Pupils in Year 6 at St Margaret’s Prep School traditionally visit the Steam museum in Swindon as part of their history lessons on the war. But this year Coronavirus restrictions meant that the trip could not go ahead, so creative teachers decided to organise their own day to bring the era alive. Both Year 6 classes at the school came dressed as evacuees carrying gas mask boxes they had made at home as part of a homework assignment.
They were met by teachers also dressed as schoolmarms from the 1940s. Year 6 teachers Georgina Gibson and Olivia West threw themselves into the role play. Mrs Gibson said: “Teachers and teaching assistants all jumped at the chance to dress up and embrace the event. “It was a fantastic day and one I hope the children will remember.”
The difficulties for families living through the Blitz were brought home as blacked out classrooms were turned into virtual tube station shelters thanks to the Internet. Mrs Gibson said: “It gave the children the chance to feel what it would have been like with the bombs coming down.”
The children also sang songs of the day used to keep morale high and made Spitfire aircraft out of paper. They also tried their hand at Enigma codes. Head of Art Helena Harris helped the children create large models of gardens from the World War Two era complete with Anderson shelters fitted with bunk beds, vegetable patches and people.