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At the start of March students from Sutherland House School embarked on a four day tour around some of the battlefields of World War I. Students travelled to battlefields and cemeteries across France and Belgium and were able to engage, first hand, with The Great War.

Students have been able to access this centenary tour due to Government funding and have registered their interest to participate in the trip next academic year as well. Autism East Midlands are extremely grateful for this funding as it helps to enhance the learning experience of students at Sutherland House School. This trip has helped to reinforce a love for history in one student as well as help other students who accessed the trip build upon the knowledge of The Great War they built in the classroom.

Deputy Head Teacher Kari Anson played a pivotal part in organising this trip and was honoured to take such enthusiastic students to a place they have learnt so much about,

“Having led and organised Battlefield Centenary Tours in my previous posts I was keen to introduce it at Sutherland House School. It was an honour and privilege to spend 4 days with students who fully participated in all areas of the trip and created life long memories.”

Students managed to travel to places such as Tyne Cot where they paid their respects to serviceman G H Fozzard who lived in the Sneintion area, where Sutherland House School is based today. The group also visited Thiepval, they walked through replica trenches, had the chance to wear replica World War I uniform and even had the opportunity to look at actual artefacts recovered locally that were used during the First World War.

The benefits of the trip are huge for the students who accessed it; a couple of the students’ parents have highlighted just how important these kind of trips are. For Kate this trip helped to fuel her love of history further:

“When Kate returned from Poland we discovered the effect upon her was deeply moving as it hit home more in reality than ever you could ever imagine by books and pictures and it was the same with the trip to Belgium and France. This is particularly so in her case as she has such an avid interest in the war and history of Europe and languages, as a family we know how much these trips have meant to Kate – two trips of a lifetime. It’s had an amazing effect on her as a person we would like the thank school and the staff for making this happen we as a family can’t thank you enough.”

Raushaun’s parents have really noticed the effects such a trip can have on his independence and future:

“We both believe the experience Raushan had going on the trip was fantastic for him and his independence in the future. The value and impact of going on the trip for Raushan was it:
• Increased Raushan’s resilience due to the different nature of the trip compared to anything else he has undertaken previously
• Tested Raushan’s capabilities and given him more confidence in his approach to things
• Made new friends on the trip
• Provided a different experience
• Went abroad for the first time
• Experienced living with different people and a different environment
• Had to deal with his emotions and explain how he was feeling with different people rather than his parents
• Loved dressing up in the solders uniform and holding the riffle
• Raushan was speaking and behaving move confidently on his return
• Improved his independence by being away from his parents and away from home for four days
• Exploring something he previously did not know about
We feel very lucky that Raushan was chosen for the trip.”

Everyone involved with the trip had a wonderful time and Sutherland House School cannot wait to hopefully take students to the Battlefield Centenary Tour next year.