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St John’s Catholic Comprehensive School

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Battle of Britain Visit (17th January)


Some 15 students visited the Battle of Britain Museum at Capel-le-Ferne on January 17th. The majority of the students have a Polish background, and the focus of the tour was the contribution Polish Flying Officers and personnel made to the Battle. The day was bright if cold, and the journey down was uneventful. We had a guided tour of the site to start with which included a detailed examination of the Spitfire and the Hurricane on display as well as the Memorial Wall and the statue of the seated pilot. There as much interest in the two Polish squadron emblems – 302 and 303 Squadrons.

Back inside the students enjoyed the inert active experience – the simulated action on a Battle of Britain airfield followed by the interception of the raiding German aircraft and return to the airfield. There was much excitement with the uniforms which fitted quite well despite the age of the students.

Lunch followed and then it was the shop visit – the sale of model aircraft [Airfix etc. ] proved popular, and perhaps a model making club will be one of the follow-ups.

The follow-up work includes a review of the day in both English and Polish and a study of to Polish pilots by each student; a biography written in both languages and all the work to be brought together into one book.

The aim of the visit and the follow-up work is to emphasise and be proud of a common heritage – in this case, Poland. The ‘Polish’ Club is on Thursday after school with Mrs Perera, with the work done at this time.