The aim of history teaching here at Sutton Manor Primary School is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach children chronologically and through this, they develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. The children will develop an understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Our aim is to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Our teaching aims to equip with tools to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. This will help our children to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.and enable them to 'think as a historian'.
Each year we focus on our local history, which includes the history of our local colliery. Our heritage is of high importance to us and provides us with the knowledge about Sutton Manor and St Helens. In Autumn 2019 we commemorated the 10th anniversay of the Dream sculpture and its significance to Sutton Manor, linking it closely to the geography of our local area.
A highlight of last academic year was our WW1 Theme Week in November, that involved children, parents, governors asdn the community. Read all about it below.....
The 11 November is called Remembrance Day but it took greater significance in 2018 in that it marked the 100th anniversary of the day that World War I ended in 1918.
The teachers and children of Sutton Manor Community Primary School took the opportunity alongside schools from all over the UK to commemorate not only the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1 and honour the memory of the many soldiers who gave their lives in battle for their country but also to understand more of the life of that time.
Children were particularly impacted by the war through disruption to home life and to schooling, absent parents, and deaths of family and family friends. Children of our time in our school embraced the recent opportunity to learn about those times.
Our school commemorations started on 8 November 2018 and ended on 20 November 2018. Our pupils learned and delivered much leading up to and during our commemoration events.
A WW1 remembrance memorial service was held at St Michael’s Church, Gartons Lane, Sutton on the morning of 8 November 2018. All years of the school took part. The children shared a short film clip from BBC archives followed by year 6 sharing wartime memories from soldier stories. The children led the singing of We Will Remember and then children from all years told us about a soldier from the St Helens WW1 Roll of Honour with whom they shared the same surname.
The children shared the story of the poppy and then each class laid their own class made wreaths at the altar followed by a minute’s silence. The vicar of St Michael’s, Simon Moore, gave a touching eulogy and we signed off the memorial service with everyone joining the children in a couple of popular songs of the day, ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ and ‘Pack up your troubles’.
The week of the 12 November was littered with many scheduled learning events and activities for each class including; making an outdoor poppy garden; who do we say thank you to and why; making wreaths; German perceptions of the war; countries involved in WW1; commonwealth country soldiers involved in WW1; soldiers uniforms; the trenches; St Helens Pals volunteers; the role animals played in the war; the role of women; munitions workers in St Helens; writing a diary extract and a letter from the trenches in the first person imaging they are a soldier.
The day of Wednesday 14th November 2018 was of great interest as an actress, Helen Jackson, joined us for the day in the guise of Lizzie Mayne, a fictional character created from primary sources. Lizzie Mayne had mixed feelings about the War. As a widow, it provided her with a valuable income as a munitions worker - but as a mother, she feared for her son as he served in the trenches. So, like many if her friends and neighbours, she lived in constant fear of "the telegram".
From 9.00 - 9.30 there was a whole-school assembly, at which Lizzie introduced herself and answered a few questions. During the day Lizzie carried out workshops with all classes during which the children were given opportunities to act in scenarios.
On Friday 16th November 2018 to give the children a flavour of what rationing was like our cook made shortbread biscuits for each class. The children were issued with a ration book/ticket to enable them to go to the canteen in the morning and get a packet of biscuits wrapped in greaseproof paper & string!.
Children were given the opportunity to have time dressed in WW1 clothes during our schedule of events but perhaps the highlight of our commemorations was the one that closed our schedule.
The final two days of events started on Monday 19 November when the hard work of the children featured in a pop-up museum displayed in the school hall. Each class had a display showcasing their research, pictures, models of battle fields, diary extracts, handmade poppies and stories.
Tuesday 20 November was planned as a community event especially for the senior citizens of the Sutton Manor community. Our school hall was packed to the rafters with all invited 65 senior citizens attending to an afternoon of tea and cakes plus singing for them led by year 6. This included an opportunity to join in some WW1 songs together with the chance to view the superb work of our children in the pop-up museum. The sale of cakes raised the fantastic total of £233 for the Royal British Legion. This was a great outcome to bring to a glorious end the learning and dedicated work of our teaching staff and children; there was much praise for the wonderful community event from our senior citizens who have all been invited back to enjoy our Christmas celebrations.
Ernie Benbow, Chair, Sutton Manor Community Primary School