Academy pupils capture pandemic stories in time capsule

By Barrie Hudson - 9 March 2022

  • From left: science teacher Pippa Savage, history teacher Andy Bull, librarian Rachel Reynolds

    From left: science teacher Pippa Savage, history teacher Andy Bull, librarian Rachel Reynolds

Students at Swindon's Lawn Manor Academy have created a time capsule filled with art and literature they produced about covid.

They want to make sure that future generations at the school will be able to learn about life during the pandemic.

According to history teacher Andy Bull, material such as diary entries, images and literature produced as history unfolds are some of the most important sources available to any historian.

He said: “Human memory is fallible, so trying to recall events or emotions accurately many years after they happened can be difficult. The pandemic has been a huge event and will be studied by students and historians for many years to come, so at Lawn Manor Academy we decided to do our bit towards helping provide an accurate picture of daily life from March 2020 onwards.

“During lockdown we set our pupils several projects that enabled them to tell their own personal stories about the pandemic through keeping diaries, painting and drawing, and poetry.

“As schooling began to get back closer to normal, we also set a competition challenging pupils to create artwork that reflected that, and we chose 10 winners from each year. The winning entries were copied and included in a time capsule, together with diary entries and poems that the pupils created.

“The contents are a real mix, and straddle the period from the very darkest times to the new hope as we come out of the other side of the pandemic.

“The art competition generated so many images of the selfless work done by NHS staff, paramedics and others, such as retail workers, to help keep us all safe and well. They are really uplifting, and reflect the hope pupils feel as we come out the other side. The time capsule is also a tribute to the amazing community we are all part of.”

Rather than being buried for future generations to find, the Lawn Manor Academy time capsule is being kept in a cabinet in the school, to ensure the contents remain intact.

Lawn Manor Academy, which is part of the Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Trust, has a Forest School Garden where a cherry tree is being planted as a physical reminder of the hope reflected within the time capsule.

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