UK Centenary Minister: commemorations are opportunity to establish "educational legacy"

Posted on on 27 March 2014
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At a recent conference on "Schools and the Great War Centenary: How Schools Should Best Prepare", academics, teachers and broadcasters considered how to mark the Centenary.

It was organised by Wellington College, Berkshire and was held on the 13th March 2013 in London.

Speakers included the UK Prime Minister's Special Representative for the Centenary Commemorations, Dr. Andrew Murrison MP, Professor Sir Hew Strachan, author Michael Morpurgo and broadcasters and journalists, including Ian Hislop and Jeremy Paxman.

Dr. Murrison said that the Centenary is "an opportunity to establish the educational legacy (of the war). The legacy must be a better understanding of the cause, conduct and consequences".

Jeremy Paxman described the First World War as "the event that made modern Britain", and dismissed the idea of celebratory school parties as being thought up by "idiots".

Author and former teacher Michael Morpurgo suggested that story-telling should be an important means to engage with children during the Centenary:

"The best way of holding attention was to tell a story which mattered to me. If your students know it matters to you, you have a good chance that it will matter to them.”

Centenary News' Jillian Davidson attended the conference, you can read her full report here.

Images courtesy of Wellington College