The school trip to Exeter proved to be a fantastic day for the children of Shebbear School with lots of learning and cultural experiences – all aided by some beautiful sunshine and no rain!
Koala class started their day at the Crown Court where they had the chance to meet Judge Johnson along with some of the other court workers. We were able to sit in the court room (there was no trial on) having the chance to experience the witness stand, the jurors’ box and even the judge’s bench itself – he allowed the children to try on his wig if they so wanted. Finley was a great sport and agreed to be put on trial. He had to sit behind the glass screen in the defendant’s box while the evidence was heard and the jury made their decision. Our time at the court ended with the chance to have a look inside one of the vans that transport people to and from the court.
Children from Teddy and Panda classes visited Exeter Cathedral. They had a guided tour of this beautiful building admiring the architecture and learning about its long history. They saw the Bishop’s chair which is the oldest of its type in England. The children were asked to lie on the floor and look up at the ceiling of the cathedral and take in the wonder of it all. They asked some excellent questions and the guide commented on the quality of these and the high level of interest the children showed.
We all then joined up to walk through the centre of Exeter to the mosque. We had intended just to have a look from the outside and see some of the features of the building, but while we were waiting the Imam asked if we would like to have a look inside. We all had to remove our shoes then sit on the floor of the prayer room. He spoke to everyone about the mosque itself and we heard a recitation (in Arabic) as well as learning about how Muslim people prey.
From here we walked back to the cathedral passing lots of interesting shops including one that had an amazing array of food fresh fruit and vegetables on display. We passed the wall the Romans built when they were ruling Exeter and also stopped at a church that had been bombed during WW2. Both of these relate to topics being covered this year.
After lunch, reception and KS1 undertook an art workshop at the cathedral where, amongst other things, they made a lovely key ring to take home. These also learnt about the Easter story. KS2 children meanwhile walked down to the Exeter Synagogue. We were asked to sit with boys and girls separately (as is the tradition) and boys all had to wear a hat. Our guide talked to the children about the history of the synagogue which is over 200 years old. He showed us some of the key features and symbols then shared with us a large scroll which contained the Torah. He explained that this is used during their services on Saturdays which is the traditional day for people to attend the synagogue. The children were able to have a closer look and see that it is written in Hebrew.
It was a fascinating day and full of experiences which are not ordinarily available as a general member of the public. Hopefully the children will remember the experience and it supports their learning not least in religious education. The visit to the court certainly supported another key aspect of provision in school which is around promoting British Value – the concept of justice in particular. The children’s behaviour and the level of respect shown was exemplary and it was commented on at all the venues we attended. Thanks for supporting the visit with you donations and to all the staff for making it such a great day not least Mrs Wood who organised and coordinated the day (which was a big challenge with so much going on) and Mrs Gough for arranging the court visit.