Despite Glastonbury taking place this weekend, it was another festival that attracted many eager Year 10 and 12 History students last Wednesday: Chalke Valley History Festival. This unique setting allowed us to experience history in a completely different way to the classroom, boosted by the festival’s exciting atmosphere, with thousands of keen historians on site for this grand event.

In total, fifteen lectures were spread across the day on a wide variety of historical topics, with marquees set up around the site. The life of Sultan Saladin, the 1917 Russian Revolution and the ‘Importance of History’ were fascinating talks that directly furthered our knowledge of key parts of the GCSE and A Level syllabuses. However, we were also introduced to many new periods of history, with talks on The Plague (from a microbiologist’s historical perspective), Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler and Pompeii being some of the most popular talks.

Medieval knights in costume, a giant plane and artificial trenches were some of the other quirky features of the festival, and the glorious weather was the icing on the cake. The challenging questions and unique arguments posed by the speakers prompted many of us to buy history books at the end of the day, to investigate further into these new topics. Thanks are owed to the History Team for this incredible enrichment opportunity, which I would highly recommend to any budding historians lower down the school.