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Hazel Class are thoroughly enjoying their studies of WW2.


Hazel Class are thoroughly enjoying their studies of WW2.  Our recent focus has been on evacuation, which ties in with our class text “Goodnight Mister Tom” and Willie Beech’s experience living with Mr Oakley. 


The children have found it fascinating to learn what life would have been like for children during the evacuation period.  To gain an insight into different people’s experiences they have used, photographs, first person accounts, books as well and audio and video clips.  Seeing the images of children all lined up waiting to board trains with a small suitcase, gas mark and wearing a label will stay with them forever.  Just imagining themselves being one of those many, many children was quite moving for them.


As part of their studies, they were incredibly fortunate to be given a talk by Mrs Cornelius, our former Headteacher, about her own Mother’s experience.  Her talk was incredibly informative as she had all of the original letters which her Mother, Jean, wrote in 1939 to her own parents as well as the actual small brown suitcase she took with her.  Jean was born in Tottenham but was evacuated, at the age of 10, to Ingatestone at the start of the war with her little sister, Marjorie, and younger cousin, Gwen.  Mrs Cornelius told us how brave her Mother had been during this time.  She promised her younger relatives that she would never leave them and that she would care for them no matter what.  We learned that she told every potential host family that they were not to be separated, which meant they were one of the last few to be “chosen”.  Mrs Cornelius spoke about her Mother’s experience with two different host families during her time of evacuation and what life was like back in London once when her parents brought her back a few months later.  Life was incredibly different then than it is now.


The precious letters and photographs were fascinating to read and we were so privileged to be allowed to look and handle them after Mrs Cornelius had left.  We loved seeing Jean’s personal words and how her letters always ended with lots of kisses to show how much she missed her family but kept her word and cared for her family.  Jean was clearly a very determined young lady.  No wonder Mrs Cornelius was so proud to come and tell us all about her.


The memories and the stories of evacuation have definitely had an impact on the children of Hazel Class.  We have had some wonderful discussions and poignant moments in our lessons which have been wonderful stimuli for producing some excellent work.


Well done children.