After we’d all had our breakfast and the children had made their own lunches for the day, we headed out on the coach back into the centre of Ypres. Our first stop was the very famous Belgian chocolate shop. The children assured us that they were bringing you, the parents, lovely chocolates back as a token of their appreciation for your support of this trip; if they say they didn’t buy any, it means they ate your present on the way home – sorry!
Our first activity of the day was a session at the ‘In Flanders Fields Museum’ where the children had an opportunity to browse the museum gallery and participate in a workshop. The children were very captivated by the interacted media and animated model of how the battle for the Ypres Salient progressed.
We then travelled on towards Vimy Ridge, where the children had an opportunity to think about an often overlooked aspect of WWI warfare; the tunnel wars. The children went underground and learned how the soldiers used mines to capture forward positions. The view from the memorial at Vimy enabled the children to really understand the role topography played in battle tactics, and how advantageous it was to control high ground.
Our evening session back at the hotel had the children handling many artefacts connected to ‘an infantryman’s kit’. The children learned to question the evidence, not just about what the artefact was, but also to think about what that artefact(s) tells us about the nature of war and/or the development of war over time. A special thank you to Ben for being our model for the evening. He was most certainly weighed down by all the kit.