A Celebration of our Heritage!
Christ Church C.E. (A) Middle School
A project completed by 121 Year 8 pupils
The school community has benefited from this study through the opportunity to share visual displays and visiting speakers.
Mrs Gill Swift and members of The Shooters Hills and Lightwood Heritage Group
Mrs Elizabeth Watts (WW2 Evacuee)
Mr Stephen Edwards (Local WW2 Historian)
Newcastle under Lyme Museum and Art Gallery
Aims and Objectives
- Investigate the impact the Second World War had on lives of all those involved
- Consider the reasons for, and the methods of, commemoration
- Reflect upon and communicate their own feelings and ideas about conflict, memory , commemoration and remembrance
- Engage with new groups and individuals, providing them with the opportunity to meet and talk with Second World War veterans from their local community
- Travel to visit sites that played an important role during the conflict of the Second World War
- Have the opportunity to not only increase their knowledge and understanding, but also challenge their perception and attitudes
- Work together with veterans to record, present and preserve testimonies of the Second World War
|A group of students studying gravestones in France
Visit to France
During September 2005 many of our Year 8 pupils visited Normandy, France. The visit provided our pupils with the opportunity to travel to important commemorative sites in the area such as the Normandy landing beaches, Arromanches-Ies-Bains, Caen Memorial museum and the Commonwealth War graves cemetery at Bayeux.
An important aim of our visit was to provide pupils with an opportunity to understand the reality of conflict through the experience of visiting and reading the graves/tombstones of those who were killed.
We wanted pupils to begin to understand the importance of preserving memory and to recognise the contribution of individuals from many different backgrounds to conflict. We hoped that the cemeteries would introduce our pupils to the concept of reconciliation.
In order that pupils might compare and contrast how each nation preserves the memory of those who sacrificed their lives, we also visited a German and an American cemetery. .
|'The Terrible Day' by Steph Wood
Click here to enlarge image
Pupils in Year 8 have looked at the work of several poets who wrote of their experiences as either adults or children during the Second World War.
The pupils paid particular attention to the themes of loss, conflict and death that underpin the work of these writers.
They examined how poets create effective and powerful wordscapes by using rhyme, repetition, rhythm and alliteration.
Our own emerging writers took these poetic tools to sculpt their own poems on 'loss' and the 'futility of war'.
Here you see artistic sensitivity and some very powerful writing from young people who have worked hard on their own' ideas and explored the techniques of effective poetry.
Pupils had the opportunity to work in different mediums. This included:
- Pottery – sculpture of sign and symbols
- Painting – abstract images of medals, artefacts and weaponry
cubism based imagery of engineering parts using a ‘Spitfire’
- Prints – extension of abstract work
enlarged print based piece on symbols
Pupils visited Hanley Museum, Stoke on Trent, where they made observational drawings of the ‘Spitfire’ and every day objects of the period.
Visit By War Veterans
A group of War Veterans from the ‘Shooters Hills and Lightwood Heritage Group’ visited the school to share their war time experiences. This activity provided the opportunity for pupils to listen, discuss and ask questions of life during war time for both civilians and those who served in the armed forces. The veterans bought in artefacts to share with the youngsters. The session ended with a sing-along of ‘forties’ tunes.
During Food Technology lessons pupils discussed rationing, what was available and in what quantities. They made sandwiches using wartime rations of fish paste, egg, Spam, cheese and butter.
Pupils looked at war time recopies and designed propaganda posters to discourage waste and make better use of available resources.
Visit by Local Second World War Historian
Mr Stephen Edwards visited the school for whole day along with a very wide range of artefacts linked to Stone and local people. He talked to pupils and staff at great length about events and people who were connected with Stone. He also instigated a workshop using ICT and the Web to research names of Stone’s fallen taken from the Cenotaph in Granville Square.
The starting point for this work was the film ‘Goodnight Mr Tom’. This was followed up with a visit from Mrs Elizabeth Watts, a war time evacuee, who recounted her experiences. Pupils then produced a piece of written work displaying empathy for the situation.
Home Front Workshop Newcastle Under Lyme Staffordshire
A small group of pupils participated in a workshop where they analysed photographs for historical evidence. This also involved map work and dissemination of information concerning air raid casualties in the area. Pupils listened to life experiences during the war and participated in an air raid evacuation!
|Stone War Memorial
This project enabled youngsters from a middle school in Stone to gain some understanding and empathy for the events and life style experienced by a local wartime generation.
The range of activities, visits, and the opportunities experienced by the youngsters are reflected in these quotes from their written work;
‘I enjoyed the visit from Mr Edwards because my Granddad may have been in the same unit as his………….But mainly just thinking about the loss of people so that we could live happily today’
‘I learnt how important the war was……. It was very sad to see the graves of all those who died……….I thought it was amazing to see how hard it was for people at home…....I now know how important it was to win World War Two’
‘I now understand how people felt during this time………….It really makes you think how brave people were just by looking at their grave’
The School has endeavoured to provide a range of opportunities and experiences which have enabled the youngsters to form opinions, to develop empathy for values, attitudes and feelings of this time in The Nation’s history. These opportunities have provided a range of activities which have encouraged creativity, inspiration and enjoyment of participation in this project. A sense of appreciation within themselves and for their own community during this period of history has allowed a deeper understanding for people of different ages, races, religious experiences and backgrounds to themselves. Throughout this project activities have very much encouraged local involvement of veterans and individuals who have links with Stone and the community’s involvement in the conflict of World War Two.
The following examples of pupils’ activities demonstrate the opportunities the project provided to meet the aims and objectives and support the outcomes.