Skip to content ↓

St Stephen's

Building Each Other Up in Love and Learning

Year 6 trip has us all Hooke'd

WHat a week as our intrepid Year 6's soldiered through their School Journey at Hooke Court in Dorset. 

During a rainy first day, the children were briefed by their fearless Hooke Court instructors: Captain Alan and Lieutenant Simon and spent the afternoon handling replica rifles, grenades, handguns and bayonets.  After pledging allegiance to the crown and sign up  to join the recruits on the front line, all were successfully signed off by the commanding officers and allowed to join in drills!

Day two got off to a tasty start.  6M started with an extremely eye opening WWI cooking session during which they learned some of the many uses of SPAM on the battle field as well how to make carrot biscuits to enjoy before soldiers went ‘over-the-top’ to No-Man’s-Land!

Meanwhile, 6JM marched over to the long house and were given an up close and personal opportunity to handle a few authentic WWI artefacts.  From barbed wire, to shrapnel shells, the children handled everything with care and played impressively close attention to the task at hand.  Before the session ended, each child made a personalised paper poppy.  

At this point, the children visited the trenches of the Western Front. It was muddy. Very muddy. So, it was a relief to then don their glad rags for dinner in the Officer’s Mess and a good ole’ sing-song in the old time music hall! There was even a dance from the trusty Senior Officers too, which the whole regiment were laughing at and applauded! Day 3 started with a hearty breakfast followed by a rigorous room inspection. Rooms tidy and bellies full, everyone donned their much needed water proof gear and began the now familiar march to the front line trenches of WWI.  

The excitement of what lay ahead was palpable. Today was the day. Final preparations and then…over the top! Being given the order to go over the top and attack the enemy regardless of the danger that lay ahead must have been a sobering moment for the poor soldiers who fought so bravely in WWI.  The morning was brought to a meaningful end when the children laid their poppies in no mans land and a rendition of ‘Flanders’s fields’ was read aloud by Captain Alan.  


The following day, the common room was glowing with smiles as the children read and re-read their letter from home.  Today saw a break from the battle and instead focused on the importance of a balanced, healthy diet. They explored local foods and farms: Hooke Farm, the Trout Farm and Bridge Farm – a working dairy farm. The children were absolute stars while they listened to the resident cook here at Hooke Court, Jackie, talk about the benefits of sourcing local foods and how they can benefit not only the communities we live in but the global environment as well.

The children were split into small groups and were asked to prepare a selection of soups, scones, jam, rolls and apple juice, which was all farmed in the local area. 

Helen, one of the owners of Bridge Dairy Farm, did a brilliant job of showing the ins and outs of daily life on the farm and once again gave the children a chance to ask questions.  The children were shown the actual milking process as well as the holding tank for milk awaiting pick up and transport.  There was some tricky maths involved when the children tried to work out what the farm was earning on an average month based on income and outcome! 

Dinner destroyed, ice-creams devoured, checked shirts donned and denim attire dug out must mean it was FINALLY time for one thing and one thing only…The 2019 Barn Dance. Everyone loved it, even those resistant to the idea of dancing were swinging their partners around by the end!

And suddenly, it was Friday. Where did the week go? As you read this, our tired and weary soldiers will be unloading their bags from the coach and greeting their relatives, who will no doubt have missed them like mad. 

Another year, another School Journey over. Welcome back Year 6. You have been missed!