Letchworth school children spend the day in Nelson’s navy

PUBLISHED: 12:03 21 July 2018

Children at the Garden City Academy learned all about Nelson's Navy at a history workshop. Picture: Jerome Monahan

Children at the Garden City Academy learned all about Nelson's Navy at a history workshop. Picture: Jerome Monahan

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Pupils at the Garden City Academy in Letchworth have taken part in a workshop which showed them the ropes of life in Lord Nelson’s navy.

The Year 2 students were visited by a historian to tell them about the Battle of Trafalgar. Picture: Jerome MonahanThe Year 2 students were visited by a historian to tell them about the Battle of Trafalgar. Picture: Jerome Monahan

The Year 2 students spent the day focused on life in George III’s navy, learning about Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar.

The Wooden World Workshop was led by a historian Peter Warwick and active approaches specialist teacher Jerome Monahan – sponsored by the 1805 Club, a charity dedicated to promoting understanding of Georgian naval history and the achievements of one of Britain’s greatest maritime heroes.

Year 2 class teacher Laura Eddy said: “We all thoroughly enjoyed the workshop. The material included in the day has given me vast amounts of information to enrich the curriculum.

“There really was an awful lot packed into it, and it was wonderful to see the children so engaged with the creative activities.

Maisie; Jayden and Daamia add actions to words from John Masefield’s famous poem ‘I must down to the sea again'. Picture: Jerome MonahanMaisie; Jayden and Daamia add actions to words from John Masefield’s famous poem ‘I must down to the sea again'. Picture: Jerome Monahan

“The children loved the drama activities and some children who are normally reluctant were happy to participate.”

Wooden World workshop leader Jerome Monahan said: “It was an exceptionally full day.

“There was something for everyone – with opportunities to sing a shanty, perform ship-board duties and even re-enact the Battle of Trafalgar on plastic chairs so that the children could grasp what made Nelson’s tactics on October 21, 1805, so unconventional and decisive.

“It was fantastic to see how well these very young children soaked up new ideas and challenging concepts and vocabulary.

Year 2 students spent the day taking part in various activites. Picture: Jerome MonahanYear 2 students spent the day taking part in various activites. Picture: Jerome Monahan

“They quickly grasped the notion of anachronism and the highly symbolic content of some of the pictures celebrating Nelson following his death.”

One activity required the Year 2 children to work as a team to recreate Benjamin West’s ‘The Apotheosis of Nelson’.

Six-year-old Leah said: “I loved the bit when we were acting out from a picture when Nelson died. Thank you for teaching us about the Battle of Trafalgar.”

Hallie added: “I liked the part when we were half-fish, half-horse.”

Year 2 children (left to right) Florence, Lauren and Michaela add actions to words from John Masefield’s famous poem ‘I must down to the sea again'. Picture: Jerome MonahanYear 2 children (left to right) Florence, Lauren and Michaela add actions to words from John Masefield’s famous poem ‘I must down to the sea again'. Picture: Jerome Monahan

Naval historian Peter Warwick spent the day dressed as a Georgian able seaman called Jack Nasty-Face.

He said: “It was great to see in their feedback how much they had enjoyed the detailed historical content and clearly wanted to know more about the period, Nelson’s life and his death – even the kinds of things they would have eaten on board.”

Interested in finding out more? Visit www.1805club.org.

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