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Story of rich Suffolk history told to Lowestoft-area pupils

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 July 2015

Youngsters from Blundeston primary school have been learning about the history of Dunwich.

Youngsters from Blundeston primary school have been learning about the history of Dunwich.

© Archant 2015

The amazing story of how a Suffolk city was lost to the sea has been relayed to primary school children.

Youngsters from Blundeston primary school have been learning about the history of Dunwich.
Jonathan George.Youngsters from Blundeston primary school have been learning about the history of Dunwich. Jonathan George.

Year-four pupils at Blundeston Church of England (VC) Primary School have, since Easter, been learning about the lost city of Dunwich.

They discovered the “rich history” of a village which was once the 10th-largest place in England and known as one of the greatest ports on the east coast.

But after major storms hit Dunwich in the 13th century, numerous churches, a couple of hospitals and hundreds of homes were all buried beneath the waves.

Lost to coastal erosion and the North Sea, all that remains now are the ruins of the 13th century Franciscan friary on the edge of the cliff and a hospital chapel in the churchyard as Dunwich now boasts about 120 people.

Youngsters from Blundeston primary school have been learning about the history of Dunwich.
Daisy Reid.Youngsters from Blundeston primary school have been learning about the history of Dunwich. Daisy Reid.

Teacher Ed Davey said: “Dunwich has a rich history. We have been learning about Dunwich, looking at how it was lost to the sea and how much it has changed over the years.”

Linking their works to previous topics – such as the Romans and Anglo Saxons – the children were tasked with writing a news report of their initial findings.

Then, after half-term, the year four children visited Dunwich to understand what it is like now as part of a “fantastic” day trip that included a visit to the museum and a tour of the site.

“It was a real insight into the history of the village,” Mr Davey said.

Youngsters from Blundeston primary school have been learning about the history of Dunwich.Youngsters from Blundeston primary school have been learning about the history of Dunwich.

From this visit, the youngsters have expanded their writing skills, with updated news reports.

Mr Davey said: “I have seen a real improvement in their writing. In art we have been looking at pictures and paintings of Dunwich, in geography we have looked at erosion and in science we’ve been looking at beach shells and using natural materials, By widening this topic out, it has given the children a real understanding of the process.”

Examples of the children’s news reports were read out to The Journal’s Mark Boggis in class last month, following a talk about journalism and a question and answer session.

Have you got a story for Schoolzone? Email mark.boggis@archant.co.uk


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