Primary school pupils have been putting their creativity to good use while delving back into the local area’s wartime history
Year six classes at St Wilfrid’s CoE Primary Academy in Standish have made model Anderson shelters and produced Blitz-themed artwork while looking at World War Two.
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And the pupils’ response to the topic has been so impressive that the miniature air raid shelters will be going on display at Standish’s library for the entire community to see.
The pupils were asked to create the models of the structures people created during the conflict to protect themselves and their loved ones from enemy attacks by air at home.
They have also spent a good deal of time looking at how Standish in particular and Wigan borough in general was affected by the war between 1939 and 1945, including paying their respects to the local fallen on Armistice Day.
Lorraine Cunliffe, one of the year six teachers at the school, said: “This is our local history project, especially looking at how Wigan people were affected by the war.
“We got photographs of different places that might have been bombed and we also did some baking, making a rationing cake which had no eggs in. We were looking at how people had to improvise and manage with rationing.
“For the Anderson shelters they had to research what they were like, what materials they were made from, how the construction of them worked.
“Some of the finished models are works of art, they are quite impressive.
“We also looked at the Blitz for the artwork. We did a background using different washes of colours for the fires and then added silhouettes of buildings based on Manchester in the war.
“We also went to the war memorial for Armistice Day. We had a little service led by the rector and some of the children could find members of their families among the inscriptions. There was also information there about some of the soldiers who died in World War Two.
“It was really interesting and quite exciting for the children.”
St Wilfrid’s launched the project for the school’s three year six classes with a visit from a history enthusiast dressed as an air raid warden who brought artefacts from the time for them to look at.
The pupils also learned how there was a munitions site near Standish and looked at maps of Wigan from the time to understand how the borough was affected.
The model shelters are now heading to the library for residents to look at, which the school says will be a major cause of pride for the children.
The school will now continue its research into World War Two by finding out more about the lives and service of some of the individual soldiers named on Standish’s war memorial.
St Wilfrid’s would also like to hear from anyone with snippets of local information about the war or objects from the time to share with the pupils. Anyone who can help can ring 01257 423992.