Goodness gracious! What an opportunity!

Until very recently, the remarkable and unique history of The Lakes School had arguably remained somewhat obscure to a significant portion of the school community. Well, not anymore! Firstly, the advent of our Button Project back in 2017 meant that levels of awareness began to increase rapidly. But it was this summer that those levels rocketed with the arrival of the University of Staffordshire’s archaeologists and the commencement of our exciting dig at the end of the summer term. Now, it is no exaggeration to say that not one of our pupils remains uninformed about the truly moving story with which their school is associated. 

When news first broke that a team of internationally renowned archaeologists was going to be coming to The Lakes School in order to conduct a widespread survey and targeted dig, the school community was abuzz with excitement. Applications flooded in from all year groups to take part in the investigation and a small handful of the most passionate applicants were overjoyed to win a place.

In the five days they shared with the Centre of Archaeology’s team members, our pupils were lucky enough to be able to survey the school grounds with metal detectors, observe the archaeologists in their trenches, photograph the excavations, carefully sieve for finds, clean artefacts and more. Their levels of interest and engagement with the project were palpable.

And when BBC Four came and The Sunday Times and The Westmorland Gazette, those excitement levels just keep rising! The entire school community was immeasurably proud to be associated both with this historic project.

To see the personal trinkets of those Holocaust survivors unearthed here on our school rugby field? To hold in your hand an object once held by a fellow human being who experienced those unspeakable horrors?

Goodness gracious! What an opportunity!

Ken Pickering, Lakes School, Troutbeck Bridge – August 2019