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St Mary’s Battlefields Tour

The St Mary’s Battlefields Tour

The annual St Mary's Battlefields Tour holds significant educational and commemorative value for our GCSE students. This educational visit is explicitly linked to the ‘Conflict and Tension: The First World War (1894-1918)’ unit. St Mary’s students are uniquely lucky in that each trip is meticulously planned in close collaboration with Mr Fitzgerald of Trench Tours Ltd., a former Assistant Headteacher at St Mary's. This allows us to offer a bespoke tour where sites visited are carefully planned.

Through exploring the sites where significant events took place, the trip provides students with a unique and immersive learning experience, allowing them to revisit key information about named battles and tactical developments during the war. This hands-on approach reinforces classroom learning and helps students gain a deeper understanding of the historical events surrounding the First World War.

In addition to the educational benefits, the trip also encourages cultural awareness and personal development as students engage with different historical perspectives and witness the lasting impact of war on communities. It fosters empathy and a broader understanding of the human experiences during the conflict.

One of the highlights of the trip is the Menin Gate Last Post Ceremony in Ypres, where St Mary's students have the honour of laying a wreath. This ceremony not only pays tribute to the fallen soldiers but also instils a sense of responsibility and remembrance in the students. The act of laying a wreath allows them to actively participate in commemorating the sacrifices made during the war and in conflicts around the world today.

Overall, the Battlefields Tour is a meaningful and enriching experience that goes beyond traditional classroom learning. It combines historical education, cultural exposure, and personal development in a way that leaves a lasting impact on students, contributing to their holistic education and understanding of the world. It is an extension of the curriculum intent for the History Department.

Planning is already underway for October 2024!