This term, Year 7 are learning about the Norman King William the Conqueror and how he gained control of England. Last week, the class visited the Tower of London, a grand castle whose first structures were built in 1066 to help William secure his position against the opposing Saxons.
During their visit, the pupils learned about prisoners taken to the Tower during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. They heard the story of Jesuit priest John Gerard, who was held captive and tortured, and were able to see the cell in which he was imprisoned (complete with his graffiti marks). Gerard miraculously escaped the Tower and wrote an autobiography describing his ordeal.
The class also were treated to some quality time with the Yeoman warders, who have been guarding the tower since Tudor times. Asking plenty of good questions, the pupils enjoyed a lengthy conversation with one warder in particular, who shared many amusing anecdotes.
Trips like these are not only fun and memorable, but help history lessons come to life in a new way.