Remembrance – Social Subjects
In Social Subjects pupils have been exploring Remembrance. We began by identifying what a veteran is and watched a video about the work that PoppyScotland does; giving special recognition and support to the work of our Armed Forces and their families.
Lessons focused on the origins of the poppy and the impact that the First World War had on families in Scotland. Pupils worked cooperatively in groups to find out information about a soldier’s experience in the First World War before sharing their information with the rest of the class. Pupils then identified similarities between the stories including harrowing injuries and the huge impact that the injuries and loss of life had on those at home. It was then revealed that the seven soldiers who pupils had been investigating were in fact all members of the same family. Pupils then reflected on the devastation caused by the Great War based on the fact they had indeed only investigated one family and millions of other families were affected in the same way.
This was followed by a lesson that focused on child soldiers, as during the First World War around 250,000 boys under the minimum age of 19 volunteered to serve. 18,000 youngsters were killed or wounded at the Battle of the Somme. Pupils drew links between World War One and present day by investigating child soldiers from around the world and focused on the impact on their lives.
By the end of the week pupils had to imagine that they were a soldier in the trenches at the Battle of the Somme. Pupils then wrote a letter home from the point of view of a soldier, based on the all of the learning from the week. Entries received from pupils will be entered in PoppyScotland’s competition for S1-3.
The experience of learning fully about remembrance was also promoted in RME where students learned about the infamous white poppy and debated whether or not war is ever an acceptable moral situation to be in. Students showed great interest throughout this and displayed the highest levels of respect.
Many of our students also spent a large amount of time during the week constructing large poppies to be displayed within the Social Subjects faculty. Each poppy was inscribed with a line from “In Flanders Fields” and now forms part of an impressive collection that has already captured the attention of many.
In addition to this, a dedicated team of five senior boys delivered an emotive and informative assembly on the importance of remembrance to each of the Houses. This included an overview of why it is important to remember the fallen and injured as well as personal reflections about the impact of war upon their families and the local community. Assemblies ended with a fitting procession out of the hall to the sound of the bagpipes, ably played by one of our own.
We are grateful to all staff and students for their hard work both during the week and in preparation for this – it was a sure-fire success!
Please find below a selection of comments put forward by some of our S1 students about what they took away from the week:
“We remember the people that fought in the wars a poppy can remember the people in the war cause the poppy was the only thing that grew in the war fields.” Kieran
“The poppy remembers the thousands of people thousands who died.” Cameron
“We remember the soldiers that fought for us and the soldiers that are still fighting today.” Chelsea
“The reason we wear poppies is to remember the first and second world wars and the fighting that is still going on today.” Ross