Staff, secondary students and primary pupils at Batley Grammar School came together to commemorate the centenary of WW1 in a number of creative yet personal ways. Based on ground-breaking research carried out over four years ago the school community was able to celebrate those who had given their lives in the greatest conflict this nation has ever known.
Each class in the school from Reception to Year 11 had the opportunity to study one or more of the ‘Batley Lads’, the 61 ex-students and one teacher who lost their life in the conflict a century ago. The Heritage Lottery funded book completed in 2014 was an immense help in this respect. Students created artwork, poetry, research pieces and presentations which were brought together to form the core of an exhibition. This display was visited by all students and pupils in the school, with opportunities for personal reflection and questions to staff involved.
Each student in the school also completed a paper poppy with a message of remembrance on and over 550 of these were on display as part of the main event on the afternoon of Friday 9 November. Many were used to create a ‘Poppy Walk’ though the school’s Old Library where stained glass windows commemorating our WW1 losses can be found. In addition, a newly released film about WW1 in colour was also on show. In the new library a fantastic array of literature about WW1 was available as well as student librarians on hand to talk about the work they had been doing linked to the conflict. Finally yet importantly, the main exhibition in the Graves Hall was supplemented by WW1 re-enactment and displays, drama, poetry and music brought to visitors by the students of Batley Grammar School. A charity cake sale in aid of the Royal British Legion was held where £100 was raised and additional poppies were sold to raise funds for this important charity.
Overall, the whole event was a great success and gave staff, students and pupils an important opportunity to reflect on the events of a century ago and consider the impact on our lives today. Lest We Forget.