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Friday, 28 November 2014

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North Cumbrian school pupils face up to being evacuees

It's difficult for modern-day children to imagine what it would have felt like to be evacuees, leaving friends and family in World War Two.

Inglewood school evacuation photo
Pupils take part in the staged evacuation

But a group of pupils from Inglewood Junior School got a sense of the apprehension and excitement yesterday as they were whisked away from their classes following an ‘emergency’.

Year three and four pupils were told that there was a gas leak in the building and that they would have to be rushed out to safety. They were given hand-made gas masks and name tags.

They were then taken to Pennine Way Primary School separated into classes. Dawn Maxwell, deputy head at Inglewood Junior School, said: “We wanted something that would take them by surprise, and it worked really well.

“It’s really hard for them to think about what it’s like to be an evacuee.

“It’s about making it a real-life experience.”

Since returning from the Christmas break the children have been studying World War Two in history classes and the evacuation was intended to bring it to life. The idea is for the children to get a taste of what evacuation was like before learning extensively about the subject so that it will inform their later studying.

Dawn said: “We had the headteacher speak to them and they were a little bit worried.

“The children were really into it. This is the way we like to hook them into a topic.”

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