Sir William Romney’s, Tetbury

KS3 Year 9 trip to Stow Fair

Contributors: Liz Trowell and Fran Phillips, Sir William Romney

Sue Colin, Traveller Education Service

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  • Students at SWR, and in Gloucestershire, will gain a deeper understanding of, empathy with, and respect for, Traveller culture.
  • SWR students from a Traveller background will feel more acknowledged and valued as part of the school community.


At the Horse Fair

Horses at the Fair

Welcome inside a Vardo
And saying goodbye !

Making plaster casts

Crowds attend the Fair A Vardo Horse ... racing and ... a horse resting!

Back at School

Leaving the Fair Our display Here we are! History of Stow Fair

With the support of Sue Colin, from the Traveller Education Service, and as part of our work in the Inclusion Unit, (The Phoenix Room), we organised a small group to visit Stow Fair in May 2005. The proposed visit was announced in a Y9 assembly, and interested students put their names forward. We then chose 4 students from the volunteers and worked with them to prepare for the day.

The students devised a questionnaire to interview other visitors at the Fair to find out what the Fair meant to them. They also researched the background and history of the Fair using books and internet reources. On the day, we took 3 of the students (the fourth was unfortunately ill) to Stow-on-the-Wold, for the Fair. We set off early - in anticipation of an exciting day - though we didn’t really know what to expect! The students chatted all the way there - but the moment we arrived at the Fair, they fell silent in amazement at the vibrant and colourful scene before them... We spent the first hour just looking around at the horses and wagons and experiencing the very different community atmosphere.

We grouped at the TES Big Tent, where Sue Colin introduced us to Mrs Smith who kindly agreed to be interviewed by our students. She invited us into her spectacular Bow-Top, where she engaged animatedly in conversation. She gave us lots of background information, and also pointed us in the direction of other interesting characters whom we could interview.

We all found out a great deal about how important a date Stow Fair is in the lives of many people.

The time to leave came all too quickly, but once back at school the students were able to create a colourful and informative display in a vantage point of the school for all to see.


We and the students gained insights into a different culture and widened our experience considerably in just one day. We were also able to pass some of our experiences on through our display work which has served as a focus for discussion and has raised awareness in the school population generally. The students improved their literacy skills through writing for display purposes, and their experience of conducting interviews produced an increase in personal confidence and greatly enhanced their communication skills. They also gained in self-esteem through succesfuly carrying out their new roles.
View an example of our questionnairre, devised by the students, here is an education resource for the development of positive tolerance - find out more...