Elveden Academy and Forest Academy

Jessica and Amber from Forest Academy created the model above as a memorial to those lost at Agincourt. In addition, Jess, Amber, Anya and Nora so enjoyed the battle re-enactment at Agincourt that their teachers invited Mr Kerridge to recreate it with all of Years 5 and 6. Michelle O’Sullivan from Forest Academy recounts the experience below.

Our journey began back in March when Amber Nelson, Jessica Waller and me – Miss O’ Sullivan – had the opportunity to travel to France as part of the Historical Association visit to Agincourt, France for the 600th commemoration. We learned a wealth of information on this trip about both English and French history and the experience will be one that lives in our memories forever.

It was because of these memories that we decided it was an experience too good not to be shared; ok we couldn’t take the year 5 and year 6 classes to France but maybe, just maybe we could bring the Agincourt experience to them. We spoke with Mildenhall College Academy (MCA) and the infamous Mr Kerridge and proposed linking our three schools: MCA, Forest Academy and Elveden Academy, in an effort to re-create the Azincourt experience for the whole of UKS2 (years 5 and 6). Fueled with excitement we began making the necessary arrangements and all involved were extremely excited. Amber and Jessica in particular were overjoyed at the prospect as they hadn’t yet stopped talking about France and all they had experienced.

The date was the 19th July 2016, not necessarily a significant date in history but certainly a significant date for Forest and Elveden children. As the children led into the hall there was an air of anticipation and excitement as no one knew quite what to expect. Mr Kerridge introduced himself and the activities began, firstly, with a contextual understanding of the battle of Agincourt by studying a time line; which the children depicted with the aid of tabards. Preceding this were several scenarios where the children, in groups, had to determine Henry’s best course of action (Mr Kerridge upon taking feedback highlighted the merits and weaknesses in the children’s strategies and then continued to explain to the children what Henry’s actual course of action was). During this process children got to encounter the clothing and weaponry of the soldiers involved in the battle – some were even lucky enough to be allowed to try them.

Next up was the infamous battle of Agincourt itself. The group of approximately 110 children was proportionately divided up into French and English armies and allocated a role to enact – some cavalry, some infantry, and others archers. The battle commenced and raged as it had once done so many years previously. Finally, after ingenious strategising on Henry’s part the English were victorious and thousands of French lay dead on the battlefield…The English rejoiced at their victory, particularly since they had been outnumbered from the start yet the French too arose from the dead to rejoice in the victory. Not how it happened in reality, obviously, but it just goes to show the power of experiential learning!

A massive ‘Thank you’ to Mr Kerridge on behalf of myself, Miss Keeble and all of our children for making the day so spectacular. It was extremely successful and a memory that we are sure will remain with the children for years to come. Finally, no commemorative day would be complete without some kind of memento, so a heartfelt ‘Thank you’ to Maheema Chanrai of the Historical Association for providing us with commemorative pins to distribute to the children after the event. What a perfect way to end our school year, and for some their time at primary school.

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