School leading the way in Great War learning

As the education gets involved in the impending centenary of the outbreak of the First World War in 2014, the Tynemouth project has already formed a multi-faceted partnership with Norham High School.

This will ensure that pupils from one of the parts of the borough which suffered the heaviest losses in the war will gain a full understanding of the impact on the community in which they live today.

From initial contacts in the summer term of 2012-13, the project has been looking to help the school’s teaching staff to prepare a fully-rounded programme of work which will be built into a week of the current school term.

This will immerse more than 400 pupils in the story of the war through all elements of the school curriculum.

It will examine the history, art, literature and music of the war as well as the physical aspects of the conflict.

With an external specialist art practitioner who has already done some exciting work with pupils at Riverside Primary School in North Shields, and members of a ‘military re-enactment’ group – Time Bandits – coming into the school, pupils will be able to learn about many aspects of the conflict both at home and on the front line.

Everything from food in the trenches to handling military equipment and acting out daily routines will be combined to present a realistic and thoughtful series of class-based sessions but in an informal structure.

Some pupils will have the opportunity to work on the design of an interpretation board to tell the story of a number of the 65 men of Preston (Ritson’s) colliery killed in the war and who have a memorial in Preston cemetery; shortly to be restored by North Tyneside Council as part of its commitment to ensuring that all the borough’s public war memorials are in as a good a condition as possible for the forthcoming centenary period.

The project hopes that the board to be researched and designed by the pupils will – subject to funding – be manufactured and installed in time for the 90th anniversary of the unveiling of the memorial in June 1924.

Anyone with information on anyone killed or died as a result of the war is asked to contact the project.

The project workroom at Room B9, Linskill Community Centre, Trevor Terrace, North Shields, is open from 10am to 4pm each weekday for visitors and for anyone interested to learn more about the project or how to get involved.

Due to unprecedented demand the project has transferred its lectures from the Northumbria University Sutherland Building in Northumberland Road, to the City Campus East site – Room 002, New Bridge Street, Newcastle, opposite the Manors Metro station.

The inaugural lecture to be given by Professor Sir Hew Strachan on Wednesday, October 9, is fully subscribed.

Places are still available for the further seven beginning on November 13, at 6pm, with Dr Martin Pugh, who will speak on the role of women in the war.

If you have already registered for the lecture to be given by Prof Strachan you will receive a confirmation e-mail regarding the change of venue.