Back to the war for Suffolk youngsters

CHILDREN were swept back 60 years to the second world war as they learned about life in their village school in days gone by.Older residents visited Nacton Primary to be interviewed by the children and take part in the filming of a video and DVD.

CHILDREN were swept back 60 years to the second world war as they learned about life in their village school in days gone by.

Older residents visited Nacton Primary to be interviewed by the children and take part in the filming of a video and DVD.

History came alive for the youngsters as their visitors shared their memories and recalled not only details of day-to-day life in World War Two, but also what it was like to be at the school during that time.

The children learned about the games played and enjoyed and the fears and excitements of childhood during the war.

Max Ralph, of Levington, brought his original gas mask and box and recalled the drill of sitting in class with the mask on for a short time every day.

Peter Coggins, of Nacton, shared his experience of being evacuated, while others remembered the hardship of rationing.

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Doris Hall, a former classmate of Mr Ralph, shared her memories, as did Pat Gowers, a regular volunteer at the school.

The school has been taking part in the national commemorative history project "Their past, your future", funded partly by the national lottery.

As well as producing a video of memories, the pupils are making a DVD of their own perceptions of the war. This is funded by the school's BT Education Award for Citizenship.

The school's involvement with residents and the quality of its links with the community and businesses was recognised in its recent Ofsted inspection with the top grading of excellent.

The inspectors commended the school on its very good ethos and very good range of enrichment activities.

Headteacher Elizabeth Ditton said: "We were delighted with the report which recognised that all our pupils achieve well. It is opportunities like meeting people who have experienced the war that make learning fun and memorable."