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Year 5 visit the Imperial War Museum, Duxford

Published on 11/04/23

On Thursday 16 March, Year 5 pupils from Junior School Dame Bradbury’s and Fitzwilliam Building visited The Imperial War Museum, Duxford (IWM), as part of their topic ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ exploring transport through the ages.

With a mission to locate as many examples as possible of their assigned mode of transport, students were busy taking photos and exploring the American War Museum, Battle of Britain and Air Space hangars, finding all sorts of unusual vehicles. The children used their enquiry skills to ask museum staff questions and thought critically about the purpose of different vehicles, and how they had developed over time. A highlight of the trip was setting foot on the famous Concorde aircraft!

Elizabeth from 5P at Junior School Dame Bradbury’s said: “On Thursday 16 March, Year 5 children from Dame Bradbury’s and Fitzwilliam Building went on an amazing expedition to Duxford Imperial War Museum (or IWM for short). In class, we have been learning about different types of transport and we were eager to dig deeper and find out more! When we arrived, we went into the first of many hangars.

Although Hangar 3 was usually out of bounds, we got to take a peek at a mini submarine and, on the right, a helicopter with no engine! Interestingly, the ‘gyroplane’ was attached by a length of steel rope. If the pilot communicated with the captain to ‘dive’, the rope would be cut and the pilot of the gyroplane would land in the water and wait (in hope) for the submarine to resurface. This wacky German invention allowed the pilot to see for 25 miles, whereas the captain of the submarine could only see for 5 miles from the water’s surface.

Just before we left, we boarded the famous Concorde, which was once the fastest passenger plane in the world. The inside was impressive! It was retired from service in 2003 because of cost, economics and the impact it had on the environment. In conclusion, the Year 5 trip was amazing, enjoyable and perfect for all of us. There was an air of excitement going through everyone like electricity.”

Joshua from 5P at Junior School Dame Bradbury’s said: “On Thursday 16th March, Year 5 pupils from Dame Bradbury’s and Fitzwilliam Building went on a pulse racing trip to Duxford. When we first arrived, we could spy a huge aircraft hangar. This trip related to our topic back at school, ‘Transport’. When we entered Hangar One, we could see planes and vehicles of all different shapes and sizes, one of them including a helicopter with no engine (the gyroplane ‘wagtail’).

We were soon greeted by our tour guide and chief information worker. Later into our journey, we strolled over to the famous plane, the Concorde (which is the fastest passenger plane ever) but the Concorde didn't last for long because in 2002, it was no longer classed as ‘affordable’.

Hangar One also included an old fashioned Spitfire which once crash landed on a beach (in France) and the Germans had their photos taken whilst standing on it! This photo was used in Germany as propaganda. Around 45 years later, the English dug it up and it was barely even recognisable but the English repaired it and renovated it, now it’s as clean as a whistle.

Overall, Duxford is an interesting place to visit, especially if you like weird and wonderful transport.”

Find out more about our Junior School Dame Bradbury’s – Book a Tour

Junior School Fitzwilliam Building Open Day – 23 September – Click here and book your place.