Year 6 take shelter!

To mark the beginning of our World War 2 topic, Year 6 have visited a genuine air raid shellter! Talbot Heath School have four original shelters and one has been restored to allow visitors to experience what it would have been like in an air raid.  On the way, we stopped at different locations in Winton and learnt about some of the events that affected the area during the war. We discovered that an air raid siren was placed on top of the old fire station and that people used to stand on the roof of tall buildings to direct the emergency vehicles to the fires.

Once we arrived at Talbot School, and with the children dressed in their WWII costumes, it felt very authentic as we huddled in the dingy shelter and thought about how frightening it would have been to have been down there, waiting for the raid to finish. The solid metal structure felt very sturdy and the children agreed that although it would have been pretty uncomfortable it probably would have been very safe. 

“It felt very stuffy and cramped and I would have been very nervous down there,” said Kaycie from 6LC, “but I would have been hopeful that it would ok.”

There was also a few surprises as we realised that lessons would still have carried on in the shelter and that an air raid was no excuse to miss out on learning.  Also, if you needed to go to the toilet you would have had to use a dustbin with a toilet seat on the top! During the war the school had 120 boarders who lived there. This meant that if there was a raid at night you would have slept in the shelter until it was safe to go back up.  

Once again the Year 6 teachers were extremely proud of the children’s excellent behaviour, especially on the long walk to and from the shelter.  When we returned to school we read and listened to real stories and experiences of people who had lived through air raids. We then wrote our own personal descriptions to try and imagine what it might have been like if we were there.

Anthony from 6EG summed the experience up: “It was really cool to actually go in there and put ourselves in their shoes rather than just looking at a photo!”