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SS Peter and Paul's RC Primary School, Dundee

P7 pupils from SS Peter and Paul's RC Primary School looking at war memorial images © SS Peter and Paul's RC Primary, 2018
Dundee Law war memorial, Angus © War Memorials Trust, 2017
  • County name: Angus
  • Group/School name: SS Peter and Paul's RC Primary School
  • Age group: 5 - 11
  • Group type: P7

In the lead up to Remembrance Day 2018, War Memorial’s Trust’s Learning Officer visited Scotland.  During the trip, a morning was spent at SS Peter and Paul’s RC Primary School in Dundee.  Our Learning Officer delivered two sessions, one to each of the P7 classes.  War Memorials Trust supported the pupils in understanding the significance of Remembrance Day this year as the centenary of the Armistice is commemorated and what war memorials are including why they are so closely linked to this important date.

Both sessions began by looking at the date 11th November and deciding why it was a special date.  Pupils were able to identify that it was Remembrance Day.  When questioned why Remembrance Day is on 11th November and the two minute silence at 11.00am, pupils were able to say that it was because the time and date were when World War I ended.  In addition pupils acknowledged that Remembrance Day this year falls exactly 100 years after World War I ended.

As many Remembrance services take place at war memorials, pupils were asked to create a definition for a war memorial.  They had images showing a range of war memorial types to support their discussions and to enable them to create a definition of a war memorial.  When sharing their definitions it was clear that pupils understood war memorials could take a range of forms including crosses, buildings, monuments, stained glass windows.  They also referenced that war memorials remembered significant wars and those who had lost their lives while fighting in them.

To further explain what war memorials are, pupils were shown a range of memorials from the Dundee area.  This included the First and Second War memorial on Law Hill (pictured) www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/130686.  Pupils can see this war memorial from their classroom windows because of its elevated position above the city.  The pupils were shown a digital copy of the programme from Saturday 16th May 1925, when the memorial was unveiled.  The programme detailed that discussions about creating a war memorial to remember the 4,000 men from Dundee who lost their lives in Great War first took place in a Public Meeting on 14th January 1919, just two months after the Armistice was signed.

Pupils then learned how many war memorials there are in the UK and when most of these created.  War memorial inscriptions helped to explain why communities created war memorials to remember the fallen.  The session ended with pupils considering some of the problems that war memorials are now facing.

It was great to work with the P7 pupils and to see their understanding of war memorials develop as the sessions progressed.  Next term the classes will be looking at the First and Second World Wars as part of their history topic.  The work with War Memorials Trust will provided an interesting starting point from which they can go on to find out even more about these global conflicts.

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