Winchester primary school build trench as part of WWI week

Hampshire Chronicle: Normal timetables were suspended for a week to learn about different aspects of the conflict. Normal timetables were suspended for a week to learn about different aspects of the conflict.

AS World War One centenary commemorations sweep the nation, one Winchester school has found its own way to mark the milestone.

Normal timetables were suspended at Stanmore Primary School, in Stanmore Lane, last week (June 2-6) to learn about different aspects of the conflict, and they have even built their own version of a trench.

History co-ordinator and Year 6 teacher, Emma Pearce, said she thinks it is important for younger generations to understand the significance of the war.

“I personally believe that the past informs the present and it’s important that there is awareness and respect of what has gone before us,” she said.

“We have teamed up with the Hampshire Archives and talked through how we could access different aspects of the war for each year group.”

Year 6 pupils explored life in the trenches, and on Thursday June 5, and Friday June 6, Corporal Kyle Yates of Winchester Army Training Regiment helped them to build a defensive position within the school grounds.

Winchester City Council donated sandbags, and they also used turf from the school site, and dressed the scene with WW1 artefacts.

Amelie De Lara, 11, was amongst the pupils enthusiastically building the position.

She said: “Part of learning about WWI is that we have to feel it. We have to learn the facts but building this means that we can properly know how the soldiers felt at the time.”

Naz Hamid, 11, added: “It gives you respect for them as well, because you can empathise with what they did.”

Children in Years 1 and 2 investigated the role of animals from war horses to rescue dogs, and learnt some rousing war-time songs.

Year 3 and 4 pupils designed propaganda posters encouraging young men to sign up and fight for their country, as well as learning how to march like a new recruit.

On Tuesday (June 3) Year 5 visited the West Hill cemetery to look at the WW1 graves, and using the information on the headstones they looked online to see what they could discover about each soldier.

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