On Thursday 14th September Years 5 and 6 took part in an amazing World War I activity day! Mike was our guide for the day, and he arrived in full uniform. He began by explaining to the children the build-up to WWI, helping them to understand events leading up to the war and the countries involved. This was followed by a quiz where children used information boards to collect facts about the war and conditions in the war.
Next, children were really excited to be able to handle WWI army artefacts, trying on army uniforms and handling (with supervision) a gun, grenades, a machine gun and bullets!
They experienced the of smell mustard gas (not the poisonous variety!) and some of them tried to get their gas masks on before the 7 second deadline when the deadly gas would kill you! Before gas masks were invented, they learnt that soldiers would wee onto their handkerchiefs, as the ammonia in the wee would protect them from the deadly gas! Most children thought this was fairly gross, but agreed it was better than dying!
In the afternoon they took part in army drills. They used hockey sticks, just as soldiers had at the time, as all the real guns were being used in fighting. They had to listen carefully to the instructions from the sergeant major. Then Pip was an invalid who was carefully lifted in an army stretcher. Once the stretcher was free, everyone had a chance to do a timed stretcher race which was such fun! Mike's team won, which some people thought was suspicious!
Finally, Mike recreated "No Man's Land" with imitation barbed wire and everyone had a chance to try to get to the other side without making a noise, which was very tricky. It was such an exciting, interesting and interactive day and a fantastic way to understand more about the experiences of soldiers in WWI.