Pupils remember World War1

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As Britain remembers the 100th anniversary of World War1 those at St Thomas More Catholic Primary School in Sheldon, felt that it was extremely important for their pupils to learn and understand the sacrifice of all the brave soldiers who gave their lives in battle.

Two areas of the school garden were sown with poppy seeds last October, ready for a poppy field display for the August Anniversary and the poppies had already bloomed in July.

A WW1 soldier, seated in his WW1 trench with his uniform and sandbags, also gives the area a very interactive ‘feel’ to the garden.

The school potting shed has been decorated with WW1 and WW2 literature for the children to read in an outside learning environment.

Year 4 children were busy studying WW1 in their class work and produced some very touching ‘Soldiers Letters home’ from the trenches. The letters were written on old style paper to make them more authentic and are very moving to read. The children tried to imagine how it felt to be writing a ‘last’ letter home and some of the letters have been sent to be displayed in a forthcoming WW1 Library exhibition. Five letters have been entered into a BBC competition and have been awarded Blue Peter Badges!

Year 4 pupils have been reading War Horse by the brilliant children’s author Michael Morpurgo and have really enjoyed all their different learning experiences.

The school has also entered a competition to design a WW1 memorial for the Staffordshire; the design has been produced by talented Year 5 student, Louis McCoy. The monument is to remember the Christmas Day Truce – involving the story of the No Man’s Land Football Match. The new monument is due to be erected later in the year, from the winning design, which will be judged by the British Schools Council and the Duke of Cambridge. Louie entry is down too the last 35!

Year 6 preformed an end of year WW1 production, which went down brilliantly and the school choir have joined into the spirit by visiting various events around the region including the Royal Star & Garter Nursing Home having learnt a variety of songs from the World Wars. The residents joined in with many of the well-known songs and it was a wonderful event for all concerned.

Finally part of the remembrance included a special prayer booklet being laid near the floral tributes at the Menin Gate in Ypres, by Teaching Assistant Ann Shakespeare on behalf of the school to remember the Anniversary.

Ann said, “The whole learning experience gave the children a greater insight into WW1 and the topic has help them to appreciate the sacrifices made by so many, especially during the wars 100th Anniversary year.

“All in all this incredibly special start to the 100th Anniversary has been recognised by the school and given the children a chance to reflect the sacrifice of war.”