News Article

Through the Eyes of Churchill
22nd September 2016

Year 6 Yardley Court and Derwent Lodge have embarked upon a new programme of work in their Innovation, Design and Technology lessons; "Through the Eyes of Churchill".


Internal combustion engines, jet engines, aerodynamics and fluid mechanics, radar, radio, computing, materials science and many other fields that we now take for granted were invented or evolved in the UK in the 20th Century. Year 6 are learning how inventive genius moved science forward in the form of a very large Second World War tank, with our schools working in partnership with The Churchill Trust www.thechurchilltrust.co.uk.


You will hear more about tanks and technology as the year progresses, with an opportunity for all year groups to participate in a week of discovery in the Summer Term, during which we aim to construct an interactive pop up museum in the school. “Through The Eyes of Churchill” will bring lots of elements of the curriculum to the fore, particularly in History, English, Maths, Geography and IDT. We will look at the poetry of war and the use of language in code; the maths and science behind the tank’s design and the history of its use across different terrains in North Africa and Europe.


Today, Mr Baz Baker visited with a model of a Chieftain tank. He described the way in which his model started as a project with his young sons, back in 1978 and how he extended the principles of the Airfix models of the time, to produce his accurate and very heavy model (90kg/over 14 stones!). With over 20,000 hours of work on the clock, this has certainly been a labour of love.


Mr Nigel Montgomery, from The Churchill Trust, joined Mr Baker in describing the design and use of tanks like the Chieftain to life, with a few challenges to stretch our pupils' design skills this year. They need to work out how their models will bridge a gap and find its balance and tipping point. Mr Montgomery explained that 4 crew might be in the tank for more than 24 hours, completely dependant on each other as a team. 


An album of photos from their visit can be viewed here. You can view the technical specification of Mr Baker's model and learn a little about his life here.


We are privileged to have grandparents and great grandparents of Somerhill pupils who would like to share their experiences of World War II and the Churchill tank with our children. Here’s some inspiration… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh2ZVsjIw90 


If you have family or friends with a story to share, or an artefact that you would be happy to lend to our pop-up museum in the summer, please email stories@somerhill.org and we will help you bring your idea to life.


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