Year Two pupils from Windmill School in Wokingham made a trip down the road and back in time recently when they enjoyed a day out at Windsor Castle.
Accompanied by teachers and helpers, all 22 children from Peach Street Class visited the royal residence which boasts the honours of being both the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, where they put weeks of preparatory study to good use by learning all about the building and its centuries’ worth of history.
“Before we went there, the children had done a lot of studying about the history of castles as part of the Towers, Tunnels and Turrets topic,” explained class teacher Caroline Speed, who oversaw the trip. “They’d created their own non-fiction books about castles, and also studied other aspects of life in medieval times, including the world of knights and heraldry. Going to Windsor made things on the page really jump into life, and it really caught their imagination."
The fact that it was so local – Wokingham and Windsor are less than 20 miles apart – also gave the day’s experience added impact. “The story of Henry VIII is one that children always find fascinating, so to discover that he was so closely connected with their local area definitely gave it an added dimension!,” Mrs Speed added.
Windmill Primary, which opened in September 2013, is part of the GLF Schools Group, a Surrey-based multi-academy trust which now runs over a dozen schools across the south east, and is based on a model of strong collaborative working.
“We had several comments from members of the public and the staff at the Castle about how well behaved the children were, which was wonderful to hear,” said Mrs Speed, “so it was particularly appropriate that the tour ended with me ‘knighting’ some of them in the Throne Room! We’ve continued the studies back in the classroom, learning more about knights, heraldry and painting 3D pictures of the Castle. It was a wonderful day out and the work we’ve been doing since proves how much they got out of the day.”
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