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World War Two

Interactive History School Visits, Workshops and Learning Activities

Let us bring the WOW factor into your classrooms with our fun and informative Second 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. What was life like for the families left at home? 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 Second World War

In 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, Britain and France declared war on Germany.  In 1940 the German Blitzkrieg over ran Belgium and France and the British forces had to retreat across the Channel from Dunkirk.  France surrendered and Italy joined the war on the German side.  Fighting started in The Middle East and The Balkans whilst the Germans prepared to invade Britain.  The Battle of Britain and the subsequent Blitz made life for the civilians very tough.  The submarine attacks on ships produced shortages and forced rationing on the whole population.  In 1941 Germany attached Russia. It was not until 1942 when the Americans joined the war following the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbour that our country was in a position to begin planning for the final victory.  In 1944 with the D-Day landings the allies began the European offensive which ended with the advancing Russian forces meeting with our troops in the middle of Germany. 

 

"My favourite part was dressing up as a soldier. The hat was so heavy! It was fantastic"

- Student

 

Artefacts for Workshops

– both original items and ones we have made ourselves.

For our Second 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, American 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 issued to everybody in Britain, including babies, and a gas rattle and air raid siren for sounding the alarm.  A set of templates for your students to use to cut out card gas masks to make for themselves.  
  • Artefacts, photographs and other memorabilia from WW2 including personal family photographs of our parents and their friends.
  • A set of WW2 rations and a set of modern army rations for comparison.  A ration chart for a week’s ration for mum at home to feed the family with examples of the amounts of food that she could get using her ration book.
  • Uniforms and clothing for the family at war with RAF, Navy, WRVS, Women’s Land Army and Home Guard.
  • All the signalling apparatus for signalling by flag or Morse code with modern signalling torches and flag sets.

 

 

Activities Agenda

During a Second World War history workshop your class will:

 

  • See their teachers dressed up as part of an introduction to WW2.  They will be a family at war with Dad in the Home Guard, Mum in WRVS, a daughter in the Women’s Land Army and one son in the army and other in the RAF.  With our original photographs and artefacts we can show how our own parents lived through these tough times.
  • Try on our small sized British soldiers’ jackets, webbing sets and helmets.  A great opportunity for the school camera.
  • 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 could have been used in an air raid?  Listen to how loud the gas rattle and air raid siren are and using our templates everybody can make their own gas masks and get ready for a practice gas attack and air raid!  With all that noise and confusion can you get your gas mask on in time and get under cover?
  • Compare WW2 rations with those of a modern soldier.  Which do you think is best?  The hard tack biscuits hard and tasteless, but now is your chance to try making your own with our recipe and equipment to bake later in the school oven.  Look at our ration cards and work out, using our food samples, how much food mum can get for the week to feed the family.  What would you miss most and what would be your favourite war time meal? 
  • Try your hand at signalling the WW2 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?
  • The Allies and the Enemy.  Dressing teachers as a British soldier ready for combat at D-Day in 1944 and as his American and Russian ally and German enemy.  See how different nations dressed and equipped their soldiers.
  • A handling session of all the helmets, uniforms, weapons and equipment that everyone will have seen during the day.
  • Learn simple drill.  As a class, can you stand to attention and stand at ease on command and can you march smartly on the parade ground?  Why is it important to learn to march together and obey orders quickly?
  • Experience children’s lives during the war.  Students getting ready to be evacuated.  Make sure mum and dad have packed a spare set of clothes and underwear for you to bring to school and then write out the label with your name and address and school address ready to attach to your coat before you are marched out to catch the train to the countryside.  Don’t forget your gasmask!  What one special thing would you want to take with you?
  • 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) - £375+ 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.