Learning like Saxons in Litton Cheney

Dorset Echo: WOOD YOU BELIEVE IT? The volunteers who built the Saxon hut at Thorners School in Litton Cheney WOOD YOU BELIEVE IT? The volunteers who built the Saxon hut at Thorners School in Litton Cheney

STUDENTS will now be able to study like Saxons after a medieval-style hut was erected in the school grounds.

The final timber structure of the Saxon Hut was secured into the ground in the Discovery Area at Thorners School in Litton Cheney and was organised by Action Volunteers, who aim to extend education beyond the class room into the great outdoors.

Volunteers used ancient building techniques and local building materials to construct the hut, which would have been prevalent in the area and throughout the UK when the Anglo Saxons ruled the country, between the early stages of the 5th century right up until the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Mickey Bell, a community artist and one of the organisers of the project, said: “The children enjoyed piecing together small evergreen decorations traditionally used to symbolise growth and bring luck. It’s great to see the hut growing, and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone involved in helping us get it built in our history-rich Bride Valley.

“The Discovery Area seems to be getting quite a name for itself, and other schools and community groups are seeking advice and ideas from our space here, which is really exciting thinking that other children around the area will be able to enjoy a future of extended learning outdoors and that our project is one of example.”

To mark the occasion, the adult and child volunteers also took part in another Saxon tradition, by holding a ‘Topping Out’ ceremony.

The ceremony is performed after the last beam is placed at the top of the structure.

Workers then place a tree or leafy branch on top of the building and toast the occasion with a meal and a drink.

On this occasion, the volunteers wished the Saxon Hut a long life, luck and many enjoyable school lessons and meetings for generations to come.

They also adorned the timbers with the traditional sprigs of evergreen and wooden decorations.

Mickey Bell added: “We toasted it with hot chocolate and mugs of tea brewed on the fire, with more of a snack than a meal of dunking biscuits and buttered fire toasted crumpets.”

For more information or for advice on getting schools grounds developed for extended education outdoors contact Thorners School, Litton Cheney.

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