Creative school children commemorating the centenary of the First World War have brought the reality of life in the trenches for Britain’s Tommies to life in a unique exhibition.
Pupils from reception to year six at Dore Primary School created a life-sized cardboard trench decorated with poems, diary entries, paintings and hand-made poppies as well as other creative displayed during their school’s World War One Week.
The youngsters will be displaying their work in the Sheffield Town Hall foyer until September to mark 100 years since the outbreak of the war.
Sue Hopkinson, Headteacher at Dore Primary School, said: “The poignancy of the children’s work and the interest levels of even the youngest pupils in this world history has been clearly evident to staff and parents. The quality, variety and creativity of this exhibition we think speaks for itself.
Following a commission from the City Wide Learning Body, a number of Sheffield schools are working together and with the council to prepare a variety of commemorative activities for schools, including events, visits and curricular material. This work is being coordinated by the World War One Commemorations Schools Group, which comprises teachers, the council, staff at Museums Sheffield and members of the Parents’ Assembly.
The project aims to build on the legacy of World War One to ensure children at school now and in the future grow up knowing the huge sacrifices that were made on their behalf by previous generations. The group will encourage discussions among teachers and pupils about the First World War, with many pupils being introduced to the conflict for the first time.
Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families at Sheffield City Council, said: “I’d urge as many people as possible to pop into the Town Hall to see this wonderful exhibition. The work of Dore Primary School pupils helps us understand the impact World War 1 had on the men and boys that fought for their families and communities back home and their country.
“The poignant art, poppies, poems and diaries the children have created really brings history to life and a tear to the eye. It is great to see schools like Dore Primary, Norton Free, Notre Dame and All Saints using history to promote creative learning. Well done everyone.”
In collaboration with Unwins Seeds, the council has already distributed thousands of free poppy seeds to all schools as part of the Poppies for Schools campaign. The seeds were planted in April and will bloom in time for Remembrance Sunday in November.
Students from All Saints Catholic High School also visited Sheffield United Football Club’s stadium at Bramall Lane to take photographs to compare with those of the City Battalion on parade there nearly 100 years ago.
Norton Free Church of England Primary School also held a World War One Week earlier this year. Their art and written work was inspired by war memorabilia loaned by Ian Pearson, history teacher at All Saints Catholic High School, and will be displayed in the Pinstone Street shop windows.
For more information about World War One commemorative activities in Sheffield schools visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/education/about-us/plans-partnerships/world-war-one-schools.html.