Stevenage, Hitchin and Letchworth schools remember the fallen

PUBLISHED: 06:59 14 November 2018

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Thousands of children across North Herts and Stevenage have carried out a wide range of activities to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War I.

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland attends the unveiling of a poppy memorial at Giles Nursery and Infants School made by the reception children. Picture: DANNY LOOStevenage MP Stephen McPartland attends the unveiling of a poppy memorial at Giles Nursery and Infants School made by the reception children. Picture: DANNY LOO

Reception children at The Giles Nursery and Infants’ School in Stevenage invited parents to the unveiling of a special poppy display they had created in their play area.

The four and five year olds, together with staff, had made 100 poppies out of recycled plastic bottles.

Pupils, parents and staff observed a one-minute silence to remember the fallen.

Headteacher Rouane Mendel said: “It’s a very special commemoration, and the fantastic work the children have done is absolutely fabulous.”

Head Rouane Mendel, early years foundation stage leader Lisa Dacombe and Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland at the unveiling of a poppy memorial at Giles Nursery and Infants School made by the reception children. Picture: DANNY LOOHead Rouane Mendel, early years foundation stage leader Lisa Dacombe and Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland at the unveiling of a poppy memorial at Giles Nursery and Infants School made by the reception children. Picture: DANNY LOO

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland, who attended, said: “I have been to many remembrance events over the past week and this is the one I have been looking forward to the most. I love that the children have put so much effort into their work.”

At Longmeadow Primary School in Stevenage, a week of activities to mark the centenary included a trip to the RAF Museum London and to the war memorial in Stevenage Old Town, as well as Dogs at War workshops led by the Dogs’ Trust, and Herts at War exhibition workshops.

Pupils at Woolenwick Infant and Nursery School in Stevenage took part in an after-school poppy trail, created a stunning poppy installation out of recycled plastic, and had a special assembly when they were visited by two war veterans.

The children also visited the war memorial in the Old Town, dedicated to the memory of 126 brave men of Stevenage who gave their lives in World War I.

Fearnhill School's maths teacher Andrew Philpot and music teacher Hannah Landsman played the Last Post. Picture courtesy of Cora Fletcher.Fearnhill School's maths teacher Andrew Philpot and music teacher Hannah Landsman played the Last Post. Picture courtesy of Cora Fletcher.

Teacher Jade Nicholls said: “The children have been extremely enthusiastic about the learning taking place and it was lovely to have the whole school involved in our installation to remember those soldiers who fought in the war.

“As history co-ordinator I am blown away with the learning that has been taking place and am so proud of our children and staff.”

At Pirton School, children shared World War I stories from their own research during a special assembly, and remembered family members who were involved in the conflict.

As part of a week of activities, pupils learnt about life in the trenches and how women also contributed to the war effort.

Key Stage 1 children at Icknield Infant and Nursery School created a display of poppies. Picture courtesy of Lyndsay Slaney-Parker.Key Stage 1 children at Icknield Infant and Nursery School created a display of poppies. Picture courtesy of Lyndsay Slaney-Parker.

In Letchworth, Fearnhill School pupils and staff held a two-minute silence on Friday. The Kohima Epitaph and war poem In Flanders Fields were also recited by students, and music teacher Hannah Landsman and maths teacher Andrew Philpot played the Last Post on their trumpets.

Also in Letchworth, at Icknield Infant and Nursery School, Key Stage 1 children created poppies for the school garden.

A spokesman for the school said: “We are very proud of the work the children have done and think the display looks fantastic.”

A series of assemblies at Stevenage’s Marriotts School on Friday reflected on the experiences of soliders not only from the Great War, but conflicts throughout the 20th century, as well as the ongoing commitment of British servicemen and women.

Pupils at Marriotts School in Stevenage attended special assemblies to learn about World War I through poetry, music, film footage and veterans' accounts. Picture courtesy of Jacquie Peary.Pupils at Marriotts School in Stevenage attended special assemblies to learn about World War I through poetry, music, film footage and veterans' accounts. Picture courtesy of Jacquie Peary.

Led by assistant headteacher Cameron Kerr, the assemblies blended together an array of poetry, music, film footage and veterans’ accounts of war.

Headteacher Bethany Honnor said: “Students left the assemblies with a clear sense of the importance of Remembrance Day.”

Hitchin Boys’ School has held a series of commemorative events, including Forgotten Voices – an evening of drama, poetry, music and art.

Year 7 students also created poppies from recycled plastic bottles, which have been displayed in the window of the former Kenmore Interiors store on Hitchin’s Hermitage Road, alongside the names of former Hitchin Boys’ School pupils who were killed in World War I.

Marriotts School's remembrance wreath. Picture courtesy of Jacquie Peary.Marriotts School's remembrance wreath. Picture courtesy of Jacquie Peary.

Hitchin Tilehouse Rotary Club has presented the school with a peace rose, which will be planted in the grounds.

And children at Peartree Spring Primary School in Stevenage made poppies which have been used by staff to create a spectacular display, and people have taken to Facebook to praise the school’s efforts, with one man even saying it “looks better than the Tower of London”.

Away from the schools, Kim Spicer said: “I’m a very proud beaver scout leader at 2nd Hitchin (Air Scouts). Our beavers, cubs and scouts have spent weeks painting pebbles to create a poppy memorial at Tilehouse Street Baptist Church in Hitchin.”

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