Commemoration - Secondary

The Cenotaph

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This assembly on the theme of Commemoration aims to focus awareness on the 2014 centenary of World War One.

It gives students the opportunity to think about the impact of the war on world history and particularly on the UK. The assembly materials explore the reasons why remembrance and commemoration have become part of national life not just in this country but around the world. The resources include a script for teachers, along with classroom ideas and suggestions for further research. There are online resources too, including image galleries, video clips and audio clips.

This assembly looks at why and how we remember World War One. It explores the ways in which we hold the past in memory through symbols and ceremonies, such as Remembrance Sunday, the two-minute silence, war cemeteries, war memorials and the wearing of poppies. The assembly encourages the whole school community to think about the experiences of the men, women and children who lived through World War One and later conflicts. Students are asked to consider how learning about past wars can shape our attitude to present conflicts.

The assembly starts off by discussing what 'commemoration' means. Online image galleries are available for further illustration. Students are asked what they think 'commemoration' means, why we have war memorials and dedicated war cemeteries and why people wear poppies on Remembrance Day. The following video clip illustrates commemoration in action at the Cenotaph in London and in other countries. Teachers may wish to widen the discussion, to talk about how we commemorate other events in our family lives (such as birthdays, anniversaries and funerals).

The assembly offers an introduction to study topics in history, English, RE, PSHE and citizenship.

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