" Christmas Truce"


The Sele School Remembers

Between Monday 8th December and Friday 12th December KS3 students marked the centenary of the First World War.  One hundred years ago on Christmas Day, soldiers who had been fighting on the Western Front put down their weapons and greeted the enemy on No Man’s Land.  Here they shook hands, shared food and drink and exchanged symbolic gifts such as buttons and cigarettes.  In some areas they also played a game of football.  This is known as the Christmas Truce.   

Students spent the week learning about this event and other aspects of World War One in all of their lessons.  In English students examined Carol Ann Duffy’s Poem:  The Christmas Truce and looked at first-hand accounts written by Private Frederick W. Heath.  They gave this a modern twist by writing their own tweets about the truce.  The Maths department became the HQ for code breaking activities and students were given the challenge of cracking the codes intercepted during the First World War.  Science became the medic first aid station and students here learnt about different injuries that occurred in the First World War and how this affected the human body.  Students created their own field dressing kit and were presented with a wounded soldier whose injuries they had to treat using different types of bandages.

Other areas of the school also embraced the First World War theme.  In Art and Technology students were designing 3D poppies and war memorials.  They also created war posters using First World War poetry, photographs and music as their inspiration.  In food, students made yule logs decorated with messages to send to the soldiers who were fighting.   In the performing Arts department students created a dance to commemorate the First World War and wrote their own war songs.  They were also creating their own theatre pieces in Drama using the skill of cross cutting.  In ICT, filming took place of World War One poetry using auto cue and the green screen.  Students then edited this footage using serif movie plus x6 software to manipulate the background so it appeared like a news bulletin.

There was a lot of collaboration in the Humanities department between History and Geography. Students in their History lessons were using archive material and examining first-hand accounts of the Christmas Truce.  They were also using the website www.everymanremembered.org in order to commemorate the soldiers who fought.  They were then encouraged to research their own family members who participated in the war.  Students who found information about their family took this information to Mr Pickard in the Geography department who created a wall map of where these soldiers fought.  Students in Geography also created their own maps plotting which countries were involved and who fought on whose side.  In RE students were examining the moral issues connected to going to war.

A visit to the Modern Foreign Languages department would have found all lessons taking place in German during this week.  Students were learning key trench terminology in a language they had previously never studied.  They also learnt the song Silent Night (Stille Nacht) in German and were able to perform this.  Drama skills were also used here and the students were able to put on a brief sketch using the German that they had learnt.

The PE department encouraged the students to imagine what it was like to be on No Man’s land dodging the sniper’s bullets by teaching the students a Trench version of tag rugby.  They were also instrumental in bringing the Christmas Truce week to a close by staging the House Football tournament in order to remember that it was through this game that the soldiers connected with each other on No Man’s Land.

The Sele School Remembers week enabled students to gain a deeper understanding and insight into what the soldier’s faced in the First World War and why it is so important to remember the sacrifices these soldiers made.  I would like to thank all the students for the respect they showed during the lessons that took place.  In addition I would like to thank all the staff for their hard work in organising all the different activities.

Miss J. Wall

Interim Head of Humanities

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