SCHOOLCHILDREN are being invited to explore a First World War trench, meet the Tudors, discover how Nelson died and learn about the weapons used in some of our bloodiest battles at a history festival for schools.

The event is part of the Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival, a week-long celebration of history that attracts many of the country’s most highly regarded writers and historians.

It is hoped that hundreds of pupils from schools across the region will attend the event, where there will be a series of lectures, re-enactments and drama presentations.

It is open to students in years 10 and 12 and this is the first time that a schools’ festival has been part of the programme.

“Last year many children, teenagers and families came to the history festival and had a thoroughly good time,” said organiser Rachel Holland.

“We decided to hold a dedicated festival for schools help achieve our goals of education and inspiration – to encourage a love of history.

“It’s not just about sitting listening to lectures; learning history can be interactive, hands-on and very exciting.

“This year children will be able to experience life in the trenches, go to sword school and watch a Spitfire flying over. What could be better than that?”

Other topics covered will include Adolf Hitler, the emancipation of women, the American civil rights movement, the Cold War and becoming a historian.

The schools’ festival takes place on June 24 and 25, the first two days of the history festival.

Later in the week there will be appearances by Boris Johnson, Ian Hislop, Dan Snow, Michael Murpurgo, John Suchet and Tom Stoppard among others.

There will also be a busy programme of living history, an air show and re-enactments of famous battles.

Tickets for the Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival will go on sale in March.