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PSHCE/English - Remembrance

Remembrance Day 2020


At 10:30, I would like you to watch BBC1, 'The Unknown Soldier'. Please watch this programme until the two minute silence has finished just after 11:00. 

Today is a special day across the whole United Kingdom. To mark this, as you know, Mrs Davison and her sister-in-law are completing a sponsored walk from her house in Bury to our school - a total distance of 34km. She is raising money for the Royal British Legion and has currently raised £885!
Mrs Davision is going to keep us updated on her progress throughout the day and send us photographs of her journey. She will be leaving the Remembrance wreaths and other artwork that classes have created at the different cenotaphs that she visits along the way. If you are learning from home, Mr Grimshaw will upload some of these pictures via emails on Purple Mash. Look out for these!

But why do we have Remembrance Day, every year, on November 11th?


Please have a look at the following Powerpoint and slides.

Wednesday 11th November

LC: To analyse a war poem to develop understanding


Below is the poem that you read on the slides - 'In Flanders Fields' by John McCrae. Below the poem, I have written a short commentary of my understanding of the poem. In order to do this successfully, I needed to use specific reading strategies:


  • Close reading - I read parts of the poem closely/carefully so that I could gather a good understanding of what it is about.
  • Reading around unfamiliar vocabulary - I looked at the words that I was unsure of and then looked at the words that are around it. This can help me to find clues to work out what the unfamiliar word might mean. I then checked with synonyms (words with a similar meaning) by replacing them with the unknown word.
  • Context clues - Are there any clues in the overall context of the poem - War - particularly WWI.

In Flanders Fields




In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

    That mark our place; and in the sky

    The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.


We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

        In Flanders fields.


Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

    The torch; be yours to hold it high.

    If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

        In Flanders fields.



In Flanders Fields


I think that the first verse talks about the dead soldiers of World War One. The crosses symbolise the places where they were killed during battle. There are birds (larks) flying overhead but you can't hear them because of the relentless sound of the guns. 


The second verse discusses the voice of the dead soldiers. It talks about them having families and experiencing life generally, such as watching the sunset before they were killed.


The final verse explains that the soldiers have given their lives so that the rest of us can be free. Their success in defeating the enemy is the 'torch' that we should hold high and never forget them.  

Your Turn

Here is another famous war poem, written by Wilfred Owen during the time of World War One. He was a famous poet and soldier during the time of The Great War (WWI). 


Read the poem carefully and try to understand the messages within it.


Dulce et Decorum Est 




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.


You now need to go to Purple Mash and open the blank template - dated today. After you have read Dulce et Decorum Est, I would like you to send me a short commentary of what it is about (just like I did with In Flanders Fields). You can split this into sections (the verses) and write, in your own words, what you think it means.