Children learn about battle in the footsteps of a Norman knight
On grounds where a Norman knight who fought alongside William the Conqueror once roamed, school children armed with pencils and clipboards learned about one of the most famous and important battles in English history.
To mark the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, pupils from Sacred Heart School in Swaffham and Broadlands Hall School, near Haverhill, visited Castle Acre Priory yesterday to learn about the Normans victory over the Anglo-Saxons on October 14th, 1066.
Castle Acre Priory, near Swaffham, was built for Norman Knight William de Warenne, who fought at hastings just a few years after that famous battle.
English Heritage has welcomed five schools to the priory this week. Pupils have toured the historic grounds and learned about Norman life, including stonemasonry, chart book exercises and traditional Norman market days.
Chantelle Joysbury, education marketing manager, London and East, for English Heritage said “Our motto is stand where history happened – and the children are certainly doing that today. Learning from text books is important, but it’s a great experience for the children to get out here and use their creative skills to really bring history to life.” She added “While these events are a one-off we are always open to welcoming schools here and it is great this week that we have been able to build new relationships with five schools.”
Natalie Wilson, head of humanities at Sacred Heart School, said “It has been a great experience and the children have really engaged with it. They have been learning about the Battle of Hastings in school and they have learned so much more by coming out here.”
Students and historians up and down the country marked the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings yesterday.
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Stuart Nicholson CCSS
The School has been mentioned in the ‘Cambridge News’ Education Column by Stuart Nicholson, the Principal of Cambridge Centre for Sixth Form Studies.
Stuart is a supporter of our school and was the guest speaker at our most recent prize-giving evening and talked about the most memorable moments from our school lives which are often the ones spent outside the classroom.
In the article he writes: ‘This might seem a slightly unusual way to start a column, but could I ask you to close your eyes and think back to your school days and recall what was the most memorable and enjoyable event you can remember? I did a similar exercise during a speech at prize giving at Sacred Heart School in Swaffham recently.
It’s a school I’ve got to know well, and like enormously, and felt confident that this slightly unusual speech to pupils and parents would work. Before I allowed them to open their eyes I asked the parents to put up their hands if that memorable event had not actually been in the classroom, but outside.
I’ve never asked this of a large audience before but had been assured that very often a sea of hands comes up. I was not disappointed, as plenty of hands went up. You obviously don’t need to put your hand up but I imagine many of you will have the same reaction. Whilst I wasn’t disappointed with the reaction, what does seem disappointing is that enjoyable, memorable experiences don’t happen more often in the classroom as should be the case, given just how much time children spend in them. Or looked another way, maybe children just spend far too much time indoors rather than outdoors.’
Hannah Hodges, a former student at King Edward VII Academy, was presented with The Queen’s Gold Medal, the academy’s prestigious academic award, during an audience with The Queen at Sandringham House, on Sunday 24 January, 2016.
The 19-year-old was joined by her parents, Teresa and Jeremy, her younger sister Niamh and Principal Craig Morrison for the presentation.
Hannah joined KES Academy sixth form after achieving an impressive string of A* grades at GCSE from her time at Sacred Heart School, in Swaffham. She continued to impress staff, achieving straight A* grades in Philosophy and Ethics, English Literature and French.
She is currently taking a gap year spending time in France, studying in Lyon and putting her language skills into practice.Her schooling will continue back in the UK in September, when she is set to start at Oxford to continue her study of languages, reading French and Beginners German.
Hannah, from King’s Lynn, said: “I am really flattered to have received this award and honoured to be presented it by The Queen. I have had a fantastic two years at KES Academy and I am delighted with the outcome of my results.