Pupils and Staff Commemorate Great War Centenary at School Open Evening

Visitors to a school’s annual open evening were transported back 100 years as pupils organised a series of activities to commemorate the start of the First World War.
More than 250 families of primary school children attended the event at Wreake Valley Academy in Syston.
They experienced what life was like in a trench on the Western Front as smoke was set off in a classroom in the English department and poetry was read out from the Great War.
Moving drama illustrating the conflict was performed in the performing and visual arts department with visitors also being taught how to play the Last Post on a keyboard instrument.
Other activities invited visitors to make First World War bi-planes from laser-cut cardboard and produce period food such as austerity biscuits and trench cake.
Part of the foyer was transformed into a field of remembrance with brightly-coloured textile poppies made by pupils.
Assistant principal, Belinda Nuttall, said: “The whole school has been absolutely buzzing since our open evening. We used every department in the school to illustrate different aspects of the First World War. The children loved getting involved and our staff were very creative with the different activities they organised.”
Year nine pupils have researched the background of the 82 soldiers from Syston who were killed in the Great War. They made Army dog tags for each of the fallen servicemen and have displayed the information in a public area of the school.
Mrs Nuttall added: “What happened in the First World War has really hit home with our pupils after all the work they have been doing. Lots of the soldiers who were killed had well known Syston family names, such as Needham and Adcock, and some had the same name as some of our children so many of them are now very interested in genealogy.”