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Video/gallery: Feathered friends deliver pupils’ secret wartime messages at Sir Robert Hitcham’s Primary School in Framlingham

PUBLISHED: 10:44 16 June 2014

Robert Hitcham's Primary School in Framlignham invited a pigeon handler to talk about the role of the birds in the First World War. L-R Beth,Bianca and Matthew with Donna Beard and the pigeon that they released.

Robert Hitcham's Primary School in Framlignham invited a pigeon handler to talk about the role of the birds in the First World War. L-R Beth,Bianca and Matthew with Donna Beard and the pigeon that they released.

Pupils’ secret messages were sent soaring across the country by carrier pigeons yesterday as part of a fascinating study into First World War communications.

Sir Robert Hitcham’s Primary School in Framlingham welcomed pigeon handler Donna Beard for a session on cryptography in which coded communications were sent by a flock of feathered messengers to be deciphered at a school 140 miles away.

The session formed part of the pupils’ studies marking the Great War’s centenary and replicated genuine communications techniques employed by soldiers on the front line.

Year Five teacher Emma Montague said the visit created a real life context for the pupils’ learning and a sense of wonder as the birds took flight.

“The children were really taken back - it was quite amazing to see the birds take off,” she said,

The pupils’ messages, encrypted using the same Caesar cipher as soldiers used during the war, will be decoded by students at school in Staffordshire and emailed back for verification.

Ms Beard’s learning experiences, entitled Flying Back to Nature, also offered the pupils a chance to handle the birds.

An alliance of schools in Ipswich has won £20,000 of funding to boost the quality of teaching in the area through better use of research.

A car has rolled onto its roof following a single vehicle collision on the A12 at Copdock.

A well-known Elvis impersonator from Ipswich has died at the age of 57 following a short battle with cancer.

A Second World War hand grenade has been destroyed in a controlled explosion after being handed in at Felixstowe Police Station by a member of the public.

An mother-of-six can continue keeping pets despite being convicted of mistreating a dog.

An A&E department in Suffolk had to close to ambulances for a temporary period because patient safety was at risk, it has been revealed.

Cash was stolen after an aggravated burglary in Brettenham where a liquid substance was thrown into a victim’s face.

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