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Poole school to celebrate Magna Carta connections

Poole’s link to the Magna Carta, will be celebrated by local school children at a number of planned celebrations to mark its 800th anniversary.

The Magna Carta, one of the most important steps in the evolution of English democracy was famously signed in June 1215 at Runnymede. However, there are some interesting local connections to Poole’s history.

Magna Carta

William Longespee, King John's half brother, was Lord of the Manor of Canford. He granted a charter to the people of Poole and his place in the Magna Carta negotiations is marked in the streets around Bearwood Primary School, where you will find King John Avenue, Knights Road and Runnymede Avenue. 

To mark the link between Poole and the Magna Carta, Bearwood Primary is planning some very exciting celebrations and is looking for people who can help to run medieval themed stalls and activities. 

For the week leading up to the anniversary in June, children will be exploring and investigating the medieval period. Activities will include learning about and making medieval food, holding school debates to explore democracy, finding out more about the medieval period and even taking part in an excavation on the school field. 

This will be followed up with a medieval fayre on Saturday 13 June from 1-4pm. The fayre will include a hog roast, combat demos from a real life knight and medieval dancing, as well as a chance to put people in the stocks! The revelry will continue long into the night at Bearwood community centre.

Children from the Bearwood School choir will also perform at the fayre just before they take part in a very special performance at Salisbury Cathedral. They will sing a specially written cantata as part of the national Magna Carta celebrations. 

Laura Bennett, Head Teacher, Bearwood Primary School, said: “We are delighted to be hosting such a wonderful event which is part of the history of Bearwood. The children are spending the week leading up to the fayre learning all about Magna Carta and designing their very own stalls. Please do come and support the local community and have some fun.”

Michael Spender, Museum Manager, Borough of Poole, said: “The signing of Magna Carta was a momentous event, which has paved the way for modern democracy. This is a fantastic opportunity to explore that and realise Poole’s important place in this national event.”

Planning for all the celebrations is well underway, but children and staff at Bearwood have big aspirations. If you can help or can make a donation to the event, please contact the Bearwood PFA at bearwoodpfa@gmail.com.

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