Leyland schoolchildren learn with fire during blacksmith visit

Woodlea Junior School pupils were visited by a blacksmith for an 'Iron and Fire' day to help them learn about the Iron Age.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 10:38 am
Pupil Lauren gets hands-on during the blacksmith visit, photo: Gert Schepens.

The Year 3 pupils are currently learning about the use of bronze during the historical period.

Gary Birtwhistle, a professional Blacksmith from Friargate Forge, Preston, brought his mobile forge, tools and equipment to the school's outside classroom.

The children explored different metals and their uses with Gary and watched a demonstration of metal tools, household items, and jewellery being made.

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Kian at work using the blacksmith's mobile forge, photo: Gert Schepens.

During the enrichment day, the pupils used skills they had learnt in Design Technology to create models of Iron Age Round Houses.

"The aim of the day was for the children to get hands-on experience of the varying metal items created in this way and used within this historical age," said headteacher Jillian Shorrocks.

"The children saw first hand a demonstration of how metal tools are developed and created using stone, charcoal and heat."

Feedback from pupils shows that they thoroughly enjoyed the blacksmith's visit and the enrichment day activities.

Pupil Jack turns the hand crank.

Pupil William said: "The Blacksmith was really cool and he showed us lots."

Lauren 'really liked turning the hand crank to heat the metal'.

Pupil Alfie said: "Gary, the blacksmith came to show us how to heat metal.

"Using the hand crank was fun, but it's mucky work."

Gary the blacksmith and his assistant, Joss.

One pupil was particularly inspired and now wants to be a blacksmith when they grow up.

Since returning to school at the start of March, the children have been enjoying weekly enrichment afternoons in the school grounds.

Activities so far have included den building, pond dipping, fire lighting, and orienteering.

It is hoped that the fun activities will help the pupils to rebuild relationships with friends and teachers, giving them practical experiences in the process.

Evie and Darcie with their roundhouse model.
Junior working the mobile forge.
Students watched on as blacksmith Gary gave a demonstration, photo: Gert Schepens.
Pupils Charlie, Millie, Demi, Molly, and Jack learnt about metals and their properties.
Gary the blacksmith showed the pupils how a variety of items are made, photo: Gert Schepens.
Junior and Riley holding some of the metal objects.
James and Abbey used their DT skills to build models.