Woodlands High School – ‘Pack Up Your Troubles’

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:

Pupils will research information and evidence to learn about the First World War. They will liaise with Kate Woolveridge and Rhian Hutchings of the Welsh National Opera to identify appropriate War songs and compile a suitable medley. They will prepare, rehearse and perform with Kate Woolveridge of WNO and the school choir in June 2014.

They will also digitalise the music, evidence and information to create a presentation.

What happened:

The result was the most amazing, moving and very meaningful commemorative event.

The choir members were so very thrilled to work with Angharad Lewis, Music Teacher, and Kate Woolveridge of the Welsh National Opera, and adored the chosen selection of WWI songs, realising that they were the ‘pop songs’ of the day. They received professional training accompanied by lots of fun and laughter.

Jennifer Morgan worked alongside Mr Steve Parselle to produce an evocative, but appropriate, digitised presentation of WWI footage, images, songs etc.

The school hall was decorated with Union Jack flags and WWI memorabilia

85, mainly elderly, visitors were invited, along with Year 6 transition group, and, like the pupils, became enthralled with the WWI digital presentation.

It was, however, the singing that brought the whole event to life. The pupils gave their rendition of WWI favourites, accompanied by the whole group of visitors. There was a tear in every eye as Kate sang ‘Roses of Picardy’.

The service ended with a candle lighting ceremony and silence.

During the refreshment period, and lunch, that followed, all elderly visitors, and all young pupils, expressed their emotions at being part of such an experience. Compliments are still flooding into school.

111024 - WG_Funded_land_mono jpg - LogoMore importantly however, the presentation is still being viewed in the school foyer and classrooms, not to mention other schools. Pupils are still to be heard, in every corner of the school, singing ‘Goodbye’, ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’, ‘Pack up Your Troubles’ etc.

This was, indeed, a very fitting, and appropriate, way to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WWI with young people who experience special educational needs.

Thank you for affording us the opportunity and privilege.