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Witchampton CofE First School

Evacuee WW2 Farm Trip for Foxes

A village school transported its pupils back in time when it took them to the 1940s to
experience life as an evacuee during the Second World War. The children from Witchampton CE First School, part of Wimborne Academy Trust, spent the day on the farm to live the rural existence of a young evacuee.

Wearing vintage clothes, the pupils took part in a range of activities from digging up potatoes
to sheltering under tables during an air raid warning practice. The living history trip was made possible thanks to the owners of Launceston Farm and Witchampton parents, Jim and Catherine. They laid on the day especially for the youngsters and brought out vintage tools and equipment for the children to view.

Head of School, Jo Hancock, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Launceston Farm for really
helping to bring our topic learning to life.

“This term our Year 3 and 4 topic has been ‘Children in World War II’ and a big focus of that
was how young people from the cities were evacuated to rural areas during the Blitz for their
own safety.

“This trip gave our pupils a real glimpse into the kind of life children their own age
experienced when they had to move far away from their families and everything that was all
familiar to them.”

While at the farm, which is situated in Tarrant Launceston, the children dug for victory when
they collected new potatoes from the allotments and made seed pots from newspaper.
In the farm’s barn they used vintage sewing machines to make their own beds out of a
patchwork quilt stuffed with hay.

The children also enjoyed a trailer ride around the farm where they stopped to look at the
changes in tools and machinery over the years from handheld hoes to modern tractors.
And when an air raid siren was set off the children were instructed to hide under the tables.
Like their evacuee predecessors the youngsters worked hard on the farm. They had a go at
flint picking, picked wild oats from the wheat field and foraged for elderflower to make cordial
and sticky weeds to make medicine.

Wimborne Academy Trust’s CEO, Liz West, said: “What a fantastic experience for our
Witchampton children.

“As children who go to school in the heart of the Dorset countryside it is important for them to
know and understand the important part rural families and farms played in World War II.”
Witchampton is one of 11 first and middle schools in east Dorset that make up Wimborne
Academy Trust.


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