Bringing the past to life

Pupils from Witchampton First School travelled back in time to be WW2 child evacuees when they visited Launceston Farm in Tarrant Launceston.

Pupils from Witchampton First School travelled back in time to be WW2 child evacuees when they visited Launceston Farm in Tarrant Launceston.

A village school transported its pupils back in time when it took them to the 1940s to experience life as an evacuee during the Second World War.

The children from Witchampton CE First School, part of Wimborne Academy Trust, spent the day on the farm to live the rural existence of a young evacuee.

Wearing vintage clothes, the pupils took part in a range of activities from digging up potatoes to sheltering under tables during an air raid warning practice.

The living history trip was made possible thanks to the owners of Launceston Farm and Witchampton parents, Jim Collis and Catherine Mason.

They laid on the day especially for the youngsters and brought out vintage tools and equipment for the children to view.

Pupils from Witchampton First School travelled back in time to be WW2 child evacuees when they visited Launceston Farm in Tarrant Launceston.

Pupils from Witchampton First School travelled back in time to be WW2 child evacuees when they visited Launceston Farm in Tarrant Launceston. Working thew land.

Head of School, Jo Hancock, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Launceston Farm for really helping to bring our topic learning to life.

“This term our Year 3 and 4 topic has been ‘Children in World War II’ and a big focus of that was how young people from the cities were evacuated to rural areas during the Blitz for their own safety.

“This trip gave our pupils a real glimpse into the kind of life children their own age experienced when they had to move far away from their families and everything that was all familiar to them.”

While at the farm, which is situated in Tarrant Launceston, the children dug for victory when they collected new potatoes from the allotments and made seed pots from newspaper.

In the farm’s barn they used vintage sewing machines to make their own beds out of a patchwork quilt stuffed with hay.

The children also enjoyed a trailer ride around the farm where they stopped to look at the changes in tools and machinery over the years from handheld hoes to modern tractors.

And when an air raid siren was set off the children were instructed to hide under the tables.

Pupils from Witchampton First School travelled back in time to be WW2 child evacuees when they visited Launceston Farm in Tarrant Launceston.

Pupils from Witchampton First School travelled back in time to be WW2 child evacuees when they visited Launceston Farm in Tarrant Launceston.

Like their evacuee predecessors the youngsters worked hard on the farm. They had a go at flint picking, picked wild oats from the wheat field and foraged for elderflower to make cordial and sticky weeds to make medicine.

Wimborne Academy Trust’s CEO, Liz West, said: “What a fantastic experience for our Witchampton children.

“As children who go to school in the heart of the Dorset countryside it is important for them to know and understand the important part rural families and farms played in World War II.”

Pupils from Witchampton First School travelled back in time to be WW2 child evacuees when they visited Launceston Farm in Tarrant Launceston.

Pupils from Witchampton First School travelled back in time to be WW2 child evacuees when they visited Launceston Farm in Tarrant Launceston. Working the land.

Witchampton is one of 11 first and middle schools in east Dorset that make up Wimborne Academy Trust.

 

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