What an exciting two days for Classes 7, 8, 9 and 10. Tuesday and Wednesday saw Year 2 children visit Tamworth Castle and the weather was fantastic! On arrival we were split into two groups and in turn explored life as a squire and life as a servant before our yummy packed lunch.
The children were in awe as they learnt that from the age of 7 a boy would become a squire and have to tend to the preparation of armour for the knight before going to battle. The children had a tricky job to do…they had to match the correct armour pieces to the body parts and hang them (without any gaps) onto the armour prop. The knowledge that the children recalled to Sir Lincoln and Sir Hugo was brilliant. A brave volunteer from each group modelled the heavy helmet. The two knights also tested the strength of 4 pupils by handing them a sword to hold out straight to build their muscles up for becoming future knights. Unfortunately the girls were told that the job of a squire was no job for a girl - they were just not strong enough! The next part of this training was the favourite part of the day for many children because they ACTUALLY got to hold a foam axe and learn an attack routine. This was super fun as the children were definitely in role with their grizzly mean faces and loud roars of ‘STRIKE HIGH!” and “STRIKE LOW!”
Life as a servant was very interesting as children were welcomed by Lucy the servant who worked for the Lord and Lady of Tamworth Castle. She looked at us a little strangely and could not understand why the adults and some of the girls were wearing breeches (trousers); she thought we were wearing boys’ clothes! She also could not understand why we were telling her that water was the healthiest drink for our bodies and despite the children telling her about tap water, she was very confused and only knew that the river water was too dirty to drink. Lucy taught the girls to curtsey and the boys to bow ready for the Lord and Lady and explained that we MUST NOT rise until they told us to. She helped us set the table and asked the children to spot the difference between the plates, cups and spoons for the Lord and Lady compared to the servants. I am sure the children can remember who had the pewter plates, spoons and goblets. Everyone remembered how to behave in front of the Lord and Lady and they were incredibly impressed with the table set. Phew! Amazingly the Lord and Lady then chose a boy and girl from each group to dress in traditional dress and to many of the boys’ horror, explained that boys under 7 would have worn a dress or a gown and would have had a special celebration on their 7th birthday to mark their rite of passage of wearing trousers!
Following a healthy lunch the children toured the inside and outside of the castle. This included climbing the narrow, spiral staircase up to the top tower (they were very excited to see B&Q!) walking along the castle wall and exploring the Lady’s chamber, servants bedroom, drawing room and even admiring a baby’s room. What was the scariest part of the castle? What did you see in the dungeon? Can you remember what the arrow slits were for?
The children loved every minute of the day and were constantly talking about the castle defences and attacking equipment (even Mrs Parkes who mentioned needing a battering ram to get into the castle at the start of the day, as the knocker did not seem to work for four attempts!).
The behaviour was excellent as expected and the children were a credit to the school and you at home.