02/12/08 – A Dickens Festival was held today at Appleford School, Shrewton

Time wound back to 1843 for the day.

Appleford, the Shrewton school for children with dyslexia and associated learning difficulties, held the event to make Dickens come alive for the pupils. “It brings history to life and it’s a more meaningful experience” says Head Teacher Stella Wilson.

The day started with ‘Charles Dickens’ himself arriving to speak to the children in assembly. He told them about his life and his visit to America. He also read from ‘A Christmas Carol’ to an enthralled audience.

Everyone dressed up for the day and engaged in Dickens or Victorian related lessons. This included making rag rugs and plum puddings and learning about steam engines and bridge building. “It’s really good fun” said pupil Charlie Farthing. “I enjoyed the bridge building and dressing up best.”

Lunch came as a big change from normal! A workhouse style meal was laid on with dishes such as gruel being served. Not everyone liked it. “It’s horrible and all watery” said Gracie Bartlett, but others disagreed. “It’s not that bad” said Freddie Collins (already on his fourth bowl),“but I wouldn’t like it everyday.”

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