Tactile history at Warwick Castle

View of the castle

Year 7 and 8 students stepped back in time and enjoyed a tactile, hands on experience at historic Warwick Castle as part of their SEN Day.

As part of the Castle’s commitment to provide access for all, NCW was invited along with a number of other schools across the West Midlands to take part in a complimentary day for SEN students.

The day was action-packed from the beginning, and there was much to see and do!

Students wasted no time getting stuck in to their first activity which was to meet a medieval Knight and his war horse. Emma, being a keen rider herself, was particularly thrilled at being able to stroke the war horse and ask lots of questions such as how horses are measured, and why war horses were so important back in medieval times.

Next, it was off to the Great Hall – the largest room in the Castle and where the group learned about the remnants of the Earl of Warwick’s famous weapons and armour collection. Students were impressed at being able to handle some of the replicas as well as feel tapestries, statues and ornaments as they navigated their way down some very narrow corridors!
In rooms filled with lots of painted portraits, students learned that the bigger the painting, the more important and hierarchical the subject. Of course King Henry VIII was among the very grand of portraits!

The group moved on to some outdoor activities, first of which was to feed and learn about the Castle’s peacocks. Phoebe was delighted to have a peacock get very close and eat straight from her hand. As a means of gratitude, the peacock displayed all of his beautifully colourful feathers!

Outside was also a personal birds of prey demonstration with Charlie the Harris Hawk. Students were really engaged, asking lots of questions about the birds wing span and what his favourite meal is, all whilst Charlie swooped down from the tall trees.
It was then the turn of something more hands on as the group got involved in making a Bug Hotel with the Grounds and Garden Team. They used various tubes, hessian, pots and wood to form lots of attractive nooks and crannies for the wildlife to explore and set up camp.

After a quick stop for lunch in the Coach House restaurant, the last activity was one which was eagerly anticipated by many.
In association with Warwick Castle’s partner, Zoolab, students experienced an interactive touch and handling session with lots of exotic animals including a rat, giant snails and tarantulas, whilst also learning of their uses in medieval times. Leo was astounded that a medieval doctor ordered patients to swallow a frog if they suffered from asthma!

Year 8 student Joe also overcame his fear of snakes, and touched a bright yellow and orange corn snake for the first time!

What a great experience for all.

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