Remembrance in schools

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by maxibabe, Oct 10, 2006.

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  1. Greetings men, Just before Remembrance Day this year I have been asked to give an assembly in my school about 'What Remembrance Day means'. I have a general strand planned which mentions past wars and how that compares to today's conflicts.

    How would you like Remembrance Day to be observed in England's schools?

    We have a two minutes silence each year in school, and the whole of our Year 11 go out to the battlefields of France or Belguim as near to the 11th as possible, this year will be the Somme on the 10th.

    I would greatly value your opinions.

  2. sorry if this is a bit obvious, but it is not said enough IMO. I would suggest mentioning that we are a free society because of what these people gave. with a few examples they will be able to relate to. do they like going on holiday? do they like films? these would be very limited under nazi, al-queda rule.

    like i say, obvious, but well worth saying that these fine folk gave there all for us and it reallly does make difference to our lives now. A big thankyou to those who bought our freedom with their lives.

    sorry, i'm not very eloquent this evening!

  3. As you are just down the road so to speak ever thought about inviting a Chelsea pensioner along. Some of those old boys are very eloquent about what they did, why they did it and what it means to todays world. They are a fine bunch of men who gave us the freedoms we enjoy today.

    They may hesitate if you tell them there is no beer though......................
  4. With respect and an appreciation of the sacrifice that was made by normal people in extraordinary situations. Kids seem to just go through the motions nowadays.

    War is not a Playstation game.
  5. Why not adopt the Dutch model and get the kids to adopt &l ook after a war grave in a nearby cemetery
  6. Our lot go out at the end of year 9 if they want (generally taking history to GCSE). I'm not sure how they're running rememberance this year as new to this school - and 1200 kids (exc 6th form) makes a school assembly a wee bit tough - but am going to find out what they're doing.

    I think you need to chuck in local knowledge - so names of those lost from the local area, especially if a village. A good one (that sounds very wrong) where I am is that the casualty rates on the first day of the Somme were basically the same as the entire population of the town. It puts the conflict in perspective.

    In my educational background there would be a 2 minute silence and that was it - I think there needs to be a teacher-led explanation - someone who not only has knowledge but shows reverence to the sacrifice of 1 million commonwealth lives (1.2m french, 1.8m german - off the top of my head) lost, the impact on families, the continuing life for those seriously injured or suffering from shell shock.

    Good luck, let me know what you run please

    We will remember them
  7. Try some of these themes

    One of the core messages of Remeberance ought to be to understand what these peoiple did and why they did it. Year 11 will look at that.

    The two minute's silence ought not to be an embarrassing British ceremonial moment. Give them somethign to think about...

    - What causes would they be willing to fight for? What freedom woudl you fight for? What tyranny would you oppose?

    - The people who fought in the wars of the C 20th are the grandparents and great grandparents of the people in school now. Statistically you would be very unlikely NOT to have a relative who fougth in these wars. Think about the things their grandparents might have done.

    - Many of the people who fought in the First war were under age - young enough to be in years 10 and 11. How would it feel to make the adult decisions to risk your life for your country at your age.

    If you have a significant ethnic minority you might like to mention that the sodliers remembered include the millions of soldiers from the commonwealth and empire. Recongising the sacriufices of indian african and westi Indians helps people to feel more British.

    Contact the Royal British Legion to get a school pack if you want someideas.

    Ask if there is a RECENT serving soldier to speek. There may be TA soldiers who have fought in Iraq or Afganhistan who will talk.
  8. how about opening the assembly with the poem "flanders fields"? it riles you up from the bottom of your stomach. and finish with a silent exit to a lone trumpeteer masking "last post"? make the youth of today see and feel the "lost and fallen". alot of kids in schools are the breed thats appeared in all our towns, the Chav, and its our duty as elders to instil into these people with no respect for law, order, democracy, the system (even if it stinks some times) an get off those streets stop smoking pot/crack etc mugging people... ok climb off high horse devo. The Royal hospital In-patient sound like a wonderful idea, kids need visual aids to spark the brain alight at 09hours. Let me know your plans please id like to hear how you get on..
  9. My daughter is in the 3rd year at school. Her task in history at the moment is research a member of her family who died in WW1. Those in her class who have no known family member casualty have been allocated a name from the local war memorial to research.

