Marlborough Primary School transformed back to 1939

Yesterday, Monday 30 September, pupils from Marlborough Primary School in Roath arrived to find their school had been completely transformed back to 1939.

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The event which launched a four week WWll history project, engaged pupils from across the whole school in a multisensory immersion day, where they can experience first-hand what it was like to live during the war.

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The children will took part in a host of activities provided by external partners such as The Firing Line Workshop, The Museum of Cardiff and a WWII theatre group. The school was dressed using authentic props, a vintage bus took children on a journey around the school grounds and children can visited the Marlborough Museum curated by local people and pupils.


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Reflecting on the day, Headteacher Geraldine Foley said: "‘I was overwhelmed yesterday morning seeing the children coming through the school gates dressed in their wonderful wartime costumes!

"The Marlborough Team have worked hard with the support of so many groups from our local community to transform the school into this immersive experience for the children. We are confident that today's experience will truly inspire our pupils and ignite a passion in them which will springboard their learning for the rest of the history project this half term!'

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Funded through The Foyle Foundation, the £10k project presented an opportunity for the school to trial learning in line with the new curriculum and promotes pupil-led learning by where children influence the direction they want their learning to take, throughout the rest of the topic. 

In order to bring real-life stories to life, planning for the event included working with history groups, Glamorgan Archives and reaching out to people who lived in the area at the time or who were evacuated to or from Marlborough Primary School.

The school was partly destroyed in the blitz and accounts from the school's original log books dating back to 1939 were also used to inspire the day's events.

Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: "Schools are an important part of their community and this is a wonderful example of a school working with local people to bring its history to life whilst exploring WWII as a wider topic.

"This is an exceptional way to teach and inspire children and I have no doubt that other schools will also be inspired by this project. Well done to the Headteacher and all the staff from Marlborough Primary School for their hard work and enthusiasm, which has certainly paid off."

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The project will result in a legacy website which is available to everyone.



Photos: Simon Gough