100 years ago, the world saw the first global conflict of the industrial age. Launched on a tide of fervent patriotism and optimism, World War 1 became a by-word for senseless slaughter and brutal devastation that cost the lives of 16 million people and maimed countless others. Millions of men fought and perished through the mud, barbed wire and stench in the trenches that stretched from the Belgian coast to the Swiss mountains – giving their lives for the gain of a few yards, soon to be lost again. It was a conflict which changed the world forever; inspiring revolutions, dismantling centuries-old empires and destroying the old certainties of the world.
Such is the magnitude of World War 1 on our conscience, it is vital for our learners to have an appreciation of its abject horror, the sacrifice of millions in the cause of liberty and the impact that it has had on the making of our modern world.
The school marks ‘Armistice Day’ each year. However, in the centenary years of WW1, between 2014 and 2018 our students at Tauheedul Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College are commemorating the Great War through a range of additional events and activities. This is part of a four-year rolling programme that aims to remember our fallen heroes and to honour those who served our great nation in the cause of freedom.
Acts of embrace, educational opportunities and lessons from history are embedded into lessons. Through the study of the harrowing poetry of Wilfred Owen during English lessons, penning letters in French and Arabic to soldiers on the front line during Languages classes, learning about code-breaking in Computing studies, making a 3D model of the battle in a matchbox or practising a military drill in PE, students are beginning to get a deeper appreciation of the war and those 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians who perished in it.
In addition, special broadcasts of the history and the causes of WW1 will be screened at key moments during the year.
You can find out more about the commemoration of World War 1 at Tauheedul by visiting this web page throughout the year.
WW1 Activities during the week of Armistice Day
A Dan Snow screening that highlighted the fatal moment that war began is shown to all students in assemblies outlining the causes and events that led up to WW1. This serves as a useful introduction to the key events before, and during the Great War.
Students and staff emblazon their uniforms with the potent red poppy and reflect on the symbolic significance of this flower as a lasting memorial to those who died in World War One and later conflicts. Remembrance wristbands are also available to buy as well as ‘World War 1’ stationery to commemorate the fallen `lest we forget` their insurmountable sacrifices.
A Prezi is delivered to all students by their Learning Coordinators in form time exploring the causes, consequences and wider impact of WW1.
Click here to view the prezi.
Click here to view what activities the students took part in within the classroom.
Using digital signage around school
The twitter feed that Sky News provides each year, which reports ‘live’ events from WW1 as they happened 100 years ago is available on TV screens around the school’s social spaces. This is available on @SkyNewsWW1.
A group of humanities students visited the British Muslim Heritage Center in Manchester. This trip allowed students to explore the contribution of Muslim and ethnic minorities to WW1. Y11 and Y13 students also visited the Imperial War Museum, during which the personal stories and tragedies, sounds, images and objects of the war compelled students to reflect on the huge sacrifices of those brave fallen soldiers and the families they left behind.
WW1 Assemblies and exhibitions
In the week of Armistice Day, Lieutenant Williamson from the Duke of Edinburgh’s Regiment delivered an assembly to KS3 and KS4 students outlining the history behind the causes of the Great War. She read moving excerpts of letters written by Indian soldiers, interweaving within her readings the contribution of the Common Wealth to the Great War..
In addition to this, Sixth Form Historians delivered an informative and emotional assembly to KS5 students in which they presented the compelling arguments of the conscientious objectors.
Sixth Form History students curated an interactive World War 1 exhibition, displaying artefacts, video clips and war posters. This was then delivered as a work shop to Year 5 pupils at the Olive School Blackburn who were given the opportunity to try on a soldiers costume and gas masks.
Each students throughout the school created a paper poppy to recreate the poignancy and hope of Flanders field at the main entrance of the school.
Civic Reception for the Poetry Book Launch
In 2015 students at Tauheedul Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College penned a collection of poetry that emulates and captures key moments and the overriding emotions that were felt at the time of the Great War. The Poetry Book was launched at a presentation attended by local dignitaries, including the Lord Lieutenant for Lancashire and is applauded by David Cameron in his foreword for `perfectly capturing the overriding emotions … by everyone fighting to preserve our freedom’.