Whole school heads to Castle for the day

The whole of St John’s Primary School will be spending the day at Elizabeth Castle, with students immersing themselves in the history of one of Jersey’s most iconic landmarks

The whole of St John’s Primary School will be spending the day at Elizabeth Castle this week, with students immersing themselves in the history of one of Jersey’s most iconic landmarks.


Every year group at the school – from Nursery up to Year 6 – will head to the Castle on Monday, 16 September, totalling nearly 200 children, as well as teachers and parent helpers.


As it will be high tide in the morning that day, the schoolchildren will be shuttled over to the Castle using the two Jersey Heritage ferries. Wet Wheels will also be helping out with their vessel, in order to get everyone over to Elizabeth Castle as early as possible.


It is the first time the Castle has hosted an entire school on the same day for a whole day of activities.


Jersey Heritage’s Learning and Engagement Manager Helen Otterwell said: “One of our main aims at Jersey Heritage is to connect everyone with their history, from our oldest to our youngest residents. We welcomed over 5,000 schoolchildren to our sites over various school trips last year, but a whole school visit means we can reach a host of children of all different ages, all at the same time – a fantastic way to start the new school year.


“Elizabeth Castle is full of stories, atmosphere and things to see and do, so there is more than enough to keep the children occupied all day. I’m sure the Castle is going to be buzzing with life on Monday when the children are exploring and learning.”


While at the Castle, the schoolchildren will enjoy a variety of activities, including a flora and fauna scavenger hunt; history tour; watching the Living History characters perform; orienteering around the Castle; and exploring the small beach behind the Castle at low tide.


St John Primary School Deputy Headteacher James Matthews said: “Whole school visits are something we’ve been enjoying for the past few years and we use them to kick-start and engage the children in exciting learning opportunities at various times of the year.”


He explained that the trips are used to build a whole school project around the curriculum, which is then touched on throughout the academic year. “The visit to Elizabeth Castle will provide us with the ideal opportunity to launch a topic about Jersey’s rich heritage, learning about the Castle itself, as well as the Waterfront, which the students will be able to view from the Castle, and Jersey’s every-changing landscape.”


The organised activities will be tailored to different age groups and will cover the following subjects:


  • Geography – looking at the Island and how it has changed over time to adapt to different ways of life. The students will be using orienteering to find their way around the Castle
  • History – placing Jersey’s heritage within the context of national and international changes. They students will be watching the Living History taking place at the Castle
  • Science – looking at the flora and fauna of the coast and at the Castle
  • Technology – studying the building of the Castle and other buildings in Jersey
  • Literacy – using the Castle trip as inspiration to write poems, guided writing and stories