Making Remembrance Memorable for our Junior School Children
If we are to produce well-rounded young people who will contribute positively to those around them now and in later life, it is essential that, as they mature, each child comes to appreciate their role in society – their responsibility for self and for others; that they are a vital and impactful part of the support system on which all those around them rely.
How can we at school help children appreciate the role they play in the care of others?
- Promote responsibility for a widening circle: for self, for classmates, for fellow pupils and staff, for Castle Street, for residents of Hereford, and then beyond.
- Promote an appreciation of one’s reliance on others – that none of us is an island.
The forthcoming time of Remembrance provides an opportunity for the children to further their understanding of our debt and reliance on others. But of course, we don’t want to overplay this – lest the children become over-burdened or immune to the message.
So, as a staff we have been discussing, at this time when the country as a whole remembers all those who have fallen in conflicts, how can we help the children appreciate the sacrifice of those who fell and the loss of their families without this appreciation turning into a burden?
Of course the best plans are often borrowed and adapted…here’s ours!
• Our pupils will between them decorate 435 rocks – each one attributed specifically to one of the 435 Old Herefordians who fought in World War 1.
• After an assembly lead by Father Matthew, the pupils will take their rocks home to be distributed around the county.
• We will simultaneously launch a media campaign to tell the county of our project and to urge the residents of Herefordshire to help us “Bring our boys home”.
• Meanwhile, in lessons and assemblies, the children will learn something of the 435 Old Herefordians who fought, including of course the 75 who fell.
• Some of the rocks will be delivered back to school and sit at the feet of a soldier silhouette. Others, much like our fallen, will not be returned.
• Those rocks returned, and of course those rocks lost, will form a focus during our Junior School Act of Remembrance in November.
We hope that the children and indeed our whole school community will enjoy taking part; and that we will all grow in our appreciation of how it must have been for those who waved their children off to war and waited at home for their return.
Thank you for reading, and do please feel free to comment below.
Chris Wright, Head of the Junior School, September 2018
Poppy Rocks Project
The project marks the centenary of the First World War in a unique and poignant way by attributing rocks to all 435 Herefordians that fought in the war.
It’s been an absolute pleasure supporting Hereford Cathedral Junior School to say ‘Thank You’.
What a wonderful way to get the children to understand.
My daughter picked up a rock commemorating a soldier with our rare surname. This has set in train an ambitious genealogy project - thankyou!