Best Practice

First World War Centenary: Lest we forget

The First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme is helping students to develop a deeper understanding of the Great War. As Remembrance Day approaches, Emma Lee-Potter accompanied students on a recent trip.

Thousands watched in silence as the pupils from secondary schools across the Midlands stepped forward to lay their poppy wreaths at Belgium’s Menin Gate. “We’re here to honour you all, lest we forget,” said the handwritten note on one wreath, a tribute from pupils at The Avon Valley School in Rugby.

The Last Post ceremony takes place at the Menin Gate in the city of Ypres at 8pm every evening, honouring the memory of the soldiers of the former British Empire who died in the Ypres Salient during the First World War.

The Midlands teenagers were there as part of the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme, which is funded by the government and run by the Institute of Education (IoE) and school tour operator Equity. The £5.3 million programme is designed to help teachers and pupils from every state-funded secondary school in England develop a deeper understanding of the First World War.

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