Children will be met by a Recruitment Sergeant, who will put them through their marching paces. He will inform them that a note has been found from a 15 year old boy who has gone to war.
It is up to the pupils to investigate, visiting characters around the pit community to ask questions to find out what has happened, discover different attitudes towards the war and consider what may have driven him to enlist as an underage soldier in 1914.
During the session the group will be asked to split into five or six groups to move around the pit village. School staff need to play an active role in supervising these groups.
The activity aims to:
- Enable young people to explore the push and pull factors which resulted in men signing up to voluntarily fight in the Great War, including underage men.
- Encourage a greater understanding of the impact of the Great War upon the Home Front.
- Empathise with real life identities in 1914
- Develop debate and thinking skills.
During the session students will:
- Explore themes such as recruitment, patriotism, propaganda, peer pressure through PAL’s battalions, job and educational opportunities in 1914, cowardice.
- Determine whether Joseph made the right decision by deciding to enlist in 1914 as well as debate as to what was the main driving factor behind this decision.
Target Age: Key Stage 2 & Key Stage 3
Duration: 60 mins
Group size: Full class
Season: All year round