School children go back to the future

PAST, present and future were the themes for school children as they spent a day at an historic Anglo-Saxon burial site learning about the environment of centuries ago.

PAST, present and future were the themes for school children as they spent a day at an historic Anglo-Saxon burial site learning about the environment of centuries ago.

The youngsters from Nacton Primary are acting as guardians for the future of Sutton Hoo while finding out about its past.

The school is a Guardianship School in partnership with the National Trust site as part of a special year-long project.

Pupils have been learning about the kinds of trees that grew at the time of the ship burial at Sutton Hoo - believed to be the grave of the wealthy Wuffings king Raedwald in 625AD.


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They have gathered native seeds, acorns and nuts to germinate back at school and which, once the seedlings have become established, they will then plant at Sutton Hoo for future generations to enjoy.

In addition, youngsters spent a while at the site learning from woodcarver Paul Warne, who, as well as sharing his skills in wood turning, showed them different types of wood.

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He contrasted the variety of woods used at Sutton Hoo, from the dark panelling in Mrs Pretty's house on the site to the pine used in the award winning structure of the £5 million exhibition centre.

With Nancy Waterfall, education liaison officer, the children explored the site and learnt about the kinds of trees and plants which would have been familiar to the Anglo Saxons and are still to be found today.

Elizabeth Ditton, headteacher of Nacton Primary, said, "This is a wonderful opportunity for children to link the past with the future.

"It makes them more aware of the site and its surroundings, our own school environment, and enables them to do something constructive to preserve and guard Sutton Hoo for future generations to enjoy."

The Guardianship Scheme, sponsored by Norwich Union, aims to link schools with their local National Trust site for education, conservation and to develop the environment.

Bluebell bulbs have also been planted at the site by pupils from Bawdsey Primary School, who have been learning about Anglo Saxon plants.

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