As part of our new GCSE course we will be studying Surgery and Medical developments on the Western Front during World War One. Over the weekend of 18th May the school took 36 year 9 students to Ypres in Belgium in preparation for the course. They visited a variety of places including the largest British Military cemetery, Tyne Cott, and Langemarck which is a Germany cemetery. Many students were able to visit relatives’ graves during the visit. They were able to visit J.E Phipps grave which was significant for four of our students who came to us from Brailes Primary School. This was the grandfather of their former teacher’s husband who have never been able to travel to the Somme. The students placed crosses on behalf of the family at his graveside. On the third day the group travelled to France and visited the Somme. The first stop here was the Lochnagar Crater which is one of the largest man made holes on earth caused by a mine. They were able to see the Thiephval memorial, the largest British memorial in the world. On this day they also followed the route that casualties would have taken either on stretcher or on foot. This allowed students to understand the movement of casualties during the war. The final day was spent in the Arras area investigating the underground tunnel system used to move troops closer to the front line. As part of the tour two students were selected to lay a wreath on behalf of the school, this was part of the Menin Gate ceremony that takes place every evening.
Thanks to Miss McElroy for organising such a valuable and moving experience for the students. Congratulations also to the group of students who took part in the visit for their exemplary behaviour and attitude in dealing with some very emotional events.