Cowbridge Comprehensive School – World War One Centenary Day, 7 July 2014

Events and News feature holding image - 220x140This project is part of the Welsh Government’s Remembering the First World War – £1000 grant for secondary schools in Wales scheme. Every secondary school in Wales has the opportunity to apply to receive up to £1,000 to develop creative and innovative projects to commemorate the First World War. For more information and guidance on how to apply, click here.

*All text has been provided by the school

Our Idea:

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Multi-disciplinary and active learning event where learners will gain knowledge and understanding of:

-       The causes of World War One;
-       Why many Welsh men enlisted;
-       Why many of Cowbridge Old Boys joined.

The activity will include Key Stage 3 learners (approximately 670 learners).

Pupils will be taught four distinct lessons on World War One. Each pupil will have a History lesson where the causes of World War One will be taught. Pupils will then have a series of lessons from other subjects which will focus on different elements of World War One e.g.:

- English – will look at war poetry.

- Geography – where and how the main battles were fought.

- Science – will look at the various games used in the War.

In the afternoon there will be a whole school Centenary/Remembrance Event involving the Music Department (‘Last Post’) and a reflection on what was learnt. There will also be the unveiling of a new WW1 memorial.

Community links will involve many partnerships. Stakeholders, governors and parents will be invited to the memorial service. Feeder primary schools will be invited to visit displays.

Outcomes and legacy will involve a collection of local evidence which has a direct link to the school. The stories of Cowbridge ‘Old Boys’ will be told in a story book. There will also be a permanent memorial in the new Sixth Form garden made from slate.

What happened:

On 7 July 2014, the Headteacher agreed that we could collapse the whole school timetable for Key Stage 3 to commemorate World War One.

It was a very successful day as the History Department managed to all involve all departments within our school from English to PE.  Our Key stage 3 pupils experienced four lessons; all these lessons were based around different aspects of World War One. The English department focused on poetry whilst our Art Department focused on the meaning of art produced during trench warfare. Our practical departments offered activities from making commemoration medals to baking cakes following wartime recipes.

Our lunchtime menu was also themed as the canteen staff fully entered the spirit of the day by offering ‘Kitchener’s soup’ and ‘Toad in the hole – tommy style’. Whilst eating lunch, pupils watched ‘Oh what a beautiful War’.

The highlight of the day was a whole school service which was conducted on our school premises. Our Ethics and Philosophy Department arranged a very poignant service which involved many pupils and staff. The focus of the service was on the local boys whose names are carved onto the Cowbridge War memorial. The service ended with the sounding of the ‘Last Post’ which was arranged by the Music Department.

As a school it was a very worthwhile project and was an invaluable opportunity for our younger pupils to learn about World War One and elements of local history.