South Tyneside schoolchildren learn about First World War in Remembrance services

Schoolchildren acted out a scene from the Christmas Day truce of 1914 as they paid tribute to lives lost as part of their Remembrance Day studies.

Monday, 12th November 2018, 4:15 pm
Updated Monday, 12th November 2018, 4:19 pm
Pupils from Year 5 and 6 who took part in the Remembrance event at Laygate Community School. Picture by FRANK REID

Children from Years 5 and 6 at Laygate Community School in South Shields have devoted this term to studying the First World War.

A group from the classes represented the school as they attended the town’s service outside the town hall on Sunday, while others joined in as members of Northumbria Police’s mini police team.

Pupils Branden Campbell and Jannah Jannatul taking part in the Remembrance play at Laygate Community School. Picture by FRANK REID

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On their return to school today, pupils performed a scene which showing out what happened on December 25, 1914, as British and German troops put down their weapons to exchange gifts and play football, set to the sound of Paul McCartney’s Pipes of Peace.

Year 6 teacher Samantha Cowper said: “We built some trenches after the children brought in boxes and we made models and we looked at the stories of local people who were in the war.

“One of those was John Simpson Kirkpatrick, so we looked at his story, and we also looked at Walter Tull, who was the first professional black footballer and the first black officer in the Army.

“There’s a book about him called Walter Tull’s Scrapbook, which we have used in our lessons.

Pupils Joseph Davidson and Riley Knight taking part in the Remembrance play at Laygate Community School. Picture by FRANK REID

“I think a lot of the children didn’t know anything about the war to start off with and particularly for the boys, they have really engaged with it because of the Christmas truce and football is a big thing in our school.

“We’re now going on to poetry from the war and we will continue with this topic until Christmas and we will also look at it in geography and history.

“We’re a very multicultural school combined of different nationalities and we are very focused on British values and this is been such a big year because it has been the 100 year anniversary of Armistice Day.”