Date Posted: 16/06/2017

12 June; the week at Read

350 Curriculum Week: The Sealed Knot

As part of the school’s 350 anniversary celebrations, Mr Simon Wright and his wife Liz from the Sealed Knot Society gave a lecture and demonstration to pupils in Years 7 – 9 on Thursday afternoon 15 June.  The group are a historical society dedicated to educating and re-enacting periods from history; in this case the mid 1600s, which is of course when the school was founded. An interesting and informative talk gave pupils a practical insight into army life 350 years ago.  Replica equipment and weapons added to the sense of realism.  Despite technological advances over time, Simon and Liz showed that in the army some things at least never change!

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Lexie Maw, Year 7 pupil tries on some of the clothes of the day

The demonstration took the form of a digital presentation of life in the time period, with some additional demonstrations of clothing and weaponry. As you can see the pupils even got the opportunity to model the clothing!

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Lexie gets to hold some of the weaponry, though we were all amazed at the 9 foot pike!

Some of the close-up photos (below) show  the intricate detail used to craft the weaponry and how design aided the wielder's survival (the design of the pommel of a sword for instance) and that though unaided by today's manufacturing techniques a surpring standard of intricacy was possible in the making of clothing of the period.

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 Dagger and sword pommels. The plainer the decoration, the lower the rank of the soldier.

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 Powder pouches and belts. Just some of accoutrements of the 17th century soldier.

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Suede doublets and cloth shirts were the order of the day.

Pupil Profile: Tom Scholefield, Elite Swimmer

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Tom holds his freestyle medal with pride

So, how do you fancy the idea of getting up at 4.20 am, six times a week to train in a swimming pool, doing endless lengths every morning or night? Sound appealing? Well, this is Tom’s schedule, and if he is to compete with the best in Britain that is exactly what he has to keep doing.

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Tom's lane comes up for one of the finals

 Recently, he has competed at just this standard at a North East regional event with many of the rest of the UK’s brightest and best. Tom swims at a variety of big pools in York for the York City Baths Club. Tom’s best strokes are Freestyle (Front Crawl) and Back Stroke. At the regionals, which was held at Sunderland Aquatic Centre on the 27 and 28 May, Tom made an astonishing 8 out of 9 finals for the heats in these events: that’s a lot of swimming. As you may know from watching the Olympics, the events are grouped by distance, so Tom swam in the 50, 100, 200 and even 400 metres events in Freestyle. Just take a moment to think about that: most people are pretty exhausted after running 400 metres, never mind after swimming that distance! Tom made the finals of most of these events and actually achieved a fantastic bronze medal in one of them. Having asked Tom what his future ambitions were in swimming he instantly responded; “to qualify for the National competition and to achieve gold medal position in some of these distances. Obviously, the end goal would ideally be the Olympics, but I’ll take each day as it comes.”

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Tom, in lane 2, readies himself for the sound of the gun. Even hundredths of a second count in these races.

Tom is very self-effacing about his successes, he doesn’t brag, or even talk about what he has achieved up until this point, and he is under no illusions that in order to even make Nationals, it is going to take an awful lot more training time, dedicated training hours and determination to get there.

350 cooking in the food preparation and nutrition department

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 Cooking back in the 1660s was a grim business!

350 cooking in the food preparation and nutrition department today- 

Back in the 1660s people ate meat and dairy as they believed that vegetables were dirty and not digestible, until the writer John Evelyn came along to help us understand that vegetables have health benefits. They also ate all the animal so used more unusual cuts of meat. Our year 8 pupils have watched ‘The Supersizers go…Restoration’, where Giles Coren and Sue Perkins go back to the 17th century to experience the typical diet of the time.  Today the year 8s cooked with some of these more unusual ingredients including ox tongue and chicken feet. They also saw a pigs head and full ox tongue. 

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Pig's head and ox tongue were on the menu back then...


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