75th Anniversary of VE Day
The whole school took part in varied activities to mark this important milestone in the UK’s history.
Students carried out written assignments on a range of topics based on age group, including ‘what is VE Day and why we mark it’; The policies Britain fought against, key conflicts, bravery, and post-war Britain after VE Day; Invasion, occupation, resistance, and liberation; and the Blitz, rationing and bravery. As students moved between activities we recorded an amazing 837 students during the session, with 1,048 total views in total through the main portal with a further 92 accessing through alternative links with a smaller bandwidth.
We have decided to put our main content online in case any students were unable to attend on the day. KS3 can be found here, KS4 here, and KS5 here.
Thank you to Mr Clarke who created compelling content and written tasks, which were so very thought provoking and moving. Each year group saw a section of the interview with Captain Jude Terry OBE RN (see the separate article and full interview at ‘Students Interview Royal Navy Captain’) conducted by Safiah, Riyan, Dionne, Rohan and Billy as the Barnhill Young Reporters, selected and led by Mr Dixon, with support in rehearsing, parental consents and zoom production by Mr Gaskin.
Each Key Stage event had an introduction created by students. Under the guidance of Ms Wheeler, KS3 GAMA students Billy and Aarththy recited poems which can be seen here. For KS4, GAMA students Amy, Nabila, Zalma, Amareece and Najwa under the guidance of Ms Monteiro and Mr Clapham created their own video explaining VE Day and listed all of the fallen soldiers in the immediate area who did not return from war. It is an outstanding piece of work and can be found here. With heartfelt thanks to Mrs Fitzgerald, the 6th Form entry for a starter introduced us to poet Keith Douglas read by actor Noel Clarke, as we learnt Keith was lost in the war against resonant counterpoint scenes of VE celebrations in 1945. You can watch it here.
Mr Potts would like to thank all staff who led the individual lessons, and of course students who took part. You can find a selection of student reactions below:
I enjoyed how we took time from our normal lesson to learn about something this important which has changed Britain. I also found it interesting to learn about the past of the country we live in and how the people who have sacrificed their lives for our country will always be remembered but they are gone due to political issues. I also liked how we had VE day to remember all that had happened and to celebrate the victory of Britain which is also severely important.
I believe that learning about VE Day is very important because it makes us realise how lucky we all are. I loved the ideas of showing real images and videos of the impact on the towns and people lives because learning about VE Day is enjoyable but having real life footage is so amazing. I believe this video was very helpful because it gives everyone a better understanding of what happened in WW2. I also liked how the survivors had a say on what life was like for them and what they could remember, especially at their different ages. This is very helpful because it shows how strong people are. Learning about WW2 and VE Day and how it brought everyone closer is a great way or letting everyone know that we are lucky to live in this generation, although covid-19 is around and that we should always be grateful for life. This was a very important time that should definitely be respected and celebrated and this does exactly that. It shows life was very challenging back then and having improved since WW2, shows there is no excuse for not coming together and showing love and staying positive even through hard times.
I liked the fact that we could answer the questions while watching the video. It enriches our cultural and historical knowledge.
I really like it because it’s so very good for our knowledge. We got to learn about history getting culture and how the world suffered. We are getting more knowledge from it which is good.
I think that learning about VE day was very useful because I learned a lot of facts about what life was like during the war and it made me feel huge gratitude to the soldiers who fought and sacrificed their lives for their country, but also everyone else who contributed to the war effort. These people are often overlooked but I think they deserve recognition like the soldiers because they also worked incredibly hard during such a difficult time. I also think that learning about VE day was very interesting because it made me really appreciate how committed and brave the soldiers were. Hearing the experiences of veterans made me feel in awe and now I have a whole new view and level of respect for these soldiers and how they were so determined. I think it's very important to look back on how we have developed as a country and how we have gone through a lot as a nation and that we should be grateful for everything these amazing people have done which lets us live the lives we do today.