Year Six pupils at Warlingham Village School had a living history lesson recently when they stepped back in time to the end of World War Two to produce their own newspapers to mark VE Day – and then sell them
The scheme saw pupils divided into five groups, who each had to devise, fill, print and sell their own historic publication to raise money for the slightly more contemporary end-of-year leavers’ celebrations in the summer.
Teacher – and the school’s Minister of Current Affairs – Mark Tinsley was the person who came up with the idea, and he said although it was grounded in a history lesson, the project had far more aspects and angles to it than just that.
“I gave them certain guidelines on what kind of things I wanted to see in the paper, but how they did it was up to them,” he explained. “Each group had to sort out the different roles amongst themselves, and once they’d produced them, they had to decide how they would sell them, and for how much. Even things like how many copies to print had to be discussed, because the more copies there were, the more money they could make, but of course that would also incur more costs.”
The World War Two project was something that really caught the imagination of pupils at Warlingham Village Primary, which is a member of the GLF Schools group, a rapidly-expanding Surrey-based multi-academy trust which now runs over a dozen schools across four counties, based on a system of collaborative learning.
“Appropriately enough for a topic relating to life during war time, the newspaper project was a real initiative test for the children, to see how good they were at things like decision making, team work and other challenges which they might not usually think about – whilst also, of course, learning lessons about World War Two,” said Mr Tinsley.
“Once they were all produced, we put up stalls in the playground for the groups to try and sell their papers to parents, and some of them even went as far as offering free gifts to try and win customers! In the end, though, they all came away as winners because the project raised over £200 for the end of year celebrations. This was a project from which – in every sense – the pupils will enjoy the benefits for some time to come.”
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