Landscore Primary School in Crediton has received £8,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, “Discovering our WWI Ancestors”. Led by Head Teacher, Gary Read, the project will focus on helping the children from Years 5 and 6 to gain an insight into life around the time of the First World War by researching their own ancestors.
The project will enable 90 children aged 10 and11 to research their family trees and those of local First World War soldiers. Parents and other relatives are encouraged to help with the research, tell stories of what life was like before and after the war, dig out old photographs and explain the history behind family treasures and heirlooms of the period. All volunteers will be given help and guidance in researching family history including access to the leading family history website, Ancestry.co.uk.
This in-depth study will give the children a unique and personal learning experience which will help them understand the impact that the war had on society. By setting the context around the lives of their own ancestors, children (and their families) will be directly engaged in the history of the period, making it very real and relevant to them.
Commenting on the award, Gary Read, said: “Receiving the grant from HLF will enable our children to have a direct link to the past; to family members alive at the time of the First World War. An understanding of history is obviously important for everyone and for schools it is a part of the National Curriculum. For children to have access to their own history will really bring learning to life.”
Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. In the centenary year of the start of the First World War, we’re pleased to support this project which aims to give pupils at Landscore a personal link to their community during this time and broaden their understanding of how the conflict has shaped our modern world.”