Oulder Hill students visit Belgium- 2014

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Year 9 and 10 pupils from Oulder Hill Community School recently took part in a battlefield trip to commemorate World War One.

The students made the trip from Thursday 27 March to Saturday 29 March to Ypres, Belgium to visit a World War One site.

Jason King, who organises World War One workshops at the school, was the tour guide on hand for the trip with students being accompanied by teachers Mrs Tarran, Mrs Holt, Miss Ward and Mr Noon.

During the trip, staff and pupils got to visit 17 historical sites in just one and a half days. These ranged from cemeteries and memorials to museums and markets.

During the trip, sites visited included:

  • Lijsstenhoek Cemetery.
  • Hyde Park Corner and the Berks Cemetery – one student was able to pay her respects to her great uncle who is commemorated there.
  • Spanbroekmolen (Pool of Peace).
  • Bayernwald German trenches.
  • Essex Farm Cemetery.
  • Zonnebeke museum and trenches.
  • Tyne Cot Cemetery.
  • Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate.
  • Langemark German Cemetery.
  • Ypres and Talbot House.

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A wreath laid by students on behalf of Oulder Hill School

For staff, one highlight of the trip was watching four students from the school lay a wreath at the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate. Emily Clark, Megan Kelly, Danny Moore and Alex Grady were the students chosen to represent the school. They laid the wreath on behalf of staff and students from Oulder Hill.

Rebecca Tarran, who accompanied students on the trip, said: “They conducted themselves with dignity and were extremely respectful. We were all so proud of them. All 35 students were impeccable and we received very positive comments about our students everywhere we went – from the coach drivers to Jason King, from the owners of a shop in Ypres to the hotel manager.

“Despite the emotional nature of some elements of the trip, the student’s found this to be an extremely positive experience and have said that this was a trip they will never forget.”

Nadia Valentine-Mahwash, a Year 9 student, said: “I really enjoyed the Belgium trip. I loved going to the historical places and learned so much thanks to Mr King. The trip was really moving as well.”

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