War and Peace

Over the last week year six pupils from Blackwood Primary School have taken ownership of their local cultural venue with their exhibition, War and Peace. This exhibition for the highlight of a whole term of work during which the school exploring the effect of war on Blackwood, and particularly how the two world wars affected life in the community. This work relates to a series of events happening this year in the town celebrating it’s bicentenary.

War and Peace

At the beginning of the autumn term we awarded Blackwood Primary School an Innovation Seed Grant to work with artist Naz Syed and the Exhibition in a Box put together by Head4Arts. Exhibition in a Box is a portable multi-sensory resource that explores the theme of silence in connection to the First World War. The young people were particularly taken with object based learning, “it was more interesting to have the physical object than to read about it because you can use more senses and it is more fun”, “the objects were awesome and it was the best thing to feel, touch and smell them.”

War and Peace
War and Peace

Working with Naz in class the pupils started to explore the objects and themes, “my favourite part was opening the box to see what was inside. In my box with some words blurred out”, “in my box was a tea cup an saucer to resemble tea and sympathy, it was also about the silence of religion.” The pupils started to create drawings and collage based on what they found and felt working with the objects.

War and Peace

To extend the scope of the project the school received further funding from Literature Wales and Caerphilly Arts Development, this allowed them to bring in writer Simone Greenwood of Burst Publishing, who is working on a longer project 200 Stories celebrating Blackwood’s bicentenary. Working with Simone the pupils produced stories and poem that became the book War and Peace: remembering life in our community, published by Burst.

War and Peace

For the week beginning 20th January the school brought their work to Blackwood Miners’ Institute for public exhibition. The pupils had developed their own presentations of what they had discovered and displayed handmade books they had made containing their collage, drawings and written stories, all inspired by their objects. The children had been asking their families about their wartime experiences and had borrowed heirloom objects to show including one pupil who had brought her great great grandfather’s Active Service Testament from the First World War. Some of the class wore the clothes is their boxes or that they had found and we had a nurse and white and black vales representing wives and widows.

War and Peace
War and Peace

The exhibition was highly successful event that brought a large section of the local community into the building. Tea and cakes were on sale in period cups and saucers, the mayor paid a visit and one boy played the accordion to welcome people as they entered. The teachers commented that only four or the children didn’t have a family member visit the exhibition opening, which is may, more than a normal parents evening at the school.

War and Peace

See More