Robert Hume, head of history at Clarendon House Grammar School, Ramsgate, has taken pupils to Dover for the past 14 years

22nd November 2002 at 00:00
Year 7 pupils focus on the original medieval castle at Dover, curtain walls, the keep and defences, gun platform and the underground passages with their spiral staircases and spy holes. Exercises include estimating the height of the keep and the thickness of the batter (slope) and questions such as would the moat ever have been filled with water? The "Siege Experience, 1216" fully engages the senses - you actually feel water spraying on your skin.

Year 9 pupils focus on the Second World War and the tunnels. We set up connected activities. Last year we had a "Blitz Experience", "Rationing", and "Make Do and Mend" - pupils learned how to darn socks, knit a scarf and make tablets of soap. We hire the classrooms housed in the inner curtain wall. The tunnels are the jewel of the visit and something is added each time we go. Walmer Castle has interesting artefacts and the gardens are ideal to picnic in.

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