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A  group of History students say it was "a privilege" to be invited to enjoy a special concert to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Battle of Britain.

The group was selected from 60 schools who entered the RAF Benevolent Fund’s competition to win VIP tickets to a special screening at the city's Vue Cinema of Radio 2’s Battle of Britain at 75 concert.

The event, which concluded the day-long commemorations, was broadcast from Biggin Hill on 18 September 2015 

The 10 students, from Years 8 to 12, were chosen in recognition of their fundraising efforts for the College's Battlefields trip to Belgium and France taking place in November, and were accompanied by Mr Arnold - the College's director of Social Sciences - and curriculum assistant Miss Hill.

The concert included performances from the BBC Orchestra, the Royal Air Force Squadronaires as well as guests including The Puppini Sisters, Pixie Lott, Niamh Perry, The Shires and Shaun Escoffery. 

Watch the concert on the BBC iPlayer

"Dermot O’Leary, Jeremy Vine and Sophie Raworth presented the show with actors bringing the story of Battle of Britain to life with a cast including Martin Shaw and Simon Callow, who played Sir Winston Churchill," explained Miss Hill. 

"There was also rare archive footage of the conflict and interviews with RAF veterans intermingled with the musical performances.

"During the interval we learned about the making of the Spitfires - the students were fascinated that people donated their saucepans to be recycled to make the aircraft."

The College is holding a special Battle of Britain Day on 9 October 2015 to mark the anniversary and will also fundraise for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

"I thought it was really good," said Year 9 student Olivia.

"It was really inspiring to see so many people at the event and it was a privilege to be able to go."

Fellow Year 9 student Mia said it was "a really good experience".

"It was a very different way of learning to being in the classroom," she said.

"I think it makes it stick in your head a bit more - the actors were fantastic and I would definitely recommend people to see it if they can.

"It is something I'll remember for a long time."

As part of marking the anniversary in the College the Social Sciences department has also launched a writing competition for Key Stage 3 students to compose a commemorative piece of writing on the Battle of Britain. 

 Entries will be displayed on The Street on 9 October 2015  as part of the College’s Battle of Britain Day and winners will be rewarded with certificates and prizes.

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Stoke Damerel News Archive: Academic Year 2015/16

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