On the 11th of September, Year 9 students welcomed Mr Knight, a World War One historian, reenactor, and specialist to Notley High School and Braintree Sixth Form. This was an exciting and unique experience for students to immerse themselves in historical artefacts and to see first-hand what we learn about in History. We brought history to life.
The day started off as a real dramatic adventure through times, where Mr Knight assumed the role of a WW1 Corporal and put our students through their paces. Mr Knight treated year 9 as though they were members of his own battalion ordering students to walk and move around, fix their uniform, stand to attention, and only speak when spoken to. Mr Knight quizzed his soldiers of their knowledge of life in the trenches, poison gas and trench medicine. Mr Knight played the part of a WW1 Corporal so convincingly that Mr Pearce said that it “reminded him of his instructors during his time in the RAF”.. Year 9 have been studying the First World War in their History lessons and had the chance to see primary sources including real guns and grenades. Students were excited by the interactive nature of the presentation. Aiden C said that Mr Knight’s representation was, “Fun, interesting and informative”.
One group of students were even lucky enough to try on exact replicas of Twentieth Century military uniforms. Yinny S and Khairah A were given the chance to model outfits that showed the evolution of uniforms from the red uniforms of the Boer War to the Khaki uniforms worn in the First World War. Students were delighted to be able to see the material history that they have spent time last term studying. Mr Knight commented that “Notley students were incredibly enthusiastic, and their participation and behaviour were a credit to the school” and is looking forward to returning to Notley in the future