After the fun and games of visiting Broughton Astley again, it was back to visit one of my longest standing regular schools: St Michael's School in Wimborne in Dorset. This was to be my eighth annual visit, and as ever it was a delight, full of fun, laughter and one or two surprises. The school had recently had a new time line wall mural painted by a local artist, who also happens to be a mother to one of the pupils, and I had been pre-warned that I would be requested to take part in the morning school assembly and then also help with the "opening" of the mural for the press. So after an opening hour of my usual Henry day with the children, I was whisked out the hall as they brought the rest of the school pupils in for the assembly. In the staff room I was introduced to the other special guests for the day - namely the artist herself, and Professor Julian Richards, often seen presenting such historic TV programmes as "Meet the Ancestors". What a nice bloke!
The three of us were wheeled into the packed hall and sat on chairs at the front, where we were then given a thorough press conference by the children. Tremendous fun. Next we walked through to the mural itself where press photographers were waiting for us to pose like mad with a ribbon and some scissors. And then we were done! The school had it's new impressive mural, Julian Richards had met Henry VIII and I was back to the rest of the Tudor day with year 5.
It was a very big group today, about 120 children, but they were all magnificent, great costumes and lots of fun. It was nice to see regular teacher Jane Eyre back at the school after her brave year working for the VSO out in West Africa. Welcome back! Well the rest of the morning was good fun and very silly - as it always should be! Lunch was a very pleasant roast chicken dinner in the as ever laughter filled staff room.
Back to the Tudor shenanigans for the afternoon, and with such a big group we had a deafening jousting tournament. The gents team went into the final looking very good and very confident, as well they should as they trounced their opposition in the semi final. However, the gents luck is really not running their way at the moment in the finals, and so it proved again, as once more the ladies simply walked off with a very comfortable win. Amazing. Our score is now:
GENTLEMEN 12 - 24 LADIES
There is just no stopping them!
I am back to being Henry on Friday night as I am posing as a life model (with clothes on you'll be relieved to hear) for the Shepton Beauchamp arts group! My next school visits are Monday and Tuesday next week with two days back at Cotford St Luke near Taunton.