Last Friday, 50 of our Year 9 students visited Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset as part of our history work on World War One and the changing nature of warfare during the 20th Century. The museum has over 300 vehicles on exhibition from 26 countries, making it the largest collection of tanks in the UK and the third largest collection of armoured vehicles in the world.
Whilst there, students took part in three workshops. The first workshop was ‘Tommy in the Trenches’. Students’ experienced a reconstructed trench system and handled First World War items from the museum’s collection including uniforms, helmets, rifles, gas masks and grenades which gave students a real and immediate experience of what life was like for the average Tommy.
The second activity was the First World War Tank Experience which included an interactive talk on why the tank was invented, how it worked and what life was like for the crew. The Tank Museum is the only place in the world you can climb inside a real First World War Mark IV tank, so this was a fantastic experience for our students.
We also had an interactive history tour from the very first tank to the one in use with the British Army today. This helped to illustrate how tanks changed during the cold war, a topic we cover in much more detail in GCSE History.
Some free time to explore the museum more fully and visit the gift shop followed before we made our way back to school. A really enjoyable experience was had by all. Thank you to year 9 for being so enthusiastic and well behaved during the visit.
Teacher of History