Today, following the centenary of the WW1 armistice, the whole school took part in remembering that time in our history and commemorating the many brave servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives for others.
Each class looked at different aspects of the war and in the afternoon we held a special assembly where the children shared what they had learned. We then held our own two minute silence as a mark of respect for those who gave their lives in order for us to have freedom in ours.
YR and Y1 created a silhouette of the youngest soldier to fight in WW1. The children told us about Sydney, aged 12 and quite tall, who in 1914 ran away from home to join his brothers on the front line. His distraught mother wrote to the War Office and Sydney was sent home only to do the same thing when he was 15!
Sydney returned from WW1 and went on to serve in WW2 as a bomb disposal expert. YR and Y1 made medals which they pinned on Sydney's silhouette. YR and Y1 will now start to learn about the oldest soldier in WW1 and his story.
Y2 and Y4 made some stunning poppies which they joined together to create two beautiful wreaths. Y2 were traditional red poppies whilst Y4 chose purple poppies to symbolise the animal lost during WW1. Both year groups learned about the animals that worked along side the servicemen during the war. Not only did the animals complete roles that the soldiers were not able to do, they were a constant source of comfort in extremely difficult circumstances.
The children told us about how dogs worked in sentry posts and carried medicines across the battlefields. One dog, named Sgt Stubby was awarded many medals for his bravery and service throughout the war.
Elephants helped drag extremely heavy cannons across difficult terrains in their native lands whilst pigeons completed many, many missions carrying small, rolled up messages in little cylinders strapped to their tiny legs. 95% of carrier pigeons successfully returned to base camp, mission accomplished.
The children told us how horses played an incredibly important role during the war, carrying supplies, people and pulling guns and cannons. Sadly 8 million horses died during WW1.
Y3 created fabulous sketches of poppies and made recordings of their own poetry. The children listened to some of the poignant poems and reflected on what life was like for those fighting war on the front line and those waiting patiently for news at home.
Y5 focussed on the end of the war and the peace treaty. They considered the reparations and reflected on how the Germans were not allowed to speak as the treaty was drawn up by the allies. The children wondered how effective peace treaties could be if all sides involved were not heard and started to share ideas for creating their own 'peace treaties' to solve friendship fall-outs in school.
Y6 told the story of how the war started and how complicated alliances can draw nations in to conflict. They shared with us the changing roles that women played at home, in industry, medicine and farming whilst the men were away at war. They told us how that story developed into independence for women when they received the vote.
Mr Batstone linked the freedom for which our brave servicemen and women fought that lead to our freedom today to anti-bullying and friendship. This week is anti-bullying week and the children reflected on the impact of behaviour on others. They will work further on learning about what bullying actually is and how together, we can make a change. They will also look at the power of friendship and link all this to our values.
The children's understanding, compassion and respect throughout their learning of this important part of our history has been remarkable. and we are incredibly proud of the sensitive way in which they have approached their learning. They will continue with their sterling work on WW1, anti-bullying and friendship throughout this week. Please ask your children to share their learning with you, we know they will do so with confidence and pride.