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World War One

Interactive History School Visits, Workshops and Learning Activities

Let us bring the WOW factor into your classrooms with our fun and informative First World War learning days.  Find out about how your ancestors went off to fight for King and Country and the experiences they had in the services. We can bring to life these topics with our interactive workshops throughout the day.

We love working with primary and secondary schools across Sussex, Surrey and Kent on their Ks1, Ks2 and Ks3 history curriculum topics.

 

The First World War

In 1914 war broke out in Europe between Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the allied countries of Russia, France and Great Britain.  The Germans attacked France by advancing through Belgium and the British Army joined the French and Belgium armies in trying to hold them back.  Very quickly the fighting stagnated into trench warfare with trench systems all the way from the Channel coast to the Swiss border.  For four years the soldiers of both sides had to endure the horrors of trench warfare until eventually in 1918 the French, British and American armies broke through the German defences and the armistice was declared at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of 1918.

 

“Thank you so much for your visit yesterday. The children and teachers had a great day and learnt a huge amount. You certainly brought World War One to The Weald”

- Teacher, Weald School


Artefacts for Workshops

For our First World War school visits we have obtained or recreated the following artefacts for use during your day:  

  • The uniforms, caps, helmets and webbing sets that would have been worn by ordinary soldiers from the British, French and German armies.    
  • The rifles, pistols, machine guns and other equipment that would have been used by both sides during the war.
  • Small sets of British soldiers’ jackets, caps and webbing sets to fit your students.
  • Examples of the different types of gas masks used by the British and a gas rattle for sounding the alarm.  A set of templates for your students to use to cut out card gas masks to make for themselves.
  • A set of WW1 rations and a set of modern army rations for comparison.
  • All the signalling apparatus for signalling by flag or Morse Code with modern signalling torches and flag sets.
  • The uniforms of a British nurse, a WAAC female soldier and a Land Girl working on a farm.

 

 

Activities Agenda

During a First World War history workshop your class will:

 

  • Use both original and copies of maps, photographs and trench maps as we introduce them to the First World War and trench warfare in France and Belgium.
  • See teachers dressed as a British Tommy private soldier, a French infantryman and a German NCO with their full uniforms and kit and carrying the rifles they would have used in battle.  A very hands on session.  Feel how heavy the rifles are!  Did you know that the youngest British soldier killed in action was only 14 years old?  The oldest was 67!
  • Look at the memorial plaque for a soldier from Sussex with his photograph and war records and bringing back to life the story of a young man of 18 who died for his country.  Then photographs of soldiers of the West Kent regiment and of our grandfathers in their uniforms to show how recent all this was.
  • Try on our small sized Tommy’s jackets, webbing sets, caps and helmets.  A great opportunity for the school camera or we can bring our mock box camera and take traditional sepia photographs.  Did you know that most of the soldiers’ uniforms became infested with lice while they were in the trenches and they called this being ‘chatty’?  So chatting to your friends was what you did as you sat in the bunker picking the lice out of your clothing while talking to your mates.
  • Look at the different types of gasmasks and how dangerous poison gas was when used as a weapon.  Did you know that the chlorine that is used to keep swimming pools clean is one of the gases that was used in the war?  Listen to how loud the gas rattle is and using our templates everybody can make their own gas masks and get ready for a practice gas attack!
  • Compare WW1 rations with those of a modern soldier.  Which do you think is best?  Aren’t the hard tack biscuits hard and tasteless?  But now is your chance to try making your own with our recipe and equipment.
  • Try your hand at signalling the WW1 way using signal flags and Morse key signal lamps.  Not as easy as using a mobile phone, but oddly similar to texting!  How quickly can you get your message out to your friends?  
  • See what an important role women played in the First World War when we dress three of your teachers up as a nurse, a woman soldier and a girl in the Lands Army and tell you about their vital jobs.
  • A handling session of all the helmets, uniforms, weapons and equipment that everyone will have seen during the day followed by a question and answer session to finish the visit and reinforce the day's learning.

 

 

"Excellent day, it was well presented and pitched at just the right level. Other members of staff commented on your vast knowledge!!"

 - Teacher, Battle Abbey Prep

 

History Resources Box

To enable you to make the most of our visit we provide a History Resources Box* filled with interesting items from your chosen time period absolutely free. This complimentary box will arrive one month prior to your booking and we will collect it at the end of our visit. (Or you can choose to have it for one month after our workshop.) Boxes might include various items from arrow heads and clothing to fire lighting flint and steel, plus all those little items they needed for everyday living. Teachers have found these resource boxes brilliant for helping with their programmes of work and lesson plans.

*We regret we can only provide History Resources Boxes to schools within a 10 mile radius of our location at this time (Horam, East Sussex).

 

Full Day or Half Day School History Workshops

School visits can be booked for: 
Full Day 09:00 AM - 15:15 PM* - £550+ VAT 
Half Day 09:00 AM - Lunch (For schools within 15 mile radius of TN21 only) - £350+ VAT

Mileage fees of .50p plus VAT per mile will apply to schools that are beyond a 15 mile radius of TN21. 

*You may choose to cover 2 different time periods in a full day as a cost-effective way to teach different year groups on the same visit.

Don't forget we cover a whole range of historic periods from Stone Age to WW2. 


Contact us  today and also ask us to put together a special Bespoke History Day.  We have just done one called "The Plague and the Fire of London" and another focusing on "Thomas à Becket and Henry II".

We are based in Horam, near Eastbourne in East Sussex and typically work with schools across Sussex, Surrey and Kent.