WorldWar II & Home Front Experience
'Met our expectations & beyond. The children were buzzing as they left' Jane Minors, Halwill Community Primary School
As time-travellers, through a combination of dramatic role-play and handling activities, children enter the world of the Second World War and of a child living through the time following the Exeter Blitz of 4th May 1942.
The day is led in role by an Exeter ARP Warden. He will introduce himself and explain his wartime role to the children. A challenge will then be set:
What, as children in the West Country, could you do to 'do your bit' to help during the war?
What follows, using many original and replica artefacts, is a day of hands-on and interactive learning with the children investigating important aspects of wartime Britain such as 'food and clothing', 'rationing', 'Dig for Victory', 'Make Do & Mend', 'Evacuation', 'Roles of the Civil Defence' etc. They will meet 'Doris' our evacuee from London.
The children will learn about the importance of good communications and work as a team to de-code messages in order to help our secret agent by dropping important supplies behind enemy lines.
Short sessions follow: After reading a postcard sent by a mother to her evacuated child, the children can begin to design and write their own in reply. Using photographs and quotes from Exeter residents following the major air raid, the children are asked to consider and discuss the feelings of those involved.
The afternoon is a fun and action-packed ARP training session with the children working in teams. It is 'all hands to the pump' as the they are trained to deal with Air Raid Precautions issues such as 'fighting fires', 'dealing with bombs', dealing with an injured person', 'being careful what they say' and 'getting their gas masks on correctly'. A surprise air raid has them taking cover and then having to put into practice what they have learnt as they leave the shelter.
At the end of the day there is an opportunity for the children to show members of the school & parents what they have been doing in a short presentation.
'Brilliant' Jackie Heath, Malborough with South Huish Primary School
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