CHILDREN at Hillside Community First School in Verwood have thoroughly enjoyed learning about their latest topic – the Second World War.

A visit to Nothe Fort in Weymouth helped to bring the Key Stage 2 topic to life, as the pupils travelled back in time, dressed as evacuees.

They were greeted by the fort’s guides, who took them through various role plays. These included a wartime school, complete with ink pens and 1940s discipline, plus a shop, where they handled old money and got to grips with ration books.

A visit to an Anderson shelter was abruptly interrupted by the sound of a simulated air-raid, giving the children an idea what it might have been like to experience a real air raid in a shelter.

Following up from their trip one of the children’s parents brought in his 1940s American Army jeep to show the children.

He demonstrated many of its features and accessories, such as the decapitation prevention post, original uniforms, a wind-up record player and an AK47 assault rifle.

Being able to see and touch these articles, especially the de-commissioned gun, was a fascinating highlight for them, which really brought what they had seen learning about to life.

As part of the children’s homework they designed and made models of an Anderson shelter, using a variety of recycled materials, such as Lego and tea bags. The teachers were amazed at the number of ingenious ways that you could make a sand bag, using Plasticene, pebbles, felt, rubbers and even granny’s old tights.

School publicity officer Yvonne Kemp said: “The Second World War has been a topic that has definitely captured the children’s interest and imagination, one they have enjoyed learning about and they will remember for a long time.”