"Fantastic and engaging day enjoyed by all! Thank you!"
Year 6, High Firs Primary School, Swanley, October 2018
Key Stage: 1 and 2
Programme of Study:
- Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
- Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
Key Stage 1
- Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time
- They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms
- They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events
- They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented
- They should be taught about events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally
- They should be taught about significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
Key Stage 2
- Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study
- They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms
- They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance
- They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information
- They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources
- They should be taught about a local history study
- They should be taught about an aspect or theme in British history that extends their chronological knowledge beyond 1066.
The year is 1940 and the newest batch of evacuees arrives in Horton Kirby. Looking around the village, many of the children realise that life in the country during World War II might not be all that they had imagined. Within moments of their arrival the air raid siren sounds, blaring its noise across the land where women and prisoners of war toile in the fields. Presently, the German Dornier bombers emerge in formation across the blue autumnal sky, desperately trying to avoid the barrage balloons and the shells fired by the Bofor guns lined up behind the same houses where the evacuees will bed down for the first time, clutching their teddy bears and anxiously awaiting their first day in their new schools.
The next day comes too soon for many of the evacuees. With a sense of great interpretation they walk beneath the yew tree that has stood
over the local village school for eighty years. Taking their seats behind the worn wooden desks, they await the arrival of the head teacher, who by all accounts is not to be messed around. On the chalkboard the lessons of the days are clearly outlined; reading, writing, and adding coins, measuring length, nature, plane recognition and first aid. Suddenly a cry goes out. Outlined in the sky is the silhouette of a land mine, gently drifting to earth attached to its parachute. For the second time in such a short period, the siren sounds and the children walk in an orderly fashion to the concrete air raid shelter that has been hastily erected as a result of the dramatic increase in German activity. ‘If it’s not V1’s, incendiary bombs, five hundred pound bombs, it is the land mines,” curses Mr Tanner, who after being head master for the day will then be out on the streets performing his duties as the captain of the local Home Guard. Huddled fifty bodies to a shelter, the children bravely attempt to continue with their studies, hoping that soon the all clear will sound and they can go looking for some wartime souvenirs; maybe even some incendiary bombs to explode in the nearby woods!
All of the above happened in Horton Kirby. Being equipped with the original school and air raid shelter, maps drawn by local residents who were children in Horton Kirby during the war and a plethora of artefacts from the period, we are in a position to offer children a unique opportunity to walk in the footsteps of children who were living in the village during the 1940’s. Wearing a badge of one of these children, each of your children will be led around the village, looking for where bombs fell, planes were shot down, fields caught on fire, games were played, and buildings were damaged by stray barrage balloons. They will also experience a 1940’s lesson and play 1940’s games on our playground. And of course, no trip would be complete without the sound of the siren and time spent in our air raid shelter before fighting a ‘fire’ with a stirrup pump and lying on the bunk beds in our Anderson shelter.