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Keep Calm and Carry on Learning!

Year 11 students studying Spies in English lessons had the opportunity to experience what life might have been like for the book’s characters. The novel, by Michael Frayn, is told through the eyes of a boy living in London during World War II.  To help them understand more about this time period, the Year 11s spent the lesson playing the roles of 1940s Britons.

On arrival at the lesson, each student was given a new identity as either the mother, father or child in a family unit (along with a quintessentially British name like Jones, Smith or Brown!) before sitting with their family to listen to the wireless and hearing Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s broadcast declaring that Britain “is at war with Germany”.

Throughout the lesson, our wartime 'families' had to complete a quiz testing their WW2 knowledge and take part in a range of essential tasks to help with the war effort, including: blacking out the classroom; building an Anderson Shelter (and sheltering in it when the air-raid siren went off!); making sure they had their gas masks with them at all times; planning their food rations; deciphering the messages of wartime propaganda posters; and most importantly, identifying the enemy spies among them! The mothers, fathers and children also had individual tasks to complete such as writing letters home from evacuation or military postings and making a paper birthday cake for when rations were too short to bake a real one.

It was a relief when VE Day arrived at lunchtime!

Keep Calm and Carry on Learning!


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