Children use story of War Horse to commemorate fallen First World War heroes

Left to right - Head of English Sarah Gronow, Winner Lauren Hills, third place Jack Bryant and second place Malchai Dauya
Left to right - Head of English Sarah Gronow, Winner Lauren Hills, third place Jack Bryant and second place Malchai Dauya

STUDENTS have been taking part in a celebratory lunch awards ceremony to recognise their ‘outstanding’ work as part of a First World War project competition. 

Over 200 students at Crofton School in Stubbington took part after reading the novel War Horse with entries narrowed down to 34 finalists who attended the lunch. The News was invited along to judge the competition alongside headteacher Simon Harrison.

Children enjoy a finalists lunch as they explore each others' work

Children enjoy a finalists lunch as they explore each others' work

Winner of the award and recipient of a Kindle HD was Year 7 student, Lauren Hills, 11. Lauren was praised for her innovative idea in which she selected words from the novel she did not understand and pieced them together to depict Warhorse Joey. 

Lauren said: ‘I was initially going to draw a picture of Joey. It was when I started to read the book that I realised there were a lot of words I didn’t understand and so I decided to use them to make up a representation of Joey. I have also put together a booklet with all the words and I have now found out what they mean.’ 

Malchai Dauya, 12, was awarded second place for his poem about life in the trenches whilst Jack Bryant, 11, received third place for his pebble model which depicted some of the key themes from the book. Examples of other work included diary excerpts, collages, models and research projects.

Organiser and head of English, Sarah Gronow, said: ‘All Year 6 pupils were given the book to read over the summer holidays before arriving at secondary school. The only remit they were then given was to produce a piece of work with a First World War theme which had been inspired by the book.’

Headteacher Simon Harrison looking at examples of students' work

Headteacher Simon Harrison looking at examples of students' work

Mr Harrison added: ‘The work submitted was of an exceptionally high standard and included both academic application and creativity. It highlighted the fantastic work of our feeder schools in ensuring our intake of students are at such a high standard. Seeing the work they have produced excites me about what they are capable of in the future.’

The competition was particularly poignant in recognising Armistice Day and the commemoration of 100 years since the end of the First World War.

‘One of the reasons we decided to run the project this year was in recognition of Armistice Day as it is important for the children to remember such a significant historical event,’ said Mrs Gronow.

Second-placed Malchai added: ‘It is really important for young people to understand if these people hadn’t given their lives it would be a very different world we live in today. People need to realise this was not a story – it was real.’

In addition to the three prize winners, all of those children who have taken part will received a certificate in recognition of their work.

‘I am immensely proud of all the work the students have produced,’ said Mrs Gronow.