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Pirates ahoy! at Highbury College’s Toddler Takeover Day

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Local youngsters stepped aboard Portsmouth’s largest historical ship to experience life as a pirate thanks to a group of childcare students.

The Level 3 students spent four weeks researching, planning and designing inspirational activities for the HMS Warrior Toddler Takeover Day, which took place in November 2019.

Level 3 CACHE Certificate in Childcare and Education student Abbie Shucksmith said: “The day went really well. It’s benefitted the children because they’ve managed to come aboard the ship, have a look around and see how it used to be in the past, which is really educational for them. On my table, we invited them to make pirate hats because we thought that as soon as a child sees a ship they automatically think of pirates, so we thought ‘why not let them be a real-life pirate?’ It’s definitely given me experience of planning an activity, interacting with children of all different ages and learning about their interests.”

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Fellow classmate Leanne Armitage said: “This event helped me because I’ve spoken to so many children, which has given me ideas of their interests, so that I can incorporate them when I organise activities in my work placement.
We’ve had a lot of attention from all of the children and our table was very popular. A lot of children said they’re going to go home and bury treasure in their back garden!”

This is the second year Highbury College students have held the takeover event at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard's with plans for next year already underway.

Childcare tutor Amy Adeliyi said: “This was a great experience for our students to plan and lead an external event so successfully. They organised a variety of exciting activities, such as digging for treasure, making pirate ships, creating a dinner for a pirate, designing a pirate hat, and many more. Well done to all involved!”

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Learning Producer for HMS Warrior Nikki Sandy said: “It went really well, we’ve had lots of families, plus a whole nursery visit and they’ve all had a fantastic time. A lot of people don’t have the confidence to bring their young children onto historic ships because they’re not sure whether they’re going to enjoy it – but today everyone has had a great time.
I think the students have done really well and they handled the crowds really well. They’ve done a super job and everyone has had wonderful things to say about the activities."

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