Year 11 pupils taking History at Rydal Penrhos recently had the opportunity to enhance their studies by visiting Hack Green Nuclear Bunker in Cheshire.
History may be a traditionally classroom-based subject, but it can be made all the more real when its topics are explored through excursions out into the world. This is something that Rydal Penrhos is keenly aware of; only last year, the school conducted an overseas tour to Poland that included a harrowing visit to Auschwitz Birkenau, the scene of one of the twentieth century’s darkest chapters.
As detailed in our recent conversation with Humanities Faculty Leader and History teacher Mrs Freeman, her Year 11 class worked hard to finish the syllabus well ahead of time, wrapping up the course curriculum by the middle of February. The promised reward for this was a history-themed day out, and Mrs Freeman delivered on this promise shortly before the start of the Easter break, as Year 11 took a trip to Hack Green Nuclear Bunker.
The decommissioned government-owned nuclear bunker, which was kept secret for over 50 years, has since been turned into a museum and visitor centre for those wanting to learn more about the threats of nuclear annihilation that reigned large in the popular consciousness during the Cold War era.
During their visit, Year 11 pupils had the chance to explore the labyrinth of rooms and equipment used to run the bunker during a national emergency. They examined (harmless!) nuclear weapons on display, visited the N.A.A.F.I. Canteen, and learnt about the rations and food stock that would be deployed in the event of nuclear war.
This visit was particularly important as Year 11 pupils now look towards their upcoming exams and what subject choices they will take forward to A-Level. Hopefully, the sights they saw at Hack Green will either inspire an all-important answer when they sit at an exam desk this summer, or nudge them towards pursuing History into the very different course of study that is an A-Level qualification.
Rydal Penrhos would like to thank Mrs. Freeman for overseeing this fantastic trip and congratulate our Year 11s for finishing their GCSE course and moving onto the all-important revision phase. We wish you all the best in the summer, Year 11!