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Norwich and Normandy's shared history is uncovered

Pupils at a Norwich primary school have been paying their respects to soldiers who died in France during the Second World War.

Year six pupils from Magdalen Gates Primary School, on Bull Close Road in Norwich, visited the graves of six soldiers with Norwich links who died following the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944.

Headteacher Cara Jermy said: “I think it is important that the children when visiting a war cemetery like this one, not only know about some history of why these soldiers are buried here, but are able to make a connection to their home city of Norwich.

“Hopefully this thought provoking homage to the fallen of the Second World War will lead children to ask their relations questions about their family history and generate interest in history in the wider sense.”

The week-long educational visit to Normandy, in northern France, was part of their curriculum in learning French. This included buying food from a French market, visiting the famous Bayeux Tapestry and the town of Bayeux and visiting Pegasus Bridge and museum, the first place in France to be liberated by allied forces on June 6, 1944.

The pupils have also visited Omaha Beach and cemetery, the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery at Ranville and the 360-degree cinema at Arromanches which tells the story of the D-Day landings.

Ms Jermy added: “Overall these school trips – this is the second we have done – have been very positive for the children.

“Not only do they gain some confidence in speaking French to the French but it also gives them a taste of French food and history which is very closely connected to England and Norwich, as William the Conqueror came from Normandy when he conquered England in 1066.

“We can also show our pupils that Norwich still has some important Norman buildings left such as the cathedral and castle.”

Is your school planning a trip abroad? Contact Local Life editor David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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