Sharing the Archive

Plea to school teachers for feedback

It is now a race against time before sadly memories of the Second World War will be lost forever and the Centre felt that a filming project would be a valuable part of our eductaion programme, a teaching resource for secondary schools (KS3), providing them with a record of Dunkirk and

Holocaust experiences (outlined in the curriculum) before veterans can no longer visit the children in person.
As well as supplying schools with specific DVDs, schools can be provided with supporting information produced in-house. We encourage teachers to show the film as part of a themed assembly during remembrance.

We have filmed veterans across the country and produced a DVD for teachers to use in class as well as other institutions.
The school DVD includes the following:

  • The DVD has chapters/sections that can be selected at the beginning as well as playing the whole DVD. This will allow the user to play their preferred sections e.g. particularly when using as a teaching aid.
  • A brief synopsis on the Centre’s archive and educational aims.
  • Brief introduction to the subject of the Second World War. This part will explain how important it is to learn from the Second
  • World War and what an important part of our heritage it is.
  • Veterans experiences (edited for a child of that age to understand and appropriately under teacher advice)
    Are you be interested in using this DVD at your school? We would be grateful for your feedback and thoughts on the DVD – please

We are aware that the cardinal imperative is to gather information relating to personal experience in the Second World War. However, that does not diminish our duty to share the archive with as wide an audience as possible. This is vital so that an understanding of the experience of those who lived through these years of conflict can be developed and, with it, a respect for the fact that this forms an important part of our heritage. A quote from someone who experienced the Second World War at first hand supports our own beliefs:

“It has to be a good thing to preserve experience to help future generations to understand what living through those years was like. Surely history students need such first-hand information but when some school-children today do not even know who Winston Churchill was, nor what D-Day signifies, then an archive which is dedicated to the war years deserves all our encouragement.”
Hilda Craven, Women’s Royal Naval Service, 1942-1945

The Second World War Experience Centre recognises the importance of providing testimony to help children understand what life was like during the Second World War.

The Department for Education and Employment’s guide on the National Curriculum reads: “History fires pupils’ curiosity about the past…pupils consider how the past influences the present…As they do this, pupils develop…knowledge of significant events and people.”

They see the diversity of human experience, and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society. What they learn can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values. In history, pupils find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions. To do this they need to be able to research it, sift through evidence, and argue for their point of view – skills that are prized in adult life.”

History also provides opportunities for pupils to develop a wide range of key skills including communication, Information Technology, working with others, improving their own learning and performances and problem solving.

The Second World War was a major turning point in British history yet there is very little quality information available for teachers and pupils that is able to inspire the school-children of today and tomorrow, so that the memories and experiences of such an integral part of our history can be preserved.