History KS1 / KS2: K is for Keep The Home Fires Burning

Newsreel and commentary about the role of patriotic songs in World War One.

School children practise singing the 1914 number ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’, with music by Ivor Novello and lyrics by Lena Guilbert Ford.

A dramatic monologue set in the late 1930s introduces Ivor Novello, who tells us how his famous song came to be written.

Britain is on the brink of another war and Novello wonders if his song will be sung once again.

This clip is from the series WW1 A to Z.

Teacher Notes

Key Stage 1

Pupils could learn the words of ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’ and sing along to a recording or with piano accompaniment.

You could take individual lines and ask the children what they think they mean. How does the song make the children feel?

Key Stage 2

Pupils could find out more about other patriotic songs of the war years, from books and websites.

The children could compile a wartime songbook, grouping the songs in sections, according to their subject or purpose.

The children might have a section of recruitment or home-coming songs, for instance.

They could practise singing a selection of songs and vote for their top ten favourites.

Curriculum Notes

This clip is relevant for teaching History at primary school ages for Key Stages 1 and 2, or First and Second Level.

More from the series WW1 A to Z

J is for Jutland Jack
L is for Lusitania
M is for Medicine