Paget’s Big Thank-you
Paget High School
Contact Name and e-mail address
Details of those involved
The venture allowed us to strengthen our relationship with the British Legion and forged a new relationship with the Imperial War Museum North. In addition we have also made links with veterans in Belper who will continue to visit school in successive years. The students who have benefited from this project have mainly been in year 9 although the resources and links developed will benefit future cohorts.
The aim of the project at Paget was to encourage young people to investigate the impact of the Second World War on the lives of those involved, within this we included women, children and soldiers both from both the United Kingdom and our empire. We also incorporated a reflective aspect into our learning that enabled our young people to think about the reasons for, and the methods of, commemoration. Through the learning that took place and the visit to the Imperial War Museum in the North we were able to create an innovative approach to learning that will fulfil the curriculum requirements for more than one NC subject. Meanwhile through the developing of links with the British legion and following our visit to the Imperial War Museum in the North students would also have gained a greater understanding and appreciation of the need for commemoration and remembrance. They also wrote their own poetry which allowed them to communicate their ideas and feelings about commemoration, memory, conflict, peacemaking, reconciliation, remembrance and international co-operation. Finally through their interactions with veterans and visit to the Imperial War Museum in the North students learning was stimulated and their experiences challenged their values and attitudes.
Students undertook a month long project to devise a display that focused upon the experiences of one group in society during the war, to enable the students to gather information we visited the Imperial War Museum in Manchester. During which we had a subsidiary focus on the exchange of information during the war, the students had previously seen extracts from the film “Enigma” to look at the role of women in the war and were aware of the need for intelligence. This in turn developed a cross curricular link with the IT department. While visiting the Imperial war Museum in the North we also focused on the lessons society should learn form the conflict and the importance of remembrance.
To enable students to have access to a wider variety of source materials we took advantage of the public record office’s web-site as well as the Internet focusing on the pages from the British Legion and the War Graves Commission for the element of the assignment that focused on remembrance. This again built in cross-curricular links but also an aspect pf local history as we traced soldiers who lost their lives in the conflict from Burton.
Parents and grandparents also proved to be a useful resource for children with many relatives providing the students with tales of the war and letters from the frontline. These proved to be an emotional stimulus for the pupils and brought into the lessons a very real aspect as well as adding local flavour to the impact of the war. This in turn led into a useful discussion and the reliability and utility of oral history.
Once students had devised there own display it was added to a year 9 commemorative wall, students had incorporated research from a variety of sources and using images taken on our digital camera while at the imperial war museum.
Our reflection activities began with an analysis of our local war memorial in the town centre with students using their knowledge of the local area to comment upon:
- The size of the memorial
- It’s location;
- The memorial’s state of repair;
- The number of names listed upon it including the rank of the soldiers and any inscriptions on the memorial.
Students were asked to produce a field sketch of the memorial for homework. While in lesson time we entered into a discussion which asked the students what they could learn about the local area from the memorial, what the local response was to the war and what affect the war had on the local community.
The concluding piece of learning allowed students to write a reflective piece of poetry. This allowed them to draw together their learning on this project, incorporating peoples’ experiences of the war, remembrance and commemoration and the lessons that we should from the past, the lessons to be learnt from the war.
These have all been collected together and displayed in a scrapbook in the history classrooms.
As a result of this project our students have acquired the knowledge and understanding they need to become informed citizens in respect of world conflict and remembrance of all who gave their lives in the war. They have been given the opportunity to work with voluntary groups to understand the need to bring about change and co-operation both locally, nationally and internationally. It has at a basic level increased their awareness of the British Legions poppy appeal and the work of the war graves commission. Through the work of the British Legion the students have gained a greater understanding of the wider issues of global interdependence and responsibility. Most importantly students will have been taught to consider other peoples’ experiences and to think about, express, explain and evaluate views that are not their own. Students have learnt that it is important to stand up for what you believe in and to be resilient as the London did during the Blitz. They also acknowledge the vitally important work of the British Legion and all took part in a casual wear day during the project with the money raised being donated to this voluntary organisation.
This project has drawn together the strong themes of world co-operation, interdependence and remembrance that we begun earlier in the year with our work on the Great War. It has laid the foundations for the GCSE course to which there is a good uptake and provided us with a wealth of new resources. As a school we have strengthened links and devised new ones.
Our students have completed year 9 with an excellent understand of the sacrifice given by so many in Second World War. Similarly because of our visit to the Imperial War Museum they also appreciate that society has not learnt the lessons of this conflict and that the global community must continue to work together to share resources and information to make the world a better place for future generations.