Three weddings and an air raid!

Kings Oak Primary pupils try out their new air-raid shelter.
Kings Oak Primary pupils try out their new air-raid shelter.

AIR raids and three weddings have all taken place in the unlikely setting of a Wombwell school.

Pupils at Kings Oak Primary Learning Centre watched as six of their friends were “married” in Christian, Jewish and Hindu services.

And at other times during the week, kids have been ready to race to the safety of an air raid shelter constructed within a classroom.

Years 3 and 4 have studied war history and the question of “Why do we Fight?”, dating back to the Battle of Bosworth Field in Tudor times.

Moving up the centuries, they designed and built air raid shelters – the best of which was chosen to be filled with provisions such as blankets, cushions, writing equipment and foodstuffs. Then it was used, as sirens sounded without warning and kids shuffled to safety from their lessons.

Window blinds were closed and lights turned off as they would once have been during blackouts.

Staff member Jo Swift said: “The children have looked at various wars and armies through history from the Vikings to Roman legions, the War of the Roses and World War Two”.

And Mrs Lisa Butterworth, class teacher, added: “They’re completely hooked. They really love it. Pupils have also been learning about music during the war.

“One parent has commented that it’s like living with Vera Lynn!”

At the end of the six weeks, the children hope to stage a concert, with themselves performing, to raise money for Help for Heroes.

Meanwhile, Year One pupils staged their multi-cultural weddings, including everything from ceremonial gowns to traditional wedding feasts.

These included a Hindu wedding that is performed by a male Brahmin priest and is seen not just as a bond between two people, but as a bond between two families, so is a real group celebration.

Pupils learned how Jewish marriages can be arranged by parents with the help of a matchmaker known as a Yenta.

When a couple are engaged, a “tena’im” ceremony involves breaking a plate, to symbolise the destruction of temples in Jerusalem.

The bride and groom fast on their wedding day, and a bride’s ‘veiling’ is done by the groom to show his intent to clothe and protect her. The bride will walk around her husband seven times.

The weddings followed a themed day on festivals around the world and all tied in with project work carried throughout the term.

This week Kings Oak kids are holding a World Records Day when they will try activities and be timed and monitored as they attempt them.

Challenges will include anything from athletic feats to building towers in a set number of minutes, or picking up smarties with chopsticks.