Our ‘History Week’ at King’s Ely Senior was a roaring 1920s success!

History Week is organised every Michaelmas Term for students in Years 9-13, through our thriving co-curricular and enrichment programme.

The theme this year was ‘The Roaring 1920s’. Our Head of History, Mr Currie, and his team organised a whole host of events and activities for pupils and staff to enjoy alongside their usual History lessons.

The celebrations ran from November 6th-10th. History Teachers dressed up as real and literary figures from the period, students visited Mr Jackson’s ‘secret bar’ at lunchtime to listen to some live jazz, and more than 50 pupils joined their Teachers to watch ‘The Great Gatsby’ for a special movie night.

There was a History Week Sixth Form Debate, where Year 12 and Year 13 students argued the motion: ‘This House believes that there was never really a ‘roaring twenties’ in Britain and America’. Speeches from both sides were of exceptional quality, however after much deliberation, Mr Thistlethwaite declared the Year 12 team, who argued against the motion, as the winners.

We also welcomed Eugenio Biagini, Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Cambridge, into school to speak in assembly about the winners and losers of the 1920s in Britain. Professor Biagini pitched his talk perfectly, conveying the many challenges Britain faced in the decade, both domestically and in international affairs.

As has become History Week tradition, there were also flash mobs! Unsuspecting classes were treated to inimitable re-enactments of the St Valentine’s Day Massacre by Year 13 Historians during their History lessons.

It is fair to say that the jewel in the crown of this year’s History Week however was our inaugural ‘Speakeasy Concert’, which took place in the Hayward Theatre on the Thursday evening. A fantastic programme of 1920s dance, music, song, film, and literature was put together by Mr Porter-Thaw and Mrs Lane, with the latter also brilliantly hosting as a 1920s US band leader and Speakeasy owner.

The audience were encouraged to get in on the act too, with many arriving in splendid costumes from the period. Highlights included superb performances by our jazz and concert bands, wonderful singing by the King’s Barbers and student, Aoife Willis, and a screening of the Buster Keaton film, ‘One Week’, accompanied throughout by uber-talented pianist, Sam Trueman.

History Week is a shining example of how a King’s education is fun, creative, and enriched. We look forward to sharing more photos from the Speakeasy Concert with you soon!

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