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CHILDREN stepped back in time to explore what life was like during the First World War.

Year 7 pupils at Oaklands Catholic School in Waterlooville are learning about the war and the impact it had on the country as part of their challenge week.

Pupils from Oaklands Catholic School painting a First World War mural. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (141953-385)

Pupils from Oaklands Catholic School painting a First World War mural. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (141953-385)

Yesterday was the 98th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme in which thousands of lives were lost.

Students had the opportunity to try on a soldier’s uniform and learn about life in the trenches.

And they made a street art mural and explored aspects of the war through dance, drama, art, literature, music and photography.

Their focus was Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse.

Pupil Billie-Mae White, 12, said: ‘It’s been fun and it’s different. We have a chance to just enjoy ourselves.

‘It’s creative. We do learn lots about the war which is interesting.

‘And we can just be with our friends. It’s good here, I like this school. I have made so many friends here.

‘This week has been good so far and I think it’s going to get even better.’

Teacher Sadie Whyte, who organised the week, said: ‘It’s important to commemorate particularly living where we do as we have got a strong military heritage. It’s important that we acknowledge how important the war was and still remains today.

‘It’s good for our children to have a spiritual and moral education so we think it’s important for them to understand what happened in the war and why it’s relevant to them today.

‘The brilliant thing is they are learning all sorts of new creative arts skills.

‘They like it because they get to learn in a different way – they are not in a classroom and that is a challenge in itself for them and for us.

‘They learn all kinds of new things and try things they would never normally try and we give them the message of embracing the challenge and the majority of them step up to them and rise to the challenge.’