It was decided that our theme for learning from September to December 2014, would be ‘We will remember..’, looking at different aspects of WW1 to coincide with the 100 years anniversary, before moving onto to exploring WW2 at a later point in the term. We recognised this as an excellent opportunity to draw on the experiences of those around us, whilst forging and strengthening relationships between young and old and, with that in mind, we were pointed in the direction of the ‘Golden-Oldies’ Heritage Lottery WW1 songs project.
After making contact, it was apparent straight away that this was going to be a successful collaboration that would benefit all those involved. The administration team were extremely helpful and Goldies founder Grenville Jones visited the school and was very open minded and willing to follow our ideas on how we wanted this to unfold within our school.
The children thoroughly enjoyed learning the songs and it was a real pleasure to catch them in unguarded moments, singing them aloud. The sense of togetherness that these songs bring, were being echoed in the playground, classrooms and on the buses. Grenville’s workshops with the children in the lead up to our planned ‘big event’ motivated the children to sing at their best and investigate the true meaning behind the lyrics.
Watching the surprise on the children’s faces as they arrived at school to be greeted by a choir in full WW1 regalia was one of the best moments for all of us at the school. It was a pleasure to watch the children share their learning with pride and listen with great care to the visitors who volunteered their own experiences and memorabilia of WW1.
And as for the children singing the WW1 songs alongside the choir…..I don’t know if there will ever be a moment quite like it in my career again…incredible.