On Friday 29 November, 80 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.

We had a fantastic day out exploring the site, and learning about the important role tanks have played in the last century of conflict. 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 replica life sized 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 soldier.

The second activity was an amazing 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 1916 First World War Mark IV tank, so this was a fantastic experience for our students. This artefact is over 100 years old, and gave our students a real understanding of the dangerous job tank crews had in the First World War.

Finally, we also had an interactive and engaging history lesson on how WW1 led to the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party. Students used artefacts to identify the links between Germany’s defeat in WW1, the Treaty of Versailles, the chaos of the Wall Street and Hitler’s rise to Chancellor in 1933. This workshop really helped our students to understand this important aspect of modern history, which we study in great detail during our GCSE History course in Y10/11. For more information on the GCSE course please come and speak to a member of the history team. We will be happy to talk through the exciting range of modules we study.

To finish, we had free time to explore the museum and visit the gift shop. A really enjoyable experience was had by all. Thank you to year 9 for being so enthusiastic and well behaved during the visit, we hoped you enjoyed the day.

Mr Leaman
Head of History