Students and staff at Chatsmore Catholic High School, in Worthing, are delighted after their First World War ‘Legacy110’ project was awarded the Arts and Craft prize at the Education Business Awards.
The awards were held at the Grange Hotel in St. Paul’s, London, last Thursday (6th July), and recognised the achievements of schools across all sectors.
Following participation in the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme, three students from Chatsmore, Abby Smith, Joe Angioni, and Alicia Dutton, were inspired to create a collaborative public sculpture in memory of three Sussex battalions who fought at the Battle of Boar’s Head, on 30th June 1916.
The desire to recognise the courage of the Sussex troops arose because the Battle of Boar’s Head has been largely overshadowed by the subsequent Battle of the Somme, which started just one day later.
The students partnered with the UCL Institute of Education (IOE), and Worthing Library, which allowed them to talk to current members of the Armed Forces, and research the specific role of the soldiers from Sussex.
Together with community arts group Create Waves, the students put on creative workshops at several local primary schools to introduce the Battle of Boar’s Head, and invited pupils to produce artistic designs for the memorial.
In addition to local engagement in Worthing, the students have worked with a school in Richebourg, France, and 38 Year 7 students and their teachers will travel there this month to work on a co-designed commemorative stained glass window, versions of which will be installed in both towns.
The memorial is one example of the many ‘Legacy110’ projects that have been undertaken by students following their return from the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme, which is run by IOE and tours provider Equity.
The free initiative allows all secondary schools in England to send two students and a teacher to the battle sites of the Great War, and will continue through to 2019.
Abby Smith, who took part in Chatsmore Catholic High School’s ‘Legacy110’ project, said:
“It’s unimaginable to be honest, the scale of the people who gave their lives. If you imagine each grave is a person it is devastating really. These soldiers deserve to be remembered. Young people don’t realise how much they did. Many of them gave up their tomorrow so we can have our today.”
David Rich, National Education Coordinator of the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme, said:
“We are all delighted that the inspiring project put together by students at Chatsmore Catholic High School has been recognised at the Education Business Awards.
“Winning the Arts and Craft Award is testament to the hard work and creativity of the students and staff involved, and the way in which they collaborated so well with the local community to produce their memorial.
“This is a shining example of the legacy work that has been done by students up and down the country on return from their First World War Centenary Battlefield Tour to commemorate those who fought a century ago.”
“Chatsmore Catholic High School’s enthusiasm and creativity continues to ensure that, in the words of the poet Laurence Binyon, 1914, ‘At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.’“