do and mend’ was an important part of life in WW2; people would have to repair their clothes and toys rather that buy new ones.
In the school room we met a very strict school teacher! She taught us all about evacuation and we wrote our own identity cards to give to our new families. We also recited times tables and learnt about how children were punished. I think the children realised that teachers at Manor Farm aren’t so bad after all…
We’ve had a fantastic day to end our week. The children were brilliant and enthusiastic and we think this trip has really developed our understanding of what life was like during WW2. Year 6 have been incredibly engaged with this topic so far this term and we cannot wait to keep learning about it up until Christmas.