St Mary’s RC Primary School

The visit to Agincourt didn’t inspire just Thomas, Milly, Noah and Archie – while they were in Agincourt, their classmates on St Mary’s were working on preparations for an exhibition, to be presented to their French partnership school. Find out more in the report below, written by teacher Amanda Miles.

The children and staff from St Mary’s had an absolutely fantastic time at Agincourt and we thank the Historical Association for giving us this opportunity. Not only was it an amazing experience for those that travelled to Agincourt, but it was the catalyst for some amazing work for the rest of the class as well. While we were away, the pupils who remained at home researched information about the Battle of Agincourt using various sources. When we returned from we combined our information and used it to compile a set of reasons why the English army were successful at Agincourt. This inspired us to create an eye-catching and interactive guide to the battlefield, which we shared with our French visitors from Anizy and some language specialists on behalf of the National Language Partnership.

We also used Agincourt as our inspiration for two lessons that were observed as part of our Ofsted ready monitoring visit, which included hot-seating in the role of English archers and Agincourt maths problems. The inspectors were extremely impressed with the children’s knowledge of the battle and enjoyed the lesson immensely, even if I found it rather stressful!

We then moved on to looking at Henry V through the words of William Shakespeare. We watched clips of various interpretations of his play and analysed which versions we preferred and why. We then focused on St Crispin’s Day speech, performing parts of it and then used it to write our own motivational speech to encourage our army into battle against the mighty French.

After summer half-term we welcomed our French partnership school, who had also been studying the Hundred Years War as part of our joint project. They enjoyed looking at our display and watching the presentation we made to show what we did when we visited Agincourt. They said that they found out lots of things about the battle itself that they did not know because the Battle of Agincourt is not studied in France. Together we created memorials in memory of those who died and to show how our countries have united together since.  This was especially evident throughout the week when observing how easily the French and English children formed friendships and enjoyed spending time with each other.

This year has been the seventh consecutive year that we have welcomed children and staff from our partnership school and each year it has become an integral part of the school curriculum, and a much looked-forward-to event: often it is named as the most memorial and enjoyable part of being in Year 5. Today as I write this report, the children in my class are reflecting on the week they have spent with the French children and are designing a guide for the present Year 4 students to help them prepare for next year’s visit when they will be hosts to the French visitors. 

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