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World War II

Embedding Culture and Creativity in the Curriculum

1st September 2009 - 28th February 2010

The project based on World War II linked with the MLA project “Their Past, Your Future” and aimed to provide Year 6 children with access to both cultural and creative opportunities, with the support of a range of cultural partners, that linked to their work during Literacy, Science, Geography, History, Art, ICT, Music, P.E., R.E. and PSHE. As part of the project, the Schools Library Service lent the school non-fiction and fiction texts about World War II and class sets of “The Boy in Striped Pyjamas” and “Goodnight Mr. Tom”.

In addition, a performance poet from Artists in Schools supported the children in writing war poems and a musician from Artists in Schools supported the children in using their poems to create their own wartime songs. Furthermore, Activ8 arranged for the class to watch the production of “Dancing in my dreams” at the Octagon theatre in Bolton and The Phoenix arranged for the children to meet the author of the play.

Moreover, the class visited the Imperial War Museum to find out information about World War II and they visited Bolton History Centre where they had the opportunity to handle World War II artefacts, learn how to build shelters and read newspapers from the war. The children also carried out research. In addition, Bolton Museum delivered a WWII workshop session to the class, Artists in Schools visited the school in order to support the children in exploring the sinking of the Arandora Star and Bolton Library arranged for a World war II veteran to visit the school to talk about his experiences in World War II. The Museum and local libraries have exhibited the children’s work and a booklet and DVD have been produced for all schools in Bolton to document the project.

UCORLA case study St Mary's Year 6l.pdf

Watch the short film below which shows the work and activities young people created as part of the 'Positive Futures' project.  The project gave children and adults the opportunity to learn about World War Two and how it afftected Bolton.

  • The children were given the opportunity to evaluate the effect that the project had on their learning. The following comments represent the children’s views.

    “I most enjoyed writing and performing the poems. We learned a lot and we put our knowledge into the poems. I really enjoyed all the people coming in and working with us”

    “I have enjoyed really everything but the best part was probably Norman because we had great fun and learned a lot about the war.”

    “I enjoyed working with Norman, the poet, because he was funny and his poems brought the effect of war alive.”


    “I enjoyed learning about the war in Horwich and making our war games and a full day with a lady from the museum learning more about war”.

    “I enjoyed working with Steve and bringing our poems to life with instruments.”

The teacher expressed that the children had thoroughly enjoyed the topic, which resulted in a desire to learn. Thus, the children, with the support from the various cultural organisations have been totally immersed in their learning and were enthusiastic, confident and willing to participate in all the lessons.

She stated that the children had made progress in writing because they were able to draw upon so many experiences. The teacher added that the writing of lower ability children, particularly the boys, had improved due to the knowledge they had acquired during the workshops delivered by the cultural organisations. The teacher also stated that she had a greater awareness of the cultural and creative opportunities provided by the cultural partners.

She added that the children responded very well to the wide range of cultural experiences they had received as part of the project. The visit to the theatre was one of the highlights of the project as it demonstrated to the children that they could access culture outside the classroom.