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A step back in time

Barbara Freeman / Categories: News

Nova Hreod Academy stepped back in time this week to commemorate the 71st anniversary of VE Day.

Akers Way looked like a scene from a classic movie as students arrived at school dressed as land girls, evacuees, soldiers and in an array of 1940s outfits.

Mr Watkins’s maths class had a go at ciphers and codebreaking, and learned how these skills were used in the war effort.  In PE lessons, classes were put through drill exercises. Food was another key topic of the day. Food Technology students learnt about rationing and some traditional wartime recipes. The student council held a bake sale at lunchtime with some authentic 1940s cakes, including some delicious beetroot cupcakes. The “land army” from the Stellar Diner celebrated the end of rationing as they served up fish & chips in newspaper, bangers & mash and ice cream at lunchtime.

During the day they welcomed visitors from Ashbury Lodge Care Home for a tea dance. Performing arts students were joined by the student council to entertain the guests, who sang along merrily with the music provided by Lucia & Jess, the winners of Nova’s Got Talent. After a fun waltzing tutorial for the students, everyone joined them on the dance floor.

One of the visitors was a 98 year old former Army Captain who served in the British Army for 50 years. He thanked the students on behalf of all the guests and told them how much they had all enjoyed their visit to Nova.

There were queues in the atrium at lunchtime as Mrs Lewis and Miss Fegan gave hair and make up tutorials, with victory rolls being the style of the day.

The event was the brainchild of history teacher Rebecca Sayers, who said: "VE day at Nova Hreod was a fantastic opportunity for pupils to immerse themselves in the social history of the period and to have fun doing it!"

Darren Barton, Principal of Nova Hreod Academy, said: “It was great to see so many people getting involved and learning more about the war. All the students had fun dressing up and learning about life at the end of the war.

Will Prior in Year 9 said: “I dressed up as a 1940’s boy with a flat cap, tie and trousers. I thought it was a good event to bring people to the school and to have a good time. My favourite part of the day was when we had to learn the waltz. Also I liked all the tea and cakes which we had with some elderly visitors who were at the real VE celebrations.”

Year 9 student Elizabeth Hext said: “I dressed up as a 1940’s girl who was celebrating victory in Europe. I enjoyed it so much because I met the visitors, who were at the real VE Day celebrations when they were young. I served them tea and cake and hope they enjoyed themselves.”

Lynda Powell, Maths Teacher, said: “It was a pleasure to be able to share our VE Day celebrations with people who actually witnessed the war and its subsequent end. They joined in our tea dance, happily eating cakes cooked by the students, and danced with our Year 10 students.”

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