In the Trenches
This half term, we focused our work around World War 1. There were many exciting opportunities to develop a deep understanding of life in Britain around the time of the Great War. We looked at the biographies of well-known soldiers, read and performed poems written by soldiers and experienced what it was like to be a soldier in the British Army. The children also created timelines of key events and learned new vocabulary linked to World War One: trench, warfare, soldier, signature, The Great War, conscription, tank, queue, foreign language, priviliege, neighbour.
Imagining World War One through Art
The children developed their understanding of imagery through water colour, exploring colour mixing and blending for effect to create a piece of art centred around the events that took place in No-Man's-Land.
During our time studying the Great War, we read and analysed war poetry by John McCrae and Wilfred Owen's famous poem, 'Dulce et Decorum Est'. We tried to understand the horrors and experiences of those that fought during World War 1. Have a look at the poem below; it is a fascinating but harrowing account of life in the trenches on the front line.
Dulce et Decorum Est
BY WILFRED OWEN
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
We continued revising basic skills throughout this half term during mathematics sessions. Applying these skills through problem solving activities has helped us develop our understanding of basic principles of mathematics.