Year 3 pupils with Spencer Brown and Frankie Goldspink


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L-R: Spencer Easton, Imogen Mason and Peyton Norville

Oakfield Primary School visited Brading Roman Villa last week in preparation for this year’s Mardi Gras parade.

On 29th June 2019, the New Carnival Company’s (NCC) Mardi Gras will take place on the streets of Ryde. Preparation for the ‘Biosphere Island’ theme is now underway and all participating school and community groups are partnering with an expert organisation to help research their Island-based subject.

84 pupils gained valuable insight into how the Romans lived last week when they paid a visit to the school’s historical environment partner, Brading Roman Villa. This visit has inspired designs for their costumes which will represent Brading Roman Villa in the parade.

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The children enjoyed a tour of the villa, made mosaics, handled artefacts and worked out what different objects were used for.

Education Officer Spencer Brown said:

“We’ve been helping the children to explore the villa so they can feel what it was like to be a Roman living at Brading. Visits always inspire and engage, and this has been a springboard into their topic on the Romans as well as laying the foundations for our collaboration with the NCC and  the Mardi Gras parade.

“The children threw themselves into the activities and created a day they will never forget. Everyone will see this in the parade.”

Diane Robinson, Lower Key Stage 2 teacher at Oakfield Primary School said:

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“We’ve linked our curriculum topic, ‘Life in Roman times’ with Mardi Gras, but people shouldn’t assume we’ll all be dressed as Roman soldiers. Evidence suggests Brading Roman Villa was a farm not a fort, and the children have been learning about the other ‘F’ words associated with this villa including food, floors, fields and fences. We’ll be concentrating on these aspects, and not the fighting.”

Frankie Goldspink, creative director of the NCC, said:

“Mardi Gras 2019 is supporting the IW’s bid to become a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and creating a parade that celebrates the best the Island has to offer. By partnering heritage and environmental organisations with schools and communities in this process, we are really embracing the concept of Biosphere, and getting everyone to feel part of it.”

To date, 30 groups and 25 heritage organisations are signed up for the Mardi Gras project, but it’s not too late to join. Contact NCC on 01983 716095 to find out how.


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