Year 2 girls have embarked on an exciting study of World War Two. Classrooms have been filled with discussions about air raids, Anderson bomb shelters, evacuees and rationing. As part of our literacy studies girls have produced colourful and striking information posters depicting life in wartime. Labelling and notation skills have been developed too as girls carefully produce detailed drawings of Anderson Shelters.

To support a deeper understanding of the past, Year 2 classes were transported back to the times of The Blitz as we visited Newcastle’s Victoria Tunnel. Girls were able to experience first-hand how people in our city prepared for, and survived, bombing raids by taking shelter in the long narrow tunnels that still stretch their way under our city. The cold and damp conditions brought war time experiences to life as we travelled beneath the ground and learnt about blast walls and gas-detecting paint.

The highlight of our visit was a discussion with Basil, a very interesting 89 year old gentleman, who recalled life as a ten-year-old evacuee in Barnard Castle. Girls were enthralled by his recollections of time spent in Barnard Castle and back in Newcastle, sheltering in The Victoria Tunnel. His explanations of the gas mask drill helped the girls to understand the hardships of life during the war. Girls were invited to try fitting their own gas masks and had fun trying on an Air Raid Warden’s giant steel helmet! This opportunity of bringing the past to life through first hand experiences has given the girls a deeper understanding of wartime experiences and provided a wealth of information to support learning back in the classroom.

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