History KS2: VE Day

This short film explains what VE Day and VJ Day were, and the events that led to the end of the war.

An eye-witness called Alan, who was a child at the time, recalls seeing the celebrations in London as he went on his paper round, and his bittersweet reaction, having lost his mother during the war.

The ‘Did You Know’ section talks about the years following the war, and how rationing continued until 1954.

Created in partnership with Imperial War Museums.


Teacher Notes

If your class has watched all ten episodes, they could celebrate the end of the unit by organising a 1940's style street party.

They could use their maths skills to work out a budget, DT skills (cooking and nutrition) to prepare some food, and play or dance to 1940s music.

Additional fact for class:

  • At the end of the war, there was an expectation that the important roles women played during the war were only temporary. The number of working women gradually declined to pre-war levels, while married women were barred from working in many jobs. Women were also restricted to supporting roles in the military and could no longer fly aircraft or command ships. However, over the course of the next 20 years, this continued inequality, despite the vital role that woman had played during the war, helped to inspire the Feminist movements in the 60s and 70s.
Stewart MacPherson on microphone meets the people for Victory Report, 8 May 1945.

Curriculum Notes

Suitable for teaching history at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 2nd Level in Scotland.

This short film could also be incorporated into different subjects as part of a cross-curricular lesson, especiallt when teaching:

  • Maths
  • Design and Technology
  • Physical Education
  • Music

More from World War Two:

Britain declares war on Germany
Rationing in the UK
Geography of World War Two
How propaganda was used during World War Two
The Blitz
The Battle of Britain and beyond
Machines of the military
Codebreaking during World War Two