    Lucky (?) girl - having 22 members of her family buried in France has given her plenty of choice. Discovering that two died on 14/10/14 and a further three were killed on 1/7/16 kept her quiet for a while. She wants to visit the Thiepval memorial to the missing so she can see the names of four members of her family who have no known grave.

    It may have happened 90 years ago but it significant enough to make a my 13 year old cry.
  10. Firstly what do you mean 'Englands schools'? Surely you mean British schools.

    Go to the RBL and ask for a veteran to speak, then ask a guy in the modern forces to speak. Puts it all into perspective.

    Find a trumpeter or bugler to sound the last post. Always guaranteed to bring a lump to your throat. Finally put together a vid, or find one which has those who have been KIA with some slow music.
  11. This week (because we are on holiday for FORTNIGHT (yaay!) next week I did a Remembrance Day project with my S4 class (15-16 year olds) Got the 'boring..boring... mutters' at the start but gradually changed as they began to realise just how bad things were for some. Commonwealth War Graves do a DVD called 'Some Go Early' about a young lad from Lancs who died aged 16 (he signed up at 15 by lying about his age) in Normandy in 1944. Shows his family, his background and grave etc and by the end of the 12 minutes the class was silent.

    Followed up with 'Base Details' and 'The General' by Sassoon and they are doing an essay to compare and contrast the two. Lots of good comments already about how it wasn't fair that the Generals and their staff lived in nice conditions whilst the Jocks suffered. Also did some background on WW1 casualties (ie 20,000 dead on first day of Somme in 1916), the new technology (air, gas and tanks) which explains why the Generals screwed up at first and then moved onto modern day conflicts. They were astounded at the fact that 1968 is the only year without the British Forces being involved in war/conflict somewhere in the world since 1945. Discussed Iraq and Afghanistan as well. I was also able to bring in Falklands, Gulf and NI and answered questions and gave them a personal view. See if there is a vet amongst the staff even the Jannie might have been fighting somewhere. Ours was in Korea as a young lad!

    Last episode of "Blackadder goes Forth" is always a good one if you want to lighten the mood yet get the message across. PM me if you want the worksheets and PowerPoints I used this week.
  12. en masse children tend to be rather lumpen.

    My school goes for the full ceremonial bit, with service for all pupils and OB veterans. Of course now there are few left, though those there are got through gallons of wine at the reception last year. However, I am not sure the effect it has on the kids.

    I am currently showing 'Regeneration' to my GCSE history set (generally bright) yet it has very little emotional resonance for some of them, 'why is that man naked screaming his head off sir?' 'because he has severe shell shock chavetta' 'wotz [sic] that then?'

    I realised the other day that to my pupils the Second World War is as distant to my pupils as the Great War was to me when I first became aware of it, and short of a reintroduction of Paul Brickhill books onto reading lists for 9 yr olds, what we take to be givens about undertsanding will never be the case for the kids. I mean, what is your emotional or historical connection to the Boer war? Obviously not the same magnitude, but the same time gap.
  13. I do several talks to local schools every year (I am the local poppy appeal bod). I keep it simple, and talk for about 10 minutes. The only prop is a giant 2 foot across poppy (shades of Max Boyce). I tell the kids a story, about a local lad called Tommy Atkins, who joined the army in 1915, and never came home. The message is, remember him, and all his mates, because they died to ensure our freedoms, and remember them, so that it doesn't happen again.

    I ask them to go to the local war memorial, (the teachers will usuially arrange a trip) and to pick a name, I ask them to close their eyes and think about that man at 1100 on the 11th.

    Seems to work, mainly talk to primary schools.
  14. As children (and adults for that matter) often have problems comprehending the sheer numbers involved in the battles of the World Wars, how about making the assembly a little interactive and tell the children that they represent a division in the Battle of the Somme. Then, using approximate percentage figures, tell the children to split apart at your direction, and then tell them which group represents the soldiers who lived and which group represents the soldiers who were injured and who died.

    The figures aren't referenced, so I can't vouch for their validity, but according to Wikipedia the average number of British (not Empire) casualties per division (approx 10,000 men) ran at approx 80% from 1st July till 19th November.
  15. Why do I suddenly have visions of an uproar......

    "what did you do at school today (insert childs name)?"

    "Today I died and my friend had their legs blown off" :roll: :wink: