On Friday 28th September, class 3 and 4 visited Dylan Thomas Theatre to see The White Feather which became our inspiration to learn so much more about WW1. The story of the brothers who died in Mametz Wood linked to the soldiers from Creunant who died there too.Following the visit, we linked up with a local historian who helped us learn about the 17 soldiers from Creunant who died in WW1 and begin the next stage in our learning journey.
To begin with we visited Pontardawe Arts Centre to make ceramic poppies, one for each soldier from Creunant who died during WW1. On Armistice Day, we presented the poppies to the church, sang for the congregation and took part in a beacon lighting ceremony.
Our visit to the museum after seeing the White Feather inspired us with a wide range of activities. We wrote newspaper reports on the origins of WW1; We looked at Morse code and how the soldiers communicated through the war; We even made circuits to try and recreate Morse code; We looked at the paintings from John and Paul Nash whilst becoming art critics and trying to recreate the paintings; We carried out scientific investigations on the impact of the bombs on the landscape and how it affected and destroyed the environment by using plasticine dropped into sand; In the play, both of the brothers died, so we used our knowledge of spreadsheets to work out how many people died in each of the battles and in total.
Our experience motivated us to write stories about the unknown soldier based on one of the 17 soldiers from Creunant who died in the war. We linked themes from the White Feather into our stories. For example, the lady couldn’t work in the ammunition’s factory however when the men went to war the women were allowed to work there. The theme of fear, cowardice, guilt and shame helped us to consider our emotions and the feelings of the characters in our stories. From the visit to the trench in Swansea museum we created descriptions on what life was like for the soldiers in the trenches. This has really helped us to improve our use of prepositions and sensory language.
One pupil was so inspired by the work that he went to visit Vimy Ridge in France and other places where battles had taken place. He then made a presentation to the class on all the places he had visited.
Our final piece of work was to present a play to parents based on everything we had learned. We wrote a script on the Christmas truce in 1914. We used elements of the White Feather and incorporated letters written to and from soldiers. We produced our own programmes and tickets and learned many World War 1 songs to sing throughout the concert. It was a great success.
(Shared writing by Class 4)