In partnership with The Royal British Legion, and with the support of some fantastic authors and poets, we have launched a range of teaching resources for children in Key Stages 1-4, designed to help them explore their shared heritage of Remembrance and understand its relevance to today.
In a year where the nation marked 75 years since Victory in Europe, Victory over Japan and 70 years since the beginning of the war in Korea, the Legion is also encouraging people to recognise the contribution of a new generation of Armed Forces who have responded alongside essential workers on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19.
These new resources are designed to help children find similarities between these modern day challenges and the Second World War generation, highlighting the meaning of Remembrance in today’s world.
The resources, available for primary and secondary teachers to download for free, include:
- Assemblies: Explore and understand what Remembrance has meant and continues to mean to us in 2020. These assemblies will support children in understanding the relevance of Remembrance in their lives and encourage them to find their own ways to observe it.
- Bitesize activities: A series of quick, meaningful activities which relate to both Remembrance as a whole and through a ‘then and now’ lens.
- Book Club: Explore Remembrance and themes of ‘then and now’ through a popular fiction text, Now or Never by Bali Rai, which was shortlisted for the 2020 Little Rebels Award. The resources are tailored to each key stage and include veteran interview films and input from the author himself.
- Creative writing whole school resources: Pupils can engage with Remembrance as they experience and create their own fiction texts. Extracts of Tomorrow Today by Leila Rasheed and Bali Rai’s A Sense of Home, both from Home Again: Stories About Coming Home from War (Scholastic / The Royal British Legion) feature in this assembly as well as the poem I Am Brave by Laura Mucha. Author top tips and veteran interview films will encourage children to create their own written responses to past and present events.
- Art exhibition: This resource is designed to help pupils explore, understand and express feelings about Remembrance in this unique year through creativity. By engaging with a range of stimulus such as painting, sculpture and music, children will explore the relationship between the experiences of children ‘then and now’.
This year, the service and sacrifice of frontline workers is more relevant than ever before and taking a moment to pause and think about the people who work and volunteer to look after us seems especially important. As such, and as we also mark 75 years since VE Day, we have created a variety of resources for schools that tell the stories of the Second World War and offer a range of creative ways for pupils to explore Remembrance. Whether it’s taking part in our book club focused on ‘Now or Never’ by Bali Rai, creating a whole school Remembrance radio programme or creating your own work of art as an act of Remembrance, there really is something for everyone.Fay Lant, Senior Programme Manager at the National Literacy Trust
Resources can be downloaded for free from the Legion’s new online hub: rbl.org.uk/teachingremembrance.