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Chingford Foundation School

We pride ourselves on our unique environment which equips every student with skills, knowledge and enriching experiences.

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Battlefields Trip 2023

Our first Battlefields Trip in four years took place 28 April to 1 May, with 61 students and six staff making their way to France and Belgium.

It was an incredibly moving trip and a really wonderful opportunity for the students to fully appreciate the horrors and reality of this significant period of twentieth century history.

Having had an early start on the Friday, the group were able to visit Beaumont Hamel and the Thiepval Memorial on the first day. Some of our students were able to locate the names of their ancestors remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, a very moving experience for them and something very special for them to be able to report back to their families.

On Saturday the students enjoyed a visit to Arras Market and also got to take in the Vimy Trenches and Vimy Ridge Memorial and the Wellington Quarries.

On Sunday the group visited the Bayernwald German Trenches, Langemark Cemetery, Plugstreet, Tyne Cot Cemetery and the extremely moving Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate.

It was an honour for four of our Chingford Foundation School students to lay a wreath on behalf of the School as part of the Last Post Ceremony.

Before heading home on the Monday, the group visited historic Bruges.

Throughout the trip the Chingford Foundation School Year 9 students were an absolute credit to the School, behaving impeccably and really making the most of the opportunities to learn about the first world war.

Mr Taborda, who organised the trip, said: "The trip provided many thought-provoking and reflective moments as our students considered the impact of WWI both at the time and in today’s world. The highlight of the trip was four of our students laying a wreath during the moving Last Post Ceremony, which takes place every night to commemorate those who lost their lives during WWI. Our students were a credit to the school and conducted themselves superbly. My thanks also goes to the dedicated staff that gave their time to ensure that this trip went ahead."

Year 9 student, Willow, said: "It is hard to describe in words how great the trip was. The monuments were breath taking. It was clear a lot of effort went into making the memorials. The trenches and preserved battlefields brought to life the horrific impact on soldiers, land and families the war had. The amount of gravestones didn't reflect the number of soldiers whose names couldn't be put to a body. It was sad but it felt peaceful to know we could remember them. I most enjoyed the quarries. I learnt a lot and got a feel of what life might have been like for the tunnellers and the soldiers waiting there. The staff and guides were really good. They helped us make sure we were respectful and answered any questions we had. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and I learnt a lot more about WWI, getting a better understanding of the subject as a whole."

Year 9 student, Shiraz, said: “The Battlefields Trip was a great experience for students who are interested in history or are wanting to learn about the World Wars.  The trip gave us a hands-on experience, as we all got to explore both the Allied and Nazi trenches and visit the areas that were the front lines of the wars.  We visited many memorials to pay our respects to those who died as well as learning about the significance of the memorials themselves.  Over the course of the four days we got to do some fun things as well.  We visited lovely towns such as Bruges and got a chance to shop in some local markets and absorb some of the local culture. It was nice learning in a different way, and great getting to know the teachers outside the classroom, we got to know them as real people and not just teachers.  The teachers were very understanding and accommodating of any concerns.  One of the best parts of the trip was the huge amounts of fun travelling and staying in dorms with friends.  I would highly recommend the trip and would definitely go again if I could.”

Our grateful thanks go to Mr Taborda for leading this important trip, and to Ms Heaton, Mr Brennan, Mrs Laurent, Mr Butters and Mrs Gordon who supported the trip.



Battlefields Trip 2023