Real History Workshops

In the Real History workshops pupils from both primary schools involved dressed up and used artefacts and props to recreate scenes and explore life during WW1. They imagined what it would have been like to live in the trenches, crawl under barbed wire and throw grenades. They learnt about a boy called Harry who didn’t want to go to war but he was forced to by conscription.  Harry survived and lived till he was 111 and only spoke of what happened in the war when he was 100!  At the end of the session there was a quiet time for discussion and reflection.

By Harry J, St. Gregory’s Catholic Primary School, Lydiate

We learnt about the causes of war, the recruitment process and how life changed for people who lived between 1914 and 1918. Interesting facts were to revealed for us, like when recruiting soldiers, there wasn’t always a birth certificate requirement, meaning that the officers just took your word for it: if you said you were the right age (even though you were not) they would let you in! After being enlisted, the training academies were where you would be prepared for war. Our class even got to play games and take part in activities similar to those that the soldiers would have done.

Our teachers told us stories about the impact of war on local families. Many families didn’t even find out that their son or husband was going to war until they had gone! Many would hear news that their loved ones had been lost in war, never learning whether they had been killed or where their bodies were. This all included people from Lydiate and local areas. People just like us.

All of us, dressed up as important people who were in the war or part of its causes, acted and role-played in lots of different ways. We understood that the men and women from Lydiate (people just like us) fought and sacrificed their lives for our futures and that life at home was changed forever.