Artefacts collection brings taste of the trenches to school
A story of one soldier’s experience in the trenches of the First World Ward made for a compelling lesson for Year 8 History students at The Radclyffe School. The students got an insight into life in the trenches, wearing real uniforms and seeing authentic weapons and equipment from the ‘Western Front’.
To aid their learning about the war, history teacher-turned presenter Jason King brought his collection of artefacts to school. The hands on session enabled students to try on the uniforms of infantry who fought in the trenches and be put through their paces learning army drill from 1914.
Mr King uses the objects to tell the stories of a range of characters from the war. The students were encouraged to ask questions about what they see to help them discover more about the characters’ lives.
The themed collections introduce the experience of a new underage recruit, as well as illustrating women and girls’ activities on the home front, and the differences between soldiers from various countries. From the outbreak of war through varied events, Jason tells individuals’ stories in an engaging way. Amongst the fascinating items in his collection are telegrams, postcards, small armaments, helmets, musical instruments and other equipment.
This term the students are studying the causes and effects of the First World War. Teacher of History Amanda Jacob said, “Handling such a fascinating collection is a superb way to learn. As we move through the centenary of the war, experiencing this collection is all the more helpful for our students. As they ask their own questions about the items they are developing really strong skills as historians.”