Opal Coast Trip

Dear Parent/Carer

As you are no doubt aware 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.  As a result, there are several activities in school which reflect the learning opportunities that this anniversary presents us with.  One of these is the extension of the Year 7 Opal Coast Visit to include a First World War Study Day.  This day will include visits to the following:

·         Tyne Cot Memorial, Cemetery and Museum

·         The Hooge Crater

·         Sanctuary Wood trench complex and visitor centre

·         The Menin Gate (include participation in the nightly Last Post memorial service).

The Language and History Departments are in the process of designing a joint Scheme of Work which will be taught to all Year 7 students in the two weeks before the study visit.  The aim is to enable those students going on the trip to fully appreciate the activities that they are undertaking and for those students not going on the trip to have a complete understanding of life during the First World War.  At this early stage of planning, our focus will be an attempt to personalise the experience in so far as we are sure that most of the students will have a relative (albeit a Great, Great Grandparent, Uncle or Aunt, etc.) who was involved in some way.

Therefore, we are setting an extended Independent Learning Task, where we are asking students to research family member involvement during The Great War.  This may take the form of simple stories, family trees, birth, death, and marriage certificates, photographs, letters, and any other mementos.  (Needless to say, any original documentation will be extremely valuable to you and your families, so please only send in copies!).  We would ask that all information be collated and handed into either Miss Adams (History) or Mr Woodhead (Languages) by Friday 25 April.  This information can be presented as a mini project, PowerPoint presentation or poster.  Please be aware that we will be looking to share some of this information with the whole of the year group – what could be a more fitting and appropriate way of paying our respects and expressing our gratitude than finding a war grave or name on a memorial of a relative of one of our group?

Should information about a family member not be available, students could consider neighbours, friends, or any other local individuals that there may be information about.  For example, the renowned war poet Ivor Gurney was a Gloucestershire man.

Equally, we know that our students learn best through first-hand experience.  If you have any relatives or friends who have mementos or stories and would be prepared to come and speak to our students then please contact us.  Should you have any queries with this, please feel free to email myself j.woodhead@denemagna.gloucs.sch.uk or lynne.adams@denemagna.gloucs.sch.uk.

We look forward to seeing some fantastic pieces of research!

Yours sincerely

Jonathon Woodhead (Languages) and Lynne Adams (History)