School trips resume after Covid hiatus
CHILDREN from Highfield and Brookham Schools have taken a ground-breaking step back in time.
The excited Year 1 pupils made the relatively short trip across the Surrey border to the Rural Life Centre in Tilford, near Farnham – the first school trip in more than 14 months in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
With restrictions having eased nationwide on Monday, and vaccine take up continuing at a rapid rate, curriculum-enriching school trips are now firmly back on the agenda.
And the youngsters from Highfield and Brookham Schools took full advantage as they took time out from their regular school-based activities to immerse themselves in the history and culture of village life in the countryside, revelling in the nostalgia that the Rural Life Centre provides.
A wartime air-raid shelter, an 18th Century granary, and a leafy arboretum were a real draw for the children, who also got to take a peek into the lives of butchers, bakers, cobblers and haberdashers of the time among an array of fascinating exhibits of yesteryear.
But arguably the most eye-catching stop-off for the eager pupils was the old classroom from Bourne School, which dates back to 1900. According to owner and former Bourne School pupil Henry Jackson, who founded the Rural Life Centre with his wife Madge in 1973, the corrugated iron classroom was in regular use until it was badly damaged by a hurricane which struck southern England in 1987.
The building offered a stark contrast to the warm, bright, cosy and colourful surroundings the curious visiting pupils are used to today.
Sophie Baber, headteacher of Brookham School, said: “School trips are an essential part of a child’s education, offering stimulation and giving pupils an excellent opportunity to gain a better insight into the world around them. They really bring learning to life and underline what the children have learned in the classroom.”
And she added: “So many of our lives have been badly disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, not least children who have had to deal with a great many challenges and uncertainty over their education. But now, after such a long wait, we are delighted that our children can once again leave the sanctuary of Highfield and Brookham Schools and explore the wider world.”