Westville House youngsters set to link up with Camp Bastion

Ilkley Gazette: Pupils who have been taking part in the project, back row from left, Freddie Kassapian and Henry Riley-Smith, and front row front left, Hugo Baxter, Penny Brosnan, Lois Skelton and Stanley Bannister Pupils who have been taking part in the project, back row from left, Freddie Kassapian and Henry Riley-Smith, and front row front left, Hugo Baxter, Penny Brosnan, Lois Skelton and Stanley Bannister

Children at Ilkley’s Westville House School will be broadcasting to the 32nd Royal Artillery Regiment in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, during the school’s open day on Saturday.

As part of the school’s First World War commemoration activities, the children have been learning about how difficult it was to communicate information a distance back in 1914 and how long it took to send much needed letters and parcels to the soldiers fighting in the trenches.

Helen James, of Westville House, said: “Young children are so used to living with iPods, phones, computers and Skype so to understand quite how long it took to get a message overseas has been very exciting.

Westville House has teamed up with the 32nd Royal Artillery Regiment currently serving out in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.

The PP4 (year two) children have all written letters asking the soldiers lots of questions about conditions in the camp, food, weapons and, of course, when they will come home.

Mrs James said: “The children were all fascinated to see how long it would take for their letters to arrive and the older children in forms three and four are using email to communicate with their soldier ‘penpals’.

“The whole school will also be involved in making Easter shoe boxes which will be transported out to the soldiers.”

On Saturday, Westville House school is hosting its spring open morning to welcome all new and current families.

As a continuation of the ‘communication’ theme, Stray FM will will be hosting a series of live link broadcasts, one of which will be a broadcast to serving soldiers with messages from the children to be heard all the way out in Afghanistan.

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