|Pupils in the WWII Peace Garden
Bilbrook World War II Commemoration
Bilbrook Middle School, Bilbrook Road, Codsall. Nr. Wolverhampton. WV8 1EU
Organiser: Ian Edwards
Years involved: 5-8.
Pupils involved directly: 50
Pupils benefiting: 350
Members of the community benefiting: 60
Aims & Objectives
Make the pupils aware of WWII.
- Bring old and young together pass on direct knowledge of what occurred.
- Allow the students to develop their own space in school to go if they need peace e.g. to get away from a school based conflict.
- Bring the community into school to commemorate the end of the war and allow the children to say how their families have been involved.
- Remind the students in November of remembrance and sacrifice.
The project aimed at several areas. We went into the local library and interviewed several members of the local community who were involved or alive during WWII. They were filmed and had photo’s taken as part of the following assembly. The veterans were then invited into school and the children cooked them some war time foods made from the products available at the time. The whole school was then involved in an assembly which had the local MP, council officers, veterans, local Priest. Some of the students dresses as refugees and gave presentations to the assembly. We also had a local singer who sang to troops during the war and she sang several of the old favorites.
As well as this we have had a longer term project to turn an old unused part of the school into a WWII Peace Garden. The pupils helped to renovate this part of the school and it was open by the local council leader and appeared in the paper. The garden looks great and is a place for reflection and quiet thought. The local Church has also had a bench donated for its garden again for reflection. It was a great success and really made the students aware of what had gone on and there was a very strong feeling of community.
The pupils achieved many things. The assembly was very emotional and with many guests it had a great feeling of coming together. The pupils were actively involved in all of the events and so were many members of the public. The students experienced war time sounds and pictures from people who were there. They also heard about fellow pupils who had lost family members. One girls Gran was at a concentration camp with Anne Frank. The garden has also provided a lasting memorial in the garden to WWII. Local people have also come back into school to work with some of the students e.g. mentors etc.
Just to say thank you
The project was a great success. The local MP described it as a wonderful, moving assembly and the whole event touched every child and all adults involved.