By Sam Kail-Dyke – The Wessex Learning Trust
On Wednesday 11th November, staff and learners across the Wessex Learning Trust took part in commemorative events to mark Remembrance Day. Across all schools a silence was held at 11 o’clock in order to provide a time to reflect on those who have fought and died in all conflicts, present and historic.
Alongside the traditional silence, a range of other activities took place in schools to enable the children to engage and get to grips with the concept of remembrance.
At Brent Knoll, children decorated the school with poppies and created a beautiful candle jar which students from Year 6 took with them on a visit to the local St. Michael’s Church for a moment of reflection and commemoration.
Learners at Cheddar produced a range of work including writing, colouring and painting which helped connect the children to the iconography of the poppy of all shades, and its significance in remembrance. Children in the pre-school also created a display to show their understanding of events.
At Fairlands children have spent humanities lessons remembering those who have fought in wars, and learned about the poppy as a sign of remembrance and a symbol of hope for a peaceful future. They also learnt about the history behind the poppy and studied the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae. In addition to this, every pupil in the school was given a poppy to write a personal message of thanks. Messages included thanks to servicemen and women for their sacrifice, poems of remembrance or personal letters to family members that have served. Each year group’s poppies have been displayed as a memorial to those who have fallen.
At Hugh Sexey the children took part in virtual commemorative events, including from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Education Officer and Father Jeremy, Secondary RE advisor of the Bath and Wells Diocese. On the 11th children took part in a virtual school wide assembly, culminating in the 2 minutes silence; providing unity despite the adversities posed by COVID-19.
The children at Mark produced a range of artworks, musing on the significance of the poppy – including a very impressive large poppy made on the field out of fallen leaves. Meanwhile at Weare the whole school took part in a collaborative art project to decorate pebbles with symbols commemorating Remembrance Day. The pebbles were displayed for parents to view outside the school gates.
At Wedmore the playground fell silent in the middle of morning break as playtime was paused for a moment to stand still quietly and mark the 2 minute silence. Meanwhile the younger children in Robin Class enjoyed finding about what remembrance day is through a range of child initiated activities. They explored a poppy rice and spaghetti sensory tray, painted they own poppies, investigated and dug up poppies in soil, made their own poppy pictures using a range of materials.
Also, as you can see in the video at the top of the page, Kings staff and students were able to perform a socially distanced remembrance service at the front of the school, led by School Chaplin Ruth Motion and the Reverend Stuart Burns. Representatives from each house laid wreaths, and the 2 minutes silence was beautifully bookended by a live performance of the Last Post and Reveille.
As you can tell, children across the Trust really succeeded in getting to grips with the concept of remembrance, and have produced some exceptional work to further their understanding of this important day in our calendars. We are very proud of their maturity and engagement with the subject and hope it will help them become reflective young adults.
Examples of the work produced by all the children can be seen in the gallery below.