Sounding the Somme has been designed to be flexible for schools – there is no right or wrong way to use the resources. They have been written to give music teachers some context and background to WW1 with ideas and starting points for creative work. We aim to connect pupils to the war and give them an opportunity to respond in a creative way. Even though this project is about the centenary of the battle of the Somme, WW1 commemorations will continue so why not develop a project in 2018 to mark the centenary of the end of WW1.
As the topic of WW1 is so expansive, we are actively encouraging music teachers to work across the curriculum and team up with other members of staff to both enrich the learning process, deepen pupil understanding and as a chance to share outcomes and celebrate success. The performing arts are often a fitting conclusion to display learning that has taken place.
Key curriculum objectives connected to the Somme100 FILM project are as follows:
- The history of film, specifically silent film, and importance of the film The Battle of the Somme:
- History of documentary film
- Camera equipment
- Medium of film as entertainment and ability to bring communities together
- The overarching story of WW1, specifically:
- How the war started
- The importance of the Battle of the Somme for the British Military
- Trench life and the Western Front
- The effects of the battle
- The efforts on the home front
- WW1 soldier’s kit:
- The vast equipment they had to carry
- Creative responses from the war:
- WW1 poetry, art and music
- Other accounts of events from the time (newspapers, diaries)
- WW1 inspired films, plays and novels
- The importance of remembrance
- The importance of cultural projects like Somme100 FILM
- Thinking about 1918 and the end of WW1 and comparisons to the world in 2018
The range of subject areas connected to the Somme100 FILM project include:
- Film Studies
Developing a Cross Curricular WW1 Project in You School
Arrange a meeting with relevant staff in your school about working on a joint WW1 inspired project. Working across different subjects can be difficult to schedule, but not impossible. Try to link to different schemes of work your school is already delivering. Here are some things to consider/discuss:
- What will be the outcome of your WW1 inspired project?
E.g. Concert, play, dance display, film, PowerPoint, exhibition, installation, website, or a combination.
- What topic areas should be included and what subjects are involved?
E.g. Novels inspired by WW1 (English Literature), the role of Commonwealth counties (Social Studies, Geography).
- What year groups should be involved?
E.g. Y9/S3 as they don’t have too much exam related work, or A level/Higher students, who can use the work created as part of their portfolio/coursework.
- What learning needs to take place, what skills do pupils need, what do they need to understand before being involved in the project?
E.g. To create art work inspired by WW1, pupils need to learn about WW1 artists, their inspirations and to understand any specific artistic techniques before having a go at their own pieces.
- Who will deliver the learning and when? Do special sessions need to be scheduled?
E.g. During lesson time, lunch time or after school clubs. Delivered by staff, volunteers or visiting specialists.
- What practical considerations do we need to take into account?
E.g. Exam timetable, school residential, sports tournament, annual school concert (sometimes these are advantages and could be linked to the project).
- When should the conclusion of the project take place?
E.g. Last week of term, parent’s night, local remembrance service or linked to a local community event.
Write a clear project plan for all staff/parents/pupils to read. It should contain the following:
- Aims and outcome of the project
- What will be involved
- Who will be involved
- What preparation needs to be done
- Detailed timetable and work plan, including regular project meetings or updates
- Conclusion and methods for evaluation or measuring success
Circulate the plan before the project takes place and make sure all staff agree on its contents.
Run you project as per your plan.
Celebrate your achievements and make sure you send any outcomes and links to Sounding the Somme via the email address below. We’d love to hear what you’re up and may even be able to send a representative along to your work, so please do keep us informed of your event.
Here are some suggestions and ideas of WW1 related projects from the Sounding the Somme team. They are listed in no particular order, nor with any specific reference to subject areas, but we hope they may give you some ideas and inspiration to run a project in your school.
- Don’t forget to involve families and the whole school community in your project. Many people have relatives who fought in the Somme battle and some may even have letters or objects for pupils to explore.
- Use the Sounding the Somme resources to develop compositions inspired by WW1, put on a concert of all the created works.
- Perform compositions in a local care homes or hospital, or to any local service units or veterans groups.
- If you live near a military base get pupils to interview staff about their jobs and experiences on a tour of duty at any point during the period of the project.
- Create a display of the newspaper articles created in the Somme Starts project, or go even further and make up a whole WW1 inspired newspaper and distribute to all pupils.
- Explore the poets of WW1 and use their texts as inspiration to write new poetry, music and artwork or to create a short play.
- Look into the developments of engineering and the advances of certain technologies during WW1. Connect with a local engineering firm for a project or work experience.
- Explore the play War Horse using the following resource: http://www.warhorseonstage.com/learning/
- Become a logistics expert for the day – look at all the operational roles required during WW1 and learn about how it was all organised. Make a plan for a new battle.
- Think about the different perspectives (voices) and experiences of the war by researching the contrasting roles of soldiers, children, women, politicians or the enemy. Explore actual people, perhaps connected to your town, or someone in a family connected to your school. Create profiles of these people and try writing letters about war experiences from their perspective.
- Create a WW1 recruitment posters in a 21st century style. How do we get recruits to sign up today?
- Take a look at the Kit Bag resources on the website and the film about a soldier’s uniform. Can you design a new uniform using more modern fabric and clothing technologies? What do soldiers wear today and how do they compare?
- Look at all the different countries involved in WW1 and develop profiles of each. Were there any long-term impacts to these countries as a result of their involvement?
- If you are a Somme100 FILM Centenary Tour performance, include compositions created as foyer music or organise an after concert event. You could also display artwork produced in foyers or as a film in the interval.
- What did WW1 soldiers eat? Do a nutritional analysis of their diet. And what did a field kitchen look like? Can you serve up a WW1 inspired school lunch? Think about rationing for families at home and apply the same ideas.
- Explore the following resource by the British Council: https://schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org/sites/so/files/british_council_somme_resource.pdf
- Explore the following resource by the Imperial War Museums: http://www.iwm.org.uk/history/learning-resources
- Remember local businesses, organisations and arts companies may be able to help and sponsor your project by offering free materials or by proving a specialist to come and get involved.
- There are lots of sources of funding for WWI related projects. http://www.1914.org/about/funding/
Keep in Touch
For advice and support on Sounding the Somme resources please email: