Youngsters discover the challenges country faced during the war

HISTORY Ranvilles Junior School pupils in Fareham learning about the Second World War, pictured with their code breakers are, from left, Daniel Znobins 11, Alisha Agrawal 10, Morgan Piper 10, Ellena Callaghan 10, James Broadhurst 10. Picture: Paul Jacobs (132271-1)
HISTORY Ranvilles Junior School pupils in Fareham learning about the Second World War, pictured with their code breakers are, from left, Daniel Znobins 11, Alisha Agrawal 10, Morgan Piper 10, Ellena Callaghan 10, James Broadhurst 10. Picture: Paul Jacobs (132271-1)
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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Year 6 pupils at Ranvilles Juniors in Fareham made an exciting start to the academic year with the topic, World War Two – Is it Right to Fight?, writes teacher Lorraine Keany.

Steeped in the Rights, Respect and Responsibilities Agenda, learning is focusing children to develop their critical thinking skills related to issues involving conflict and apply new appreciation and understanding to contextual, local and world issues.

‘Vera’ and ‘Lynn’, played by myself and Zoe Loosemore, launched the historical project, challenging pupils to alert the British public of 1939 of the imminent war.

Roving Ranvilles reporters then explored what being a top-notch journalist actually entails with the experience being further enriched by a visit from The News.

Employing newly-enhanced journalistic skills, pupils detailed factual newspaper articles reflecting the reasons behind this prominent conflict in British history.

Maths missions have included the Bletchley Park Code Breakers where Year 6 pupils were further immersed in code-breaking assignments to solve top secret missions.

Masterminding and applying logical mathematical sequences enabled pupils to create their own ciphers; many children even challenged parents to unravel coded messages.

Forthcoming weeks will see the children discovering the difficulties and challenges faced by families when rationing was introduced and the maths needed to maximise portions.

Next week pupils will descend on the Submarine Museum in Gosport to develop their understanding of submariners’ experiences during the war.

Enabling the children to experience learning like this is crucial to teachers at Ranvilles.

The practical experiences will continue when children dress up and take part in Evacuation Day.

Arriving at school with a name tag and their worldly possessions, pupils will wave goodbye to parents before being evacuated to the country – a trip out to Hundred-Acre Wood.

Sharing new knowledge and opinions about wars and how they have subsequently shaped our nation, beliefs and conflict resolution today will be shared with parents during one of the school’s termly Dream, Believe, Achieve mornings.

These celebration opportunities are relished by both parents and children who will showcase practical skills which include baking carrot rationing biscuits and building effective shelters.