Worthing schoolchildren are ‘evacuated’

Niamh Rich and Grace Coomber
Niamh Rich and Grace Coomber

WHYTEMEAD First School pupils were given a very real taste of the Second World War after they were evacuated for a day.

As part of their Life on the Home Front topic, year-three pupils dressed up in 1940s outfits and were evacuated to Broadwater Baptist Church to learn about what it was like to be an evacuee.

However, as was sometimes the case during the war, for some children the experience was not entirely pleasant – with one group being made to polish spoons and do housework at their new homes.

As well as learning how to jitterbug and singing 1940s songs along to the ukelele, the children took part in a simulated air raid, having to take shelter under the pews of the church, equipped with their very own gas masks made in previous design technology lessons.

Clare Mavin, year-three teacher at the school in Dominion Road, Worthing, said the pupils really bought into the experience.

“It was really quite emotional for them,” she said. “We continued the theme after the day by writing letters home to their parents, and the experience has really brought out some fantastic writing. By some groups having a lovely time being an evacuee and one group having an unpleasant time, it really brought home what it was like.”

Mrs Mavin added: “This is the first time we have done an evacuation day, and we will definitely be doing it again next year, as it was so successful. The parents made a fantastic effort with the costumes, too, and that really helped the children buy into the experience.”