Horses pay a visit to school as children step back in time

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IT’S not very often that pupils get the chance to see horses in their school field.

But for students at Wickham Church of England Primary School, they got to do just that as they stepped back in time to watch heavy horses plough the field.

The event was carried out in partnership with the Southern Counties Heavy Horse Association as part of a history project.

The crop will then be grown in the traditional manner of the Meonwara people - Saxons that occupied this area over 1,000 years ago.

Year 4 pupils will be responsible for the tending, harvesting, threshing, milling and baking of the bread.

Sean Beech is the history co-ordinator at the school.

He said: ‘It’s part of our history project looking at the Saxons. We discovered that the people who lived in this valley over 1,000 years ago were famous for growing wheat.

‘We thought what better way to engage the children than to get them to do some hand sowing, looking after and then harvesting, threshing and milling the product themselves.

‘It allows them to see first hand a horse and plough working in a field. Rather than looking at a picture in a book it gives them a chance to sow by hand which their forefathers would have done.

‘The children were very excited, the Year 4s especially as it’s their pet project for the year.

‘Just seeing the horses ploughing the field has got our children excited.’

Before the ploughing began, Mr Beech read a blessing in Anglo Saxon language, before reading it in English so the children could understand.

The school, as part of this project, is also looking to raise funds to construct a traditional Saxon Roundhouse for the pupils to utilise to store, mill and bake their end product.

Rohan Barnes, eight, said: ‘I feel quite happy about it because I’m going to bake some bread for my family so I can help feed them.

‘I’m excited about it. We are learning about the Saxons at the moment and how they did it.’

James Salter, eight, said: ‘I’m excited. We have never had this done before. It’s going to help us learn more about the Saxons.’

Lily Parker, eight, added: ‘It’s good. We haven’t had horses here before.’