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Experiencing the Trenches


To commemorate the centenary of the start of First World War Pipers Corner School has embarked on an ambitious project to bring life in the trenches to Great Kingshill. A section of trench has been constructed in the school hall to provide a taste of what life would have been like for the soldiers who fought 100 years ago.

Involving pupils from Pre-Prep to Upper Sixth this initiative has provided the girls with a unique opportunity to learn about the Great War in a really special way.

On Tuesday 4 November the whole school took part in Trench Day where activities included the opportunity to take part in a living history workshop led by Ashley Clark of Anglia tours who regularly leads tours of First World War battlefields. Ashleys grandfather served on the Western Front along with his six brothers. Ashley talked to the girls about why and how the war started and using a variety of artefacts described the process of trench warfare. The girls also generally contributed to the construction of the trench by painting boards, filling sand bags and making their own recruitment posters.

In front of the trench the girls have created their very own field of remembrance with each member of the school community making and planting their own poppy in the field. The poppies each represent either a family member from the War or a member of the community where a girls lives. The poppy field will be used as a focal point on Tuesday 11 November for the Schools Remembrance service.

For the next two weeks the trench will be used for lessons allowing the teaching staff to use the resource to educate and inspire the girls at this poignant time of year.

The School would like to share the project with the wider community and the trench will be open to members of the public to visit. For more information please call the Main School Office on 01494 718255.

Headmistress, Mrs Helen Ness-Gifford, said The creation of the War One Trench has been a huge undertaking for everyone involved, but thoroughly worthwhile. Having the opportunity to inspire and educate our girls by bringing history to life in such a special way has been hugely beneficial. As we commemorate the Centenary of the start of the First World War, as a school we wanted to do something a little bit different and we look forward to making the most of this impressive resource for teaching and learning over the next few weeks.
Published: November 7 2014

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