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Alderley Edge School for Girls, Cheshire

Alderley Edge war memorial, Cheshire © Michael P Coyle, 2013
Styal war memorial, Cheshire © Peter Clarke, 2011
Names on Styal war memorial, Cheshire © Peter Clarke, 2011
  • County name: Cheshire
  • Group/School name: Alderley Edge School for Girls
  • Age group: 11 - 18
  • Group type:

War Memorials Trust’s Learning Officer was invited to Alderley Edge School for Girls in June 2014 to run several workshops on war memorial designs as part of a whole day of events and activities the school had organised to help pupils understand and participate in the forthcoming commemorations of the centenary of the First World War.

The day started with an assembly to the whole school that gave pupils an overview of some key facts about the First World War. Pupils then spent the day participating in a series of workshops run by teachers and outside organisations, including members of the Armed Forces, the local WI and War Memorials Trust. The Trust’s Learning Officer worked with three classes, each consisting of pupils from Years 7 to 13 working in teams. During the workshops the groups learned about different war memorial designs and the meaning behind some of these, using resources from the Trust’s learning website. Having learned about how our war memorials were designed and created, each team was set the challenge of creating a design board for a new memorial, incorporating their own ideas for a memorial to a group of their choosing. The designs were entered into a school competition and judged in three categories: best overall design, most innovative and best teamwork.

The results of this challenge were impressive, and it was a real struggle to choose between them when judging the competition! Many groups were inspired by memorials such as the Animals in War memorial to develop a design for a memorial to groups that have not, historically, received widespread recognition. Others chose to focus on their local area or a specific branch of the Armed Forces and incorporated suitable images and inscriptions into their memorial design. Other groups focused on the idea of promoting peace through their designs, with one particularly thoughtful design depicting those who fought on both sides during the First World War.

At the end of the day a further assembly was held to reflect on the learning that had taken place during the workshops that had taken place throughout the school, and to celebrate the achievements of some of the classes. The day gave pupils an opportunity to learn about a number of different aspects of the First World War, including war memorials, and will have prepared them well to participate in the centenary commemorations.

Lesson plans and resources for a lesson on war memorial designs can be downloaded from the Primary and Secondary areas of this website.

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