Primary empathy for the fallen


Last Friday afternoon, December 4, I went to Rye Primary School to see the schoolchildren’s exhibition – “Rye Remembers”, covering work they had done on World War One (WW1) from 1914-1918, a hundred years ago.

There were a number of displays that had been set up by the children. One covered family memories of their great grandfathers’ WW1 stories. Another showed why the remembrance ¬†poppies are important, another what it would have been like in the trenches, and there was also a sample (shown below in the slideshow) of the packages that were sent from families to the front line.

The children had all written a diary about what it was like in WW1 from the perspective of many different ordinary people. Their insight and empathy were amazing. Obviously this would be down to the teachers’ support and encouragement. One of the main people involved in these studies and setting up the exhibition was teacher Emily Loughman.

Eight children (from different entry years in the school) stood up and read an excerpt from the diary they had written. It was moving. And, if this is a sample of the education our local children are getting, I have hopes for the future.

The school did have a similar exhibition in 2014, but it was just for the school and parents. I am glad it was so successful that the staff decided to open the event to more people – including Rye Town Councillors (who are the big people who also pop up in the photos). Well done to the teachers and pupils of Rye Primary School.

Photo and slideshow Ray Prewer

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