Year 9 Visit to the National Arboretum

As we approach a significant remembrance Sunday, the school is involved in a number of activities to commemorate this important event. Miss McElroy has written a summary of a recent trip to the National Memorial Arboretum, which follows here:
On Thursday 4th October we were able to take Year 9 on a visit to the National Memorial Arboretum. This trip was designed to help the students reflect on how and why we remember the fallen by looking at a small section of the 300 war memorials.
During our visit we took part in a poppies workshop, this enabled us to learn about the creation of the poppies and about some of the poetry inspired by them. Students were asked to take apart their poppy and then put it back together with restrictions such as using one arm or closing their eyes. This helped to demonstrate how difficult it is for veterans returning from war to adapt to their surroundings; a real insight into the impact of conflict.
We were then able to freely walk the grounds of the arboretum. We focused on two memorials: the armed forces memorial which commemorates soldiers killed in conflict since the end of World War Two and the Shot at Dawn memorial which commemorates those soldiers who faced the firing squad for perceived offences. These were both powerful memorials that provoked a deep level of discussion from the students.
As a close to our day we took part in the act of remembrance where students read poetry and laid a wreath on behalf of the school. The students’ response to the trip was profound with many reflecting on why we are free today and what it actually means to be free. The scale of the memorial at the Arboretum also provoked some awe from the students, leaving them with a deep level of respect.

At a more local level, we are very proud of Year 11 student Connor Begley who has recently completed his training as Standard Bearer for the Shipston branch of the Royal British Legion. Connor performed his first duty on Sunday 21st November when he took part in the remembrance Service at the Memorial Garden in Shipston to commemorate the end of the First World War